Authors: Donatus E. Onwuegbuchunam
Addresses: Department of Maritime Management Technology, School of Management Technology (SMAT), Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
Abstract: Port selection is of relevance to shippers in achieving transport cost savings and efficiency in their operation. On the other hand, providers of port infrastructure and services are interested in finding out critical port choice factors as rational basis for formulating sustainable port reform policy. This study investigates empirically port choice criteria of Nigerian shippers who engage liner services available at the nation's coastal ports. Questionnaires were distributed to collect data on observed port choice (revealed preference data) made by shippers under study. A discrete choice model was applied to estimate the shippers' port utility function. Results show that crane efficiency, i.e., cargo handling speed at the port, the level and functionality of port facilities, shipment size, ship-calls' frequency and shipper warehouse distance from port are the most important factors which shippers of non-oil sea-freight consider when they choose ports for making shipments. Policy implications of the estimated utility function are discussed.
Keywords: shippers; port selection; discrete choice; transport costs; operational efficiency; Nigeria; shipping; port choice; port infrastructure; port services; port reform policy; liner services; coastal ports; modelling; crane efficiency; cargo handling speed; port facilities; shipment size; frequency; warehouse distance; non-oil sea freight.
International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2013 Vol.5 No.4/5, pp.532 - 550
Received: 05 Oct 2012
Accepted: 17 Apr 2013
Published online: 24 Jul 2013 *