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Title: Analysing business models of liner shipping companies

Authors: Jasmine Siu Lee Lam; Hui Neng Wong

Addresses: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore ' School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Abstract: In a highly volatile and ever-changing business environment, how to run the business efficiently with low costs while achieving high service standards is a key to success for shipping companies. This paper focuses on the liner shipping sector and aims to find out and analyse the business models used by liner shipping companies. The major types of business models are formed by literature review and information collection based on the public sources of liner companies. Interviews with expert industry practitioners are conducted for result analysis and verification. The paper broadly categorises three business models: cost leadership, service differentiation and innovation, and hybrid. In contrast with the literature, findings suggest that the hybrid model is the most desirable business model that most companies would like to achieve. Based on the analysis, the study further conceptualises the business culture and organisational capability of liner companies in relation to the business models. Propositions and implications are then derived.

Keywords: business model; liner shipping; shipping strategy; economic value; cost leadership; service differentiation; innovation; business culture; market volatility; organisational capability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2018.090078

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2018 Vol.10 No.2, pp.237 - 256

Received: 28 Oct 2016
Accepted: 14 Nov 2016

Published online: 11 Jan 2018 *

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