Electronic rail car market allocation system, a conceptual model for increasing competition in western Canadian grain handling and transportation
Mulligan, John O.
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Public goals of allocative and distributional efficiency can be assumed only in market-like relationships. The questions that follow are how can, and when should, the public intervene to encourage electronic markets, rather than electronic hierarchies, to develop? This thesis explores the concept of an electronic market to allocate rail cars, as originally proposed by Prentice (1998), as a means of introducing competition in the grain transport industry. A case study of the administered rail car allocation system finds; that electronic market processes exist with the exception of a missing membership structure. A not-for-profit corporation, here called the "Rail Car Authority", would complete the necessary Reimers pre-conditions. The Rail Car Authority would be responsible for sustaining a fleet of covered hopper cars for the transport of Western Canadian grain, and for ensuring equitable and efficient access by shippers to these rail cars. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)