Title: Information sources used by charterers to select shipowners

Authors: Sedat Baştuğ; Durmuş Ali Deveci

Addresses: Barbaros Hayrettin Naval Architecture and Maritime Faculty, Iskenderun Technical University, Merkez Campus, 31200, Iskenderun, Hatay, Turkey ' Maritime Faculty, Dokuz Eylul University, Tinaztepe Campus, 35160, Buca, Izmir, Turkey

Abstract: This study aims to identify the information search behaviour of charterers in selecting shipowners within a business-to-business framework. It focuses on charterers' information sources and how different factors (individual, organisational, and purchase-related) affect the information search since this construct is a major component of comprehensive theories of organisational buying behaviour. Understanding the buying behaviour of charterers also helps marketers to increase customer satisfaction. The analysis is based on questionnaire responses from 141 firms that have recently chartered vessels. From a principal components analysis, the study identified eight sets of information sources, of which impersonal, e-mails and reference-based information were the most important. The results show that the business-to-business information sources used by ship charterers vary significantly according to organisation size, centralisation, type of purchase, purchase complexity and experience. Further analyses revealed a significant relationship between these factors and business-to-business information sources, specifically between the importance of the purchase, perceived risk, formalisation, standardisation, personal stake, specialisation, and use of information resources. Finally, the study revealed a significant relationship between business-to-business information sources and customer satisfaction.

Keywords: information sources; ship chartering; business-to-business services; industrial buying.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2021.113980

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2021 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.233 - 259

Received: 22 Oct 2018
Accepted: 15 Oct 2019

Published online: 19 Mar 2021 *

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