International audience; Recent research on maritime ports hinterlands points out the relevance of mass ground transport modes such as barge transport for enormous flows of containers to and from harbours, especially when a maritime port is located at the mouth of a river. Though, the modal share of container barge transport in French maritime ports (9% of TEU in Le Havre and 5% in Marseille in 2007) is significantly lower than elsewhere (32% in Rotterdam and 33% in Antwerp). Some reports and studies explain the viscosity of container barge transport flows as a result of several factors, generally concentrated around the seaport community. In continuation of previous seminal works, this paper adopts a neo-institutional approach (Williamson, 1985; 1996) of container barge transport to understand how the factors generating this viscosity are managed. Section 2 describes the characteristics of the transaction of container barge transport. Section 3 is devoted to its attributes (asset specificity, frequency, uncertainty). According to Williamson’s (1996) remediableness criterion, the observed governance structure of a given transaction is presumed efficient and aligned to its attributes. Thus, Section 4 deals with observed governance structures of container barge transport chains with a focus on Le Havre, main French container seaport and shows how agents try to limit opportunism in ex-post haggling over quasi-rents or under-investments. Implementation of a new institutional environment to modify governance structures is analysed, and a comparison with currently implemented governance structures observed in Rhine is made. Finally, Section 5 suggests ways of dealing with the remaining coordination problems impeding the development of container barge transport in France.
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DOIS: 10.1007/978-3-319-09791-6 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.11.009 10.1007/978-3-319-09791-6_5
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