Ship operators port selection behaviour in North European ports
Faculty of Applied Economics
IAME 2013 Conference July 3-5,Marseille, France
University of Antwerp
The changes in global business environment have derived changes in firms supply chain and transport strategies. This paper focuses on the implications of these changes for port selection and decision makers priorities. Significant changes in the forces driving demand have occurred in container port and transformed its role in the supply chain. These changes intensify port competition and affect the ship operators port choice behavior. Port selection is considered a crucial variable in policy formulation and depends on port capabilities. Port choice criteria are determined in the literature widely, however, there exists a gap of ranking and weighting the criteria in north European ports - Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg. This paper models the ship operators port choice behavior in Northern Europe, using a database obtained from a survey of privileged experts. An Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method is utilized to model decision making process of ship operators regarding port selection among three alternative ports. Results are in the line with previous studies which use other methodologies, however, the AHP model ranks and give a numerical value to each criterion from ship operators point of view. Ship operators priorities in port selection indicate the highest interest in hinterland connection, port location, and cost respectively, while the two other decision maker groups shippers and freight forwarders gave different rank to those factors.