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Price and Frequency Competition in Freight Transportation

  • Author(s): Shah, Nilopa
  • Brueckner, Jan K.
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper develops a simple analytical model of price and frequency competitionamong freight carriers. In the model, the full price faced by a shipper (a goodsproducer) includes the actual shipping price plus an inventory holding cost, whichis inversely proportional to the frequency of shipments offered by the freight carrier. Taking brand loyalty on the part of shippers into account, competing freightcarriers maximize profit by setting prices, frequencies and vehicle carrying capacities. Assuming tractable functional forms, long- and short-run comparative-staticresults are derived to show how the choice variables are affected by the model’sparameters. The paper also provides an efficiency analysis, comparing the equilibrium to the social optimum, and it attempts to explain the phenomenon of excesscapacity in the freight industry.

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