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Metaxas (1925-1996) Argostoli, Cephalonia, Greece, 14-16 September 2006
THE KEY STAGES OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN SHIPPING COMPANIES: AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN THE LARGEST TANKER AND LINER COMPANIES IN THE WORLD
EVI PLOMARITOU Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers – Greek Branch E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerning the implementation of marketing in merchant shipping companies, no extensive research has been made up to now. The articles and books published are few and they stress only in passing the necessity of applying marketing to shipping companies, without analyzing the subject in depth. This article presents the stages of marketing implementation that should be ideally followed by companies, which are activated in merchant shipping. Additionally, the article attempts a comparative analysis of marketing implementation in bulk and liner shipping companies. From bulk shipping, the tanker shipping companies were chosen and from liner shipping, the container shipping companies were chosen for investigation. An empirical research was carried out in 2005 concerning the implementation of marketing in the largest tanker and liner shipping companies – organization models – in the world. Consequently, this article presents the marketing strategies, as well as the marketing philosophies of the leading shipping companies in the world.
Keywords: “Marketing of Shipping Companies”, “Segmentation”, “Differentiation”, “Advertising Programs”, “Marketing Planning”, “Marketing Strategies”.
THE KEY STAGES OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN SHIPPING COMPANIES. The more the shipping enterprise tries to discover what its clients need. organization. implementation and control of marketing effort. planning. is the science of Business to Business Marketing (B2B marketing). All shipping enterprises have limited capabilities concerning the means. as well as to communicate effectively with the market it targets. This process is continuous and it is presented at figure 1. This satisfaction presupposes on the one hand correct diagnosis of the shipping market to better understand and forecast client’s (charterer’s – shipper’s) transport needs and on the other hand appropriate organization. the resources and the management abilities for their ships. The shipping company must organize its resources in such a manner as to be able to apply the marketing process’ stages and to achieve a long-lasting and more effective commercial operation of its ships. INTRODUCTION The marketing of shipping companies activating in merchant shipping. to adapt the chartering policy to their requirements. to negotiate the freight as a function to what it offers. planning and control of the shipping enterprise’s means. This means that it is impossible to exploit all the chances of the shipping market with equal effectiveness. AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN THE LARGEST TANKER AND LINER COMPANIES IN THE WORLD 1. the more are the possibilities to achieve the most appropriate. to offer appropriate transport services. efficient and long-lasting commercial operation of its vessels1. with main aim the profit of the enterprise. The application of marketing presupposes correct diagnosis. Figure 1: Stages of Marketing Implementation in Shipping Companies 2 . The matching of the shipping enterprise capabilities with the needs and the desires of its clients is fundamental for the provision of the desired transport services. the satisfaction and retention of charterers and thus the commercial success of the enterprise2. which deals with the satisfaction of charterer’s – shipper’s needs for the carriage of goods by sea.
2. Phase One: Marketing Information System Keegan W. useful for understanding the tendencies of the charter market and necessary for correct decisionmaking and correct planning. conducted by external sources and concerns information related to a specific marketing problem the shipping enterprise faces.1 The Stage of Diagnosis The first stage of shipping marketing is the diagnosis. Usually. Although the other subsystems of the MIS aim to the systematic gathering. 3 . charterers and shippers concerns matters such as demand and supply of ships. (1974) underlines the importance of reliable and updated information at the enterprises.and macro-environment of the shipping marketing and therefore are beyond the control of administrative staff. The information exchanged between shipowners. which is consisted of five phases. shipping enterprise must follow up of the charterers’ needs. so as to help them take the best marketing decisions5. the phase of segments’ evaluation and finally the phase of the target market’s choice. the phase of analysis of marketing environment’s threats/opportunities. the planning.2. vessel’s chartering policy. as well as forecast future changes in their chartering policy. the factors affecting the behaviour of the charterers originate from the micro. the phase of shipping market’s segmentation. The correct. The phase of the organization of marketing information system. sound and timely provision of information is more imperative to a shipping enterprise than it is to another land enterprise. its revenue is realized in foreign currencies (mainly dollars) and the international events significantly affect freight levels and consequently the position of the enterprise in the shipping world. This work could be simplified if all factors affecting the clients of the shipping enterprise were under the full control of marketing staff. More specifically. The answer to this problem lies in the gathering of appropriate information given by the marketing research subsystem. The main work of marketing staff is to combine the marketing tools in an effective marketing programme. persons occupied with chartering of ships exchange such a great volume of information. 