Service quality gap between the expectations of shippers and carriers in Asian dry bulk shipping
Nintin, M and Nguyen, H-O and Cahoon, SC, Service quality gap between the expectations of shippers and carriers in Asian dry bulk shipping, Proceedings of the International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports (IFSPA) 2010, 15-18 October 2010, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, pp. 242-264. ISBN 978 962 367 716 5 (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Bulk shipping is a highly competitive market that is subject to volatile freight
rates caused by imbalance between demand and supply as well as changes in input costs.
As such companies constantly face challenges of being competitive in the market and
making profit. This highlights shipping companies’ need to maintain a high level of
customer satisfaction and service quality. On the other hand, the service quality
expectations of shippers are beyond the terms and conditions of the charter party that often
cannot specify the intangible elements of service quality. Although the concept of service
quality is not new in dry bulk shipping, it is often not well understood. This paper seeks to
evaluate the gap between the service quality expectations of shippers and shipping
companies as a way to gain insights into shipping companies’ competitive advantage. In
particular, the paper extends previous research on service quality to dry bulk shipping
companies in Asia. A survey of both shippers and carriers in Asia covering various factors
of shipping services is conducted, data obtained are analyzed to investigate the contribution
of these factors to service quality, and the implications for shipping service quality
management are discussed. The results of data analysis reveal that gaps between the service
quality expectations of shippers and carriers exist, but with varying levels of significance.
Refereed Conference Paper
service quality, dry bulk shipping, SERVQUAL, competitiveness, Asia.