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Title: Service quality gaps in the container liner industry
Authors: Lim, Tzer Jing.
Keywords: DRNTU::Engineering::Maritime studies::Maritime management and business
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The growth of the container liner industry is one that cannot be disregarded. The container ships as of June 2012 stands at 4952 vessels with an aggregate capacity of 16,017,550 TEUs, occupying a very significant share of the merchant fleet (Alphaliner). As strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions characterize the container liner market, companies are confronted with a situation whereby high service quality may be essential to compete effectively. However currently, there is no particular definition of service quality in the container liner industry. This study recognizes the gap in existing literature. It aims to develop a Service Quality (SQ) model to address this gap. The proposed SQ model would include dimensions and corresponding service attributes that define a quality container liner service. The research will also examine the effect of quality management practices on supply chain performance. In addition, this study will explore the possibility of perception gaps between the following parties: container liner service providers and their customers (shippers and freight forwarders); employees of different statuses in container liner company; small container liner companies and big container liner companies. The study utilizes a triangulation approach, which constitutes components of literature review, interviews and surveys, so as to conceptualize, revise and verify the proposed SQ model. A SQ model will be developed after the literature review and revised after the in-depth interviews. A total of seven interviews were conducted with representatives from both container liner companies and the shippers and freight forwarders. The proposed SQ model consists of six dimensions with 25 attributes. The six dimensions are Tangibles, Outcomes, Process, Leadership, Image and Integration. After which, surveys were conducted with respondents from both the service providers and service recipients of container liner shipping. A sample size of 159 container liner companies and 333 shippers and freight forwarders were shortlisted for the survey. A total of 79 responses were received, with a response rate of 25.8% from the container liner companies and 12.3% for the shippers and freight forwarders. From the survey, the Tangibles and Outcomes dimensions have been identified as the top priorities for shippers and freight forwarders. However, from the container liner companies' perspective, Outcomes and Leadership were ranked first instead. In addition, there also exists several perception gaps between employees of different statuses and between big and small container liner companies. This study is limited to the confinements of the Singapore context. Further studies may have to be conducted in other regions in order to justify the practicality of the SQ Model.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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