3. J. analysis and distribution of the necessary information towards the staff. which are activated worldwide3. canal dues. MIS is an information system. so that the offered transport services satisfy the charterers’ – shippers’ requirements. such as ship’s operating cost. 2. classification. congestion in certain ports etc4. With the assistance of information systems. much information is necessary to the shipping companies in order to offer appropriate transport services and satisfy their clients’ needs. voyage estimation etc. to meet new challenges and satisfy transportation needs of their clients. ship administrators would be able to review marketing strategies in time. which consists of statistical programs and decision models that provide necessary information for businessmen. agents. The marketing decision support subsystem. port dues. which provides information concerning the developments in the internal enterprise’s environment. The internal file subsystem. The marketing research subsystem. Therefore. which includes the official primary researches. which is comprised of the following subsystems: 1. fuel prices. the implementation and the control. because the shipping company moves its vessels worldwide. Therefore. the marketing decision support subsystem aims to feed information for the unusual and non-standardized problems the decision makers meet (for example the transfer of ships from one market to another during periods of a shipping crisis). the organization. KEY STAGES OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN SHIPPING COMPANIES The key stages of marketing implementation in shipping companies are the diagnosis.
in order to exploit new opportunities. The segmentation criteria are the following: 1. With the assistance of information systems. The shipping market is constituted by separate segments differentiated as to the type of cargo. the shipping market is divided into the spot market and the time-charter market. environmental threat is a challenge presented by an adverse trend or development in the environment. (1991). The market segments are based on the charterers – shippers’ needs for sea transport of cargo with a specific type of vessel to a specific geographical region and with specific chartering terms.t. The micro-environment includes all those factors emanating from the shipping market itself and affect the chartering policy of charterers – shippers and the demand for sea transport services. shipping companies may review marketing strategies. the type and duration of charter. the shipping market may be divided into many segments such as the market of Mediterranean Sea. LNG/LPG. as well as by development of world trade. According to the type of cargo. The external marketing environment of a shipping enterprise is distinguished into the micro and macro environment and consists of the forces that affect the capacity of the enterprise to develop and to maintain successful transactions and relations with its clients. According to Kotler P. Threats in the shipping marketing environment are caused by the institution of new IMO stricter regulations with consequences in ship management as well as the reduction in the supply of able seamen with an increase of wages as a result. Specialised Cargo and General Cargo Market. it must firstly gather the appropriate information concerning its internal and external environment and thereafter it has to investigate the environment’s opportunities and threats. which provides daily information relevant to developments in the external enterprise’s environment. RO/RO and Reefer Market. The marketing information subsystem. which do not originate from the shipping market but affect the demand of sea transport services. since it is based on the buying behaviour of the charterers – shippers. the market of Caribbean Sea e. the trade routes. According to the duration of the charter. In order for a shipping enterprise to draw up noteworthy marketing plans. Phase Three: Shipping Market’s Segmentation According to Evans M (1997). the developments in sea borne trade etc. According to the type of ships. 3. the ports’ policies.4. main objective of segmentation is to help the company focus its efforts to the most promising opportunities7. 4. Tanker. in order to meet the changing requirements of the charterers and to satisfy their needs. creating new opportunities and threats. the shipping market may be broadly divided into the Dry Bulk Cargo. The segmentation of the shipping market is a behavioral one. the banks’ policies. According to the type of trade routes.c. in which the company will have a competitive advantage. The macro-environment includes all those factors caused by social forces and physical causes. On the other hand. Containership. Liquid Bulk Cargo. Such factors are the regulations instituted by the international maritime organizations. The ship owning companies must have the capacity to adapt their policy to the above forces. Opportunities in the shipping marketing environment are created by new technology. which can undermine the position of the company if no appropriate marketing action is undertaken6. Phase Two: Analysis of Threats and Opportunities in Marketing Environment The shipping marketing environment changes continuously. as a marketing opportunity is defined an attractive arena for marketing action of a company. that is necessary for marketing planning. In every segment the buying behavior of the charterers – shippers presents common characteristics. to avoid threats and satisfy their clients. According to the type of charter the market is divided 4 . as well as the buying behaviour of the charterers. Combined Carrier. the shipping market may be divided into the Dry Bulk Carrier. 2. the type of ship.
