No pricing system is likely to be able to do away with congestion in port cargo
transfer operations at peak times, since port use is determined not so much by
seasonal factors as, first and foremost, by the simultaneous arrival of vessels, which
results in rationing. This article shows that rationing, to be efficient, needs to go by
the value of the cargo transferred rather than following a first-come-first-served rule.
It demonstrates that efficient rationing gives priority to containerized cargo, followed
by break bulk cargo, with bulk cargo in last place. These findings are applied to
cargo transfer at the San Antonio Terminal Internacional franchised port in Chile.