Title: Appraising shipping service quality: case of Vinalines

Authors: Luu Trong Tuan

Addresses: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; University for Natural Resources and Environment, Ho Chi Minh City, 236B Le Van Sy Street, Ward 1, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Abstract: In shipping service realm, service quality of a carrier has been increasingly discerned as a crucial factor behind the attainment of its competitive edge and market superiority, not merely since its high service quality will increase its customers' satisfaction, but also since its high service quality can create new values for its customers. As a result, there emerges a need for a service quality instrument with which a carrier can gaze at themselves. A question is whether the SERVQUAL instrument developed for other services' industries can be utilised to gauge service quality perceptions and expectations in shipping. Predicated on a survey of 152 respondents from Vinalines's customer companies, the study reveals that customers' expectations of Vinalines's shipping services were impacted by three factors: 'reliability', 'empathy and responsiveness', and 'assurance'.

Keywords: service quality; service performance; SERVQUAL model; shipping services; customer; satisfaction; value creation; quality perceptions; quality expectations; reliability; empathy; responsiveness; quality assurance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2012.047491

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2012 Vol.4 No.3, pp.250 - 268

Received: 05 Oct 2011
Accepted: 02 Nov 2011

Published online: 24 Jun 2012 *

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