A precondition of effective shipping marketing is the understanding of the different needs the charterers – shippers have in the above market segments. Structured Attractiveness of a Segment: A segment may have the desired size and development. For each segment of the shipping market appropriate marketing strategies must be designed and appropriate marketing mix must be offered. 3. the Bareboat Charter Market and the Contract of Affreightment Market. Figure 2: Segmentation of Shipping Market The type of ship and the type of cargo could be named as fundamental criteria because ship and cargo are the protagonists in every commercial sea transport. the buying behaviour of the charterers displays common characteristics. Size of a Segment: The appropriate size of a segment is relative. as well as their buying behaviour are differentiated from segment to segment8. because large shipping enterprises usually prefer segments with large volume of charters and avoid small segments. The charterers’ needs. Development of a Segment: The development of a segment is desirable in the degree the companies wish to increase charters. whereas small companies avoid large segments because they demand many resources. there is a risk that competitors enter quickly into the developing segments and limit the company’s profitability. The company should evaluate 5 . but not be attractive in view of profitability. Phase Four: Evaluation of Shipping Market Segments The shipping enterprise must evaluate the market segments. However. In each segment.into the Voyage Charter Market. the Time Charter Market. by studying the: 1. It must be noted that the fundamental criteria do not operate cumulatively in forming the segments. 2. Figure 2 presents the shipping market’s segmentation and the orientation of charterers’ behaviour in every segment. What happens in practice is that a group of cargoes is transported by one category of ships. Geographical criterion and type of charter have a determinative meaning and constitute the basis for sub-apportionment for every main segment ensued from the fundamental criteria.
“Bulk Carriers”. they express eagerness in buying the transport services and they show a high degree of buying force. which it offers to many segments. Through concentrating marketing. There might be minimum or no cooperation between the segments. 4. The enterprise achieves reputation due to the fact that it is specialized in servicing a specific group of charterers. in order to justify the drawing up of marketing programmes for attracting it. which time charters its container ships to liner operators. (1980)9: 1. Only the large shipping enterprises – colossuses. and “Tankers”. where the enterprise selects to offer its transport services to a number of market segments. and offers its transport services to the liquid bulk as well as to the dry bulk cargo market. Selective Specialization. The strategy of this multi-segmental coverage has an advantage over the segmental concentration concerning the differentiation of the business risk.” (Greece).A. An example of company. An example of company. Service Specialization. The company possesses “Gas Carriers”.possible consequences of those forces to the long-term profitability of the segment. In this case. which manages a large fleet comprising all types and sizes of tankers for servicing all transportation needs of charterers in the oil market. an enterprise achieves a strong position in the market segment due to the better knowledge of the segment’s needs and the specific gravity it lends itself. The target . the enterprise can be profitable in the remaining segments. by designing various marketing programmes and by offering various transport services in each market segment. Such forces are the possible new shipping enterprises entering the market. where the enterprise tries to service all charterers’ groups through all type of ships possibly needed. Phase Five: Choice Of The Target-Market The shipping enterprise should target on the best possible segment or segments of the market and select the target . Through this strategy. A substantial precondition for the recognition of a segment as target . Company Objectives and Resources: Even if a segment has the appropriate size and development and from structural point of view is good. If the enterprise achieves a good position in the segment. the substitutes of sea transport services such as air transport etc. Even if some segments cease to be beneficial. which implements service specialization. Full Market Coverage. Segmental Concentration. the enterprise cannot offer a non-differentiated marketing. it may ensure high performance for its investments. which implements selective specialization. The shipping enterprise should apply one of the following selection models of the target market which were defined by Abell D. where the enterprise focuses its attention to the production of a specific type of transport service.market. 3. 4. where the enterprise focuses its attention in servicing many needs of a specific group of charterers. is the “Bergesen” (Norway). where the enterprise offers transport services to one and only one market segment. 5. the shipping enterprise must take into account the objectives and resources it possesses in relation to this segment. which implements market specialization is the “Teekay Shipping” (Canada). which are promising and match the enterprise’s resources. 6 . 2. as is “Mitsui OSK” (Japan) can undertake a strategy for fully covering the entire shipping market through differentiated marketing. An example of concentrated marketing is the company “Lavinia Corp” (Greece). which manages “Reefer Vessels” and offers transport services exclusively to the Reefer market.market is its financial viability. the enterprise achieves a good reputation in the specialized sector. Market Specialization. is the “Costamare Shipping Company S.market is the sum of shippers – charterers that have the same transportation needs. An example of company.
