The Fehmarn Belt duopoly – Can the ferry compete with a tunnel?

The Fehmarn Belt is a strait between Denmark and Germany, currently served by a ferry operator. We analyse competition between the ferry service and a planned immersed tunnel, the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link.

Using real-world data and traffic forecasts, we show that it should not be taken for granted that the ferry will exit the market, and with competition by the ferry the tunnel project will incur losses.

Our findings challenge previous evaluations concerning the commercial viability of the Fehmarn-Belt Fixed Link. Instead the tunnel will very likely face the same fate as the Channel Tunnel between France and the UK, a project which also underestimated the influence of strong ferry competition and never fully realized the formerly projected revenues.

Download paper by DIW Econ published in the International Journal “Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice”.

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