And why shouldn’t port terminals form alliances? The rationale is the same as for liners: it might save capital expense for the ports and terminals when it isn’t being used. And the problems are the same: how can we keep an alliance together for long enough for realized gains to be seen by everyone, at lest enough so they won’t depart the alliances. It’s a classic cooperative game scenario. I don’t believe it’s been looked at yet. One thing you can be sure of: a pricing scheme will not guarantee stability of any alliance coalition. There will need to be side payments, or a scheme based on some other algorithm than easily measured price.
I have a paper to be presented at IAME2016 in Hamburg on a similar problem with equipment pools for ports.