Examing the Social Costs of Port Operations


EXPORT will develop new knowledge about the environmental-economic trade-offs involved in increased cargo handling by Norwegian ports. The project is managed by the Institute of Transport Economics, and is financed by The Research Council of Norway, The Norwegian Costal administration and KS Bedrift Havn. The project started in September 2014 and will last for 3 years.


Ports are vital components in the maritime logistics chain, and international studies have pointed to the importance of ports’ cost efficiencies and exploitation of economies of scale and scope for domestic competitiveness and economic growth. Comparable assessments for Norway are few, and little information about cost reductions by better exploitation of the Norwegian port infrastructure is available.

While the (private) economic benefits of more efficient cargo handling in ports have been treated by the international literature, less attention has been devoted to the external costs of port operations. Such estimates would provide important guidelines to policy decisions on maritime transport.

EXPORT aims to fill these knowledge gaps by:

  • generating new knowledge about the optimal use of the existing port infrastructure in Norway and how it will contribute to the competitiveness of maritime transport
  • adding to the current knowledge about environmental implications of maritime transport by estimating marginal and average external costs of port operations
  • examining how external costs of port operations are affected by increases in the handled volume, and to consider the possibility of and the costs involved in decoupling the growth rates of cargo volumes and external costs
  • providing policy recommendations for maritime transport in general and ports in particular when the external costs of competing transport modes also are taken into account.

Gaustadalléen 21
0349 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 57 38 00
E-mail: toi@toi.no