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Critical selection criteria of liner shipping operators : the perspective of Ghanaian freight forwarders


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Fanam, PD 2017 , 'Critical selection criteria of liner shipping operators : the perspective of Ghanaian freight forwarders', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Despite a great deal of research already conducted on the competitiveness of liner operators, existing studies have mainly focused on liner operator competitiveness from the perspective of shippers, and only limited research has been conducted from the perspective of freight forwarders. Freight forwarders not only represent 85% of shippers in dealing directly with liner operators, they also have valuable insights into the commercial operations of shipping lines. In this study, the views and perspectives of freight forwarders have been analysed so as to investigate the competitiveness of ocean container carriers.
A mixed model method was applied to analyse data collected from 103 valid responses of Ghanaian freight forwarders, and the results from exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) reveal six factors which influenced freight forwarder decisions in selecting liner operators. Schedule reliability was found to be the most influential factor, followed by documentation accuracy, service quality, freight rate, quick handling and environment concerns. The results of qualitative data analysis, based on the open-ended survey questions, also show that Ghanaian freight forwarder perceptions of customer service were also a significant factor contributing to liner operator competitiveness. Based on the study results, implications for liner shipping companies have also been drawn. For example, to improve their competitiveness, liner shipping companies need to focus on factors influential to their customers, especially freight forwarders’ decision to select liner operators as identified by the study. Their marketing strategies need to cover important emerging issues such as environmental awareness, sustainable development and corporate social responsibilities in addition to traditional, well known marketing elements such as service quality and customer satisfaction.
This study has contributed in a number of ways to the literature on liner shipping competitiveness. First, it applied both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the effect of various factors on shipping lines’ competitiveness that have not been previously considered by similar studies. Second, the study has found that the views and perceptions of freight forwarders towards liner operators can offer valuable insights into the competitiveness of shipping lines. Third, it is the first study conducted on Ghanaian shipping and its freight forwarding sector. Therefore, the results can be a good reference for countries with similar social and economic conditions. The methodology developed by the study can also be replicated to other countries and sectors (air, land, rail and inland waters) to evaluate the competitiveness of their transport service providers.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Fanam, PD
Keywords: selection criteria, ocean container carriers, freight forwarders, competitiveness, carriers
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Copyright 2017 the author

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