Are privately owned shipping companies more successful than public listed ones? (Container Shipping)
Lim, Tee Ping
Date of Issue2017
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The objective of this paper was to determine whether privately owned container shipping companies are more successful than public listed ones. At the same time, it also aims to analyse the family owned companies in container shipping and determine if they are performing better. This paper started by looking at the definition of privately owned and public listed companies and the characteristics of the 2 types of ownership. Using the top 20 container shipping companies as a starting point, it looked at the trends in the private and public companies and also the family owned ones within the top 20, and hypotheses were drawn from there. Success of the company was based on the 4 dimensions of the balanced scorecard and the longevity of the company. Surveys and interviews were conducted with shipping professionals who are holding or held senior management positions. Overall, from the results drawn, while being either public listed or privately owned can allow a company to be successful, generally while looking at private and public, a public listed container shipping company with major controlling shareholders will be more successful. This is because this will give the public listed company the flexibility to make strategic decisions and provide a drive for the major shareholders to chart the best path for the company. There are also other important factors outside of private/public that determine if a company will be successful, such as having the scale, alliances, good leadership, whether is it family owned, market strategies and so on. It was also found that family owned container shipping companies will perform better than non-family owned ones, provided that the family leader is good and there should be a clear succession plan with no family disputes. This paper also made the forecast that that it is unlikely an IPO will being conducted in the near future for privately owned container shipping companies due to the current industry performance and the state of the private companies.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University