Marketing strategies are the means by which a company achieves marketing objectives and is related to the tools of marketing mix. 3. 2. in this phase. During the second phase. the Price (Freight or Hire). fixture of profitable charters etc. the Process (Negotiations’ Procedure & Execution of the Charter).2 The Stage of Planning The planning of marketing includes the strategy planning and the programme planning of marketing. The planning process includes the following phases: 1. cost and effort are saved and quality improvement in the services offered is achieved12. Marketing mix is the sum of marketing tools used by the enterprise in order to achieve its objectives in the target . the Place (Ports & Geographical Area of Ship’s Employment). The planning of marketing ends up at a document called “marketing plan”. Most activity sectors of the enterprise aim at a mix of objectives that includes increase of fleet’s effectiveness.2. The last phase includes the evaluation of expected results and the tracking down of alternative marketing plans. the missions of the enterprise as well as the business objectives are determined. the Promotion (advertising programs). adds that success of a marketing plan depends on the quality of information gathered during the previous marketing process stages11. McDonald M. a new tool of the shipping marketing mix is the “PAPERLESS TRADE” and constitutes the eighth tool of the shipping marketing mix. is necessary to use modern electronic communication means by which time. improvement of market share. Shipping companies in order to respond fully to the demands of the competitive shipping market. Additionally. the tracking down of the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise in relation to opportunities and threats from the external environment is conducted.market. During the first phase. 4. and the Physical Evidence (Ship’s Characteristics & Seaworthiness of the Vessel). the People (Office Personnel & Ship’s Crew). During the third phase the marketing strategies and programmes are determined. Therefore. interception of shipping risk. the company may understand its relation to the shipping environment in which it is activated. The tools of marketing mix for a shipping enterprise which is activated in tramp or liner shipping market are: the Product (Tramp or Liner Service). (1998) defines marketing planning as the planned application of marketing resources aiming to achieve marketing objectives10. Worsam M. Figure 3 presents the shipping marketing mix (the 8 Ps) Figure 3: The Tools of Shipping Marketing Mix 7 .
