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postgraduate thesis: A comparative study of the top 10 liner shipping companies and their marketing strategies in the next five years

TitleA comparative study of the top 10 liner shipping companies and their marketing strategies in the next five years
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Hou, M. [侯明博]. (2012). A comparative study of the top 10 liner shipping companies and their marketing strategies in the next five years. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5217408
AbstractGlobal liner shipping companies experienced a huge fluctuation of freight rate and lost billions consecutively in recent years and the industry became very volatile and unsustainable. At this critical time, this dissertation aims to evaluate what extent the marketing strategies can optimize the overall sustainable competitive advantage of top ten liner shipping companies and contribute to the recovery and the sustainable development of liner shipping industry in the next five years. This dissertation met this objective through a study of literatures and the application of research. The research was conducted through an interview survey with seventeen executives of eight liner shipping companies and a questionnaire survey with twelve senior executives of logistics companies. This study produced the following key findings. First, six core competencies and two generic competitive advantages of top ten carriers are selected and evaluated. Financial strength is concluded from the interview discussion as the most important core competency to the overall sustainability and competitiveness of carriers, meanwhile, most of carriers concentrate on rate competitiveness rather than service differentiation competitiveness currently. Secondly, three key challenges in the current liner shipping industry are identified and analyzed: weak demand growth and sharp hikes in bunker fuel price which are the major challenges in the macro environment and out of the direct control of carriers’ management, therefore, leading carriers should concentrate on addressing the major challenge in the micro environment –structural oversupply and homogenous service. Thirdly, carriers are impatient to improve their unhealthy financial position by increasing freight rate and reducing costs due to billions financing needs. However, inferior reliability of liner service due to cost-cutting and the consecutive jump of freight rate cause a deeper contradictory relation between carriers and shippers. Lastly, leading carriers have to make their best efforts to be survived currently, but need to find the right ways to attain sustainable competitive advantages in the future. In short term, the main target of leading carriers’ marketing strategies is to ensure sustainable freight rate and rational capacity growth. Because leading carriers are involved in a “prisoner dilemma” situation in major tradelanes, they should be close with each other with the support of financial investors and government regulatory bodies to build a stable and reliable global sea trade infrastructure. Long-term agree-ment with shippers fixed ocean freight rate at sustainable level can contribute the sta-bility of the market and help carriers be capable to offer reliable service. In the long term, the main target of marketing strategies is to find the best balance between better service and lower costs. One important way is to differentiate carriers’ service by offering more value to shippers and to ease the fierce competition on freight rate. It needs carriers to collaborate with logistics partners to improve the cost-efficiency and reliability of global supply chain. Another way is to cooperate with R&D organizations to enhance operational efficiency and offer eco-friendly liner service by advanced and innovative technologies.
DegreeMaster of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning
SubjectShipping companies (Marine transportation)
Dept/ProgramTransport Policy and Planning
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/199872

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHou, Mingbo-
dc.contributor.author侯明博-
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-23T23:12:28Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-23T23:12:28Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationHou, M. [侯明博]. (2012). A comparative study of the top 10 liner shipping companies and their marketing strategies in the next five years. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5217408-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/199872-
dc.description.abstractGlobal liner shipping companies experienced a huge fluctuation of freight rate and lost billions consecutively in recent years and the industry became very volatile and unsustainable. At this critical time, this dissertation aims to evaluate what extent the marketing strategies can optimize the overall sustainable competitive advantage of top ten liner shipping companies and contribute to the recovery and the sustainable development of liner shipping industry in the next five years. This dissertation met this objective through a study of literatures and the application of research. The research was conducted through an interview survey with seventeen executives of eight liner shipping companies and a questionnaire survey with twelve senior executives of logistics companies. This study produced the following key findings. First, six core competencies and two generic competitive advantages of top ten carriers are selected and evaluated. Financial strength is concluded from the interview discussion as the most important core competency to the overall sustainability and competitiveness of carriers, meanwhile, most of carriers concentrate on rate competitiveness rather than service differentiation competitiveness currently. Secondly, three key challenges in the current liner shipping industry are identified and analyzed: weak demand growth and sharp hikes in bunker fuel price which are the major challenges in the macro environment and out of the direct control of carriers’ management, therefore, leading carriers should concentrate on addressing the major challenge in the micro environment –structural oversupply and homogenous service. Thirdly, carriers are impatient to improve their unhealthy financial position by increasing freight rate and reducing costs due to billions financing needs. However, inferior reliability of liner service due to cost-cutting and the consecutive jump of freight rate cause a deeper contradictory relation between carriers and shippers. Lastly, leading carriers have to make their best efforts to be survived currently, but need to find the right ways to attain sustainable competitive advantages in the future. In short term, the main target of leading carriers’ marketing strategies is to ensure sustainable freight rate and rational capacity growth. Because leading carriers are involved in a “prisoner dilemma” situation in major tradelanes, they should be close with each other with the support of financial investors and government regulatory bodies to build a stable and reliable global sea trade infrastructure. Long-term agree-ment with shippers fixed ocean freight rate at sustainable level can contribute the sta-bility of the market and help carriers be capable to offer reliable service. In the long term, the main target of marketing strategies is to find the best balance between better service and lower costs. One important way is to differentiate carriers’ service by offering more value to shippers and to ease the fierce competition on freight rate. It needs carriers to collaborate with logistics partners to improve the cost-efficiency and reliability of global supply chain. Another way is to cooperate with R&D organizations to enhance operational efficiency and offer eco-friendly liner service by advanced and innovative technologies.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshShipping companies (Marine transportation)-
dc.titleA comparative study of the top 10 liner shipping companies and their marketing strategies in the next five years-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5217408-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineTransport Policy and Planning-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5217408-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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