Port and terminal selection by deep-sea container operators
Institute for Transport en Maritime Management (ITMMA)
Maritime policy and management. - London, 1997, currens
, p. 517-534
University of Antwerp
This paper deals with the importance of port choice and container terminal selection for deep-sea container carriers. The paper focuses on the research question: on what basis do deep-sea container operators select container ports (strategy) and container terminals (financial reasons) in the Hamburg-Le Havre range over others? In answering this research question, three dimensions are addressed in detail: the buying decision characteristics; port choice strategy; and terminal selection. The results show that strategic considerations at company level are important. For port choice the most important criteria from a carrier's perspective are: availability of hinterland connections; reasonable tariffs; and immediacy of consumers (large hinterland). In addition to these criteria, shipping lines attach great value to often neglected factors, such as feeder connectivity, environmental issues and the total portfolio of the port. The study reveals that port selection and terminal selection are not the same with terminal selection criteria mainly depending on: handling speed; handling costs; reliability; and hinterland connections. The analysis also brought forward that the decision making is different per container carrier, per trade and per port type, implying that a one size fits all approach is not relevant.