the spectrum of its services increase and the competitive pressures in global environment are broadened. In this stage. The management of a marketing department should also decide which level of marketing expenses is necessary in order to achieve the marketing objectives. Persons employed in marketing departments should be qualified with marketing knowledge. employers of marketing department should be updated with regard to developments in shipping. The planning of marketing programmes consists of the basic decisions concerning the distribution of marketing resources.3 The Stage of Organization The function of organization determines which objectives will be met and by whom. A company should analyze the marketing work required in order to achieve a given volume of sales and then to cost this work. (1999). as to be able to apply the marketing plan. depending on the demands and opportunities of the market. at the right time and port with the appropriate vessel and at freight levels that satisfy not only the shipping enterprise but also its client. all the resources of a shipping enterprise are utilized. marketing expenses and marketing budget among the various tools of marketing mix. resources and abilities of managing their ships. the promotion and publicity of the sea transport services. economy and politics. 8 . so that the proper transport service be provided to the appropriate charterer. the satisfaction and retention of the charterers and therefore for the commercial success of the enterprise. The distribution of marketing budget among the tools of marketing mix constitutes a basic stage in the planning procedure of marketing programmes. This is the case in small shipping companies that manage two or three ships where the general manager understands the needs of clients in depth. Companies entering a market try to learn what is the ratio of marketing budget to the sales of their competitors. Appropriate individuals must staff the marketing and sales departments. According to McDonald M. Shipping enterprises have unique capabilities with regard to the means. the operation of a typical marketing department is not necessary for planning and controlling the marketing process13. chartering knowledge and knowledge of shipping financial policy. It plans the activities of the shipping enterprise concerning the market research.The action plans must be applied correctly. the need for organizing the marketing by a central body becomes more and more imperative. which means it is impossible to exploit all the opportunities of the shipping market as efficiently as other companies do. In addition. The benefits of a marketing department are: It ensures that every employee of the enterprise understands the marketing philosophy and the policy of the enterprise and executes his duties according to it. The combination of the shipping enterprise’s capabilities together with the needs of the clients is a basic factor for the provision of desired transport services. 2. The shipping company must organize its resources in such a manner. The enterprise already knows from the previous stage the means and resources it possesses for materializing its objectives. as the enterprise’s fleet grows. However.
as well as on data requested directly from the companies18. 2. The accuracy of collected information is not questioned. in order to be confirmed that the companies – organization models in the world understand the importance of marketing and apply improved marketing strategies16. their safety system. to the degree that this was drawn out of its initial source of gathering. AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH OF MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION IN THE LARGEST TANKER AND LINER COMPANIES IN THE WORLD: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY An empirical research was carried out for the ten largest tanker shipping companies and for the ten largest liner operators of container ships. at a fair price (freight or hire). to right people (charterers . The action plans must be applied correctly. with a suitable promotion14. if the marketing plan is currently in progress. etc. Marketing of shipping companies is the provision of appropriate sea transport services by the right people (personnel and crew). More specifically. maintain separate market research depts. Marine transport services are priced. accuracy and 9 .2.5 The Stage of Control The last step of the process is control. during the control process the performance achieved is measured. but also its clients. The control may be preventive.4 The Stage of Implementation A correct drawing up of the shipping enterprise strategy is achieved via rationally planned business actions and via the provision of appropriate transport services. Empirical research was based on advertising material of the above enterprises. which are manned with appropriate trained analysts. Hartley and Rudelius (1997). their business relationships to charterers. if it is carried out after the marketing plan’s implementation. the study process of the most successful enterprises in the world and the effort for interpreting their strategy is called “benchmarking”17. In addition. According to Hoffman D. The work of these analysts is the systematic collection of the necessary information and its distribution to the decision makers of the enterprise. promoted and offered to charterers for a payment of freight. from which the data was gathered. The companies. at the right time and port. (1997). which includes the follow up of above actions and the correction of any deviations. 3. Control of the yearly plan is the means by which one may be certain that the company achieves its marketing objectives. The data was appropriate and sufficient for drawing significant conclusions from them regarding the marketing philosophies they adopt and the marketing strategies they apply. if it precedes the marketing plan. According to “benchmarking” the best enterprises in a market are determined as organization models and as a comparison measure for the smaller enterprises of the branch. According to Berkowits.shippers). Kerin. or repressive. at the proper place (ports) and time. the reliability of each source is a basic evaluation criterion of researcher’s skills. and Bateson J. information was gathered for their competitive advantages. parallel. a comparative analysis of exemplary performance of marketing plans against current performance is carried out. After the critical appreciation of sufficiency. The shipping company needs processes of measuring the marketing plans’ results and of re-feeding them in order to be ascertained that objectives of the marketing department will be achieved. causes for possible deviations are sought and business measures are taken for their correction15. with the appropriate ship and at freight levels satisfying not only the shipping enterprise. so that the proper transport service is provided to the appropriate charterer. their ships’ performance.
10 . The companies aim to provide high quality transport services. rapid and correct loading and unloading process and reduction of the “turn around” time to the minimum.reliability of collected data. and after the careful study of the records. Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Angelicoussis Shiphld. who provide to the management the appropriate information concerning the charterers and secondly. the philosophy of social marketing presupposes that the duty of the enterprise is to determine the clients’ needs and to provide the desirable satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than their competitors.e. The above companies are the ten largest shipping companies in the tanker market worldwide and they offer high quality maritime transport services. Worldwide. differentiation and promotion strategies they apply and the marketing philosophies they adopt. Another objective is to provide an appropriate chartering negotiation procedure. The freight. the companies maintain market research department. The companies are specially sensitized in environmental matters resulting in paying large amount of money for research and development of environment protection programs. trade and itinerary flexibility.8 mil.1 Empirical Research in the Largest Tanker Shipping Companies The tanker shipping companies participating in the research were the following: Frontline. Which Marketing Philosophy do they Adopt? The largest tanker companies know that the charterers’ requirements are orientated towards safety and so they have adopted the philosophy of social marketing. Firstly. Mitsui OSK Lines. 3. the segmentation. The companies seek to maintain good business relationships with charterers. Bergesen. play a decisive role in the selection of a tanker company by the charterer.P. The image of the shipowning company in the market and the history of losses and damages. which is based on the rules of honest negotiation. in a manner that promotes the protection of environment20. rapid voyage execution. operation and management of ship. According to Kotler P. which manage 73. Overseas Shipholding. regarding the construction. This deep knowledge for their clients’ transportation needs is due to two reasons. The largest tanker companies in the world have perceived that the decisions of the charterers are oriented towards safety and not towards freight. (1994). the companies apply a policy of maintaining good business relations with their clients. All companies classify the charterers’ requirements in the same manner with the one the charterers rank their needs. though it is taken seriously into consideration by the charterers. considerable conclusions ensued regarding the manner by which they perceive their clients’ requirements. This includes appropriate voyage planning. dwt (440 tankers). manned with experienced analysts. Teekay Shipping. as defined by BIMCO. does not constitute the decisive factor for selecting a ship owner. i. The tanker companies believe that their selection criteria from a charterer is the provision of safe carriage of goods by sea and the compliance of the company with international safety standards.Moller – Maersk Group. How do they Perceive the Charterers’ Requirements? The study showed that the largest tanker companies in the world have a very clear picture of their clients’ requirements. Tanker Pacific Management. the 33% of the total tankers tonnage in the world19. Based on the above philosophy the tanker companies have set the following objectives: Primary aim of the companies is their compliance to the international standards of ship safety and management. A.
According to this system. The system coordinates the orders and actions at company and onboard the vessel. The oil market and the oil product market. Thus. The system includes efficiency indicators for constant monitoring and improvement of all enterprise’s operations. Mitsui O. Teekay Shipping has created a marine management system. the segmentation of the tanker market is based on: • The type of cargo: they distinguish the market into two basic categories. Mitsui obtained in 2003 the “Certificate of Environment Management International Standards .S. which includes long-term charters.ISO 14001”. which can meet the strict legislation of the extremely sensitized environmentally regions. The needs of charterers are differentiated from market segment to market segment. quality. Its fleet includes high technology ecological tankers.ISO 14001”. the ships are constructed in such a manner (PBCF system) so that risk of the marine environmental pollution is reduced. without trading and geographical restrictions. The committees’ annual reports help the company in 11 . according to which they address to selected market segments by adapting their policy to each one of them. Overseas Shipholding Group applies a technologically advanced system for the unification of management. Worldwide spends large amounts of money for research and development of marine environment protection programs. Bergesen gives high priority in maintaining a safe work environment for seamen. The company obtained in 2003 the “Certificate of Environment Management International Standards . which imparts the philosophy of safety management to the entire organization. The tanker companies use geographical. This is achieved through maintaining a safety committee for each ship (Protection and Environment Committee).Which Marketing Strategy do they Apply? The largest tanker companies apply a high degree differentiated marketing strategy. fuels are saved and speed is increased by 2%. Overseas achieves quality differentiation through the application of technologically advanced intracommunication systems.K.ISO 14001