On 12 August 2020, the Competition Commission of Serbia published an analysis on the Serbian railway freight transport market, which was prepared within the Program for Improving the Business Environment for Serbia. The World Bank Group conducted a study of the railway freight transport market in the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the International Finance Corporation.
For the purposes of this project, the study was prepared by a consortium of Compass Lexecon and Karanović & Partners. While conducting the research, Compass Lexecon and Karanović & Partners interviewed the key undertakings and regulatory authorities in order to obtain the necessary market information.
The subject of this comprehensive analysis is the rail freight market with a detailed analysis of the value chain of railway traffic, market structure analysis, market dynamics, analysis of the regulatory environment, market performance and analysis of competition in the market through identification of practices and rules that may distort competition.
The analysis did not identify any significant competition concerns, but for the purpose of improvement of the relevant railway freight transport market in Serbia – our analysis recommends: upgrading of railway infrastructure, modernization of path allocation, smart operational procedures, price liberalisation and access fee reform, as well as regular market monitoring activities. As a result, low quality of railway infrastructure, outdated procedure for allocating routes and the absence of intermodal terminals were identified as the main reasons for the underdevelopment of the market and as significant barriers to entry.