A study on business development strategies and tactics in the shipping industry to improve customer satisfaction (port sector)
Lau, Benedict Yew Fei
Date of Issue2017-05-15
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
With weak global economic outlook and overcapacity in the industry, container shipping organisations are facing tremendous pressure to compete in this highly competitive market. As Internet of Things (IoT) and Big data analytics are one of the top five evolving trends in the global maritime industry, it creates both new opportunities and additional uncertainties into the future of the industry. However, past articles and research indicate that the above-mentioned technologies can be termed as “disruptive” or “advanced” technology. Hence, this paper aims to analyse whether it is termed as disruptive or advanced technology. It also aims to find out whether the use of such technologies in the age of digitalisation can improve customer satisfaction in the port sector of the container shipping industry. To ensure a comprehensive research is conducted, surveys were sent to organisations in the port sector, software service provider and shipper. Holistic industry insights were gathered from the face-to-face interviews and relevant interview excerpts were included in the appendices to substantiate the paper’s qualitative analysis of the findings. Firstly, leadership has a direct correlation with the strategic direction of the organisation. It enables the organisation to remain competitive and relevant with any upcoming technological trends. Secondly, the use of technology like IoT and Big data analytics are termed as advanced technology that complements existing port operations. Moreover, emergence of mega-vessels has hastened the adoption of automation technology with the use of IoT and Big data analytics. Henceforth, the organisation should strike a balance between meeting the previous technology’s return on investment (ROI) and investing in new technologies. Thirdly, industry-wide collaboration should be intrinsically motivated to innovate and implement best practices to benefit the supply chain ecosystem in the long run. Lastly, even though implementation of new technologies may increase service quality and customer satisfaction, the element of human touch remains crucial in this highly competitive industry. In view of its limitations, future studies can focus on the development of blockchain solution, a collaboration between IBM and Maersk, for the entire supply chain. Furthermore, intangible human factors like working culture and ethics can be examined to discover how it affects the adoption of technological innovation. Finally, the impact of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative on the business developments in ASEAN shipping region can be further analysed.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University