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Strategic management in the global container shipping industry.

Baird, Alfred (2000) Strategic management in the global container shipping industry. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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    Abstract/Description

    Container shipping is of immense importance to global industry, and one of the
    critical enablers of globalisation. Analysis of the global container shipping
    industry suggests the potential for significant economies of scope and scale, and
    hence low costs and high efficiency, both recognised benefits of a global
    strategy. However, the global activities of container shipping lines are subject to
    a series of countervailing pressures, in particular, state regulation, shipper
    power, and the constant threat of competition. In an industry where
    differentiation has been absent, or at best difficult to achieve, there exists a
    growing belief amongst industry leaders that competitive advantage can be
    secured through providing a higher level intermodal service with a global
    network. This project identifies these and other important strategic management
    issuesr elating to containers hipping. it comparess trategiesa doptedb y industry
    leaders Sea-Land Service Inc. and Evergreen Line, two firms appearing to
    exhibit different modes of operation. Key differences in the strategies adopted
    by these lines' are identified. Through application of an established theoretical
    framework to help finther analyset he strategieso f thesec ompetitors,a nd aided
    by in-depth interviews with executives from each firm, it has been possible to
    identify specific organisational pressures associated with the conflicting needs
    for global operationali ntegration of activities and for local responsivenessT. he
    study has found that, in the global container shipping industry, competitors must
    implement strategies that facilitate a capability for both global integration and
    for local responsivenessT. his means that firms participating in the global
    container shipping industry must be multifocal; they must seek to develop the
    capability to manage both sets of demands simultaneously. Nevertheless, it is
    evident that whilst eachf irm is subjectt o broadly similar pressuresin respecto f
    the needs for integration and responsiveness, they adopt rather different
    strategies in attempting to meet these needs. With Sea-Land there is clearly an
    intermodal orientation, with more emphasis placed on intermodal capabilities
    and landside activities than on maritime aspects. Conversely, Evergreen Line
    was found to have a predominantly maritime orientation, placing greater
    emphasis on ships and containers and rather less emphasis on landside activities. These and other differences between carrier strategies relate to the series of
    strategic choices global liner shipping companies must make regarding the
    specific assets and operations necessary to provide a global container service.
    Using the grounded theory approach, a theoretical framework specific to the
    global container shipping industry has been developed that outlines these
    choices, illustrating the various options open to industry competitors. Entitled
    Strategic Choice in Container Shipping, the framework can be used as a
    teaching instrument to help explain industry complexity, and as an analytical
    tool to aid management decision-making and strategic planning.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: maritime economics; global container shipping industry; Sea-land; intermodal orientation; Everfreen Line; maritime orientation;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: The Business School > School of Management and Law
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation > 387 Water, air & space transportation
    Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
    Item ID: 3802
    Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2010 11:19
    Last Modified: 25 Jul 2011 16:35
    URI: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/3802

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