October 15, 2014 - 8:00AM
October 15, 2014 - 9:00AM

MIT - W20-307

Port capacity and especially free port capacity can play a crucial role in the competition struggle between ports. Instead of increasing port charges when trying to solve congestion problems,  some port authorities decided to enlarge and renovate existing  port infrastructure and/or to build new infrastructure, in several ways: deepening rivers and maritime channels; building new locks, new terminals and berths; facilitating new and better hinterland connections. Most infrastructure capacity expansion has been financed by public money. We want to have a closer look at whether and in what way port capacity investments can be considered a trade-off between new free (over)capacity paid for by public money, and potential time losses by private ship owners due to a lack of capacity and corresponding waiting lines and/or congestion.


Hilde Meersman and Eddy Van de Voorde are both Full Professor at the University of Antwerp at the Department of Transport and Regional Economics and have been cooperating and publishing together for about twenty years.

Hilde Meersman teaches in the fields of Econometrics, Transport Modelling, and Economics. She also teaches at the Technical University of Delft and gives guest lectures at a number of European universities. She is the co-ordinator of the policy research centre of the Flemish Government ‘Mobility and Public Works – Freight Transport’  and the Strategic basic research project ‘Urban Logistics and Mobility’. She is a member of the Belgian Economic Council which gives advice on the national economic policy.

Her research activities are on the intersection of transportation economics, macroeconomics and economic modelling.   This enables her to link the evolution in the world economy to specific transportation problems. She is involved, directly or indirectly, in a large number of research projects on topics such as international investment, modelling and forecasting freight transport, empirical analysis of port competition, inland navigation, mode choice, sustainable mobility, etc. She has been an advisor to the Dutch Central Bank and has been and still is involved in a large number of international exchange programs. Until 1997 she was director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research (SESO). She has also been chairing the International Scientific Committee of the WCTR-S.

Eddy Van de Voorde is active in the fields of Maritime Economics, Port Economics, Air Transport and Logistics. He is in charge of research projects financed by various Belgian and international governments and private organizations. A lot of his research, particularly in the field of modeling freight transport, results in a long list of publications in important journals. He is also co-author of various standard-works in the field of transport economics and models.

He is also a professor at the University of Ghent and at the Technical University of Delft, and he is visiting professor at different foreign universities, such as Lisbon (Tecnico), Bari, Rome (Sapienza Università) and London (City University). He holds positions in international scientific associations and was vice-chair of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vice-chair of the scientific committee of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) and chair of the Benelux Interuniversity Group of Transport Economists  (BIVEC). He is also a member of the editorial board of several international scientific journals, such as Maritime Policy and Management, Transport Policy, Transportation Research-E, and the International Journal of Transport Economics. In 2005, he was awarded in Genua the prestigious Premio Internationale delle Communicazioni “Cristoforo Colombo”, for his scientific research in the field of Maritime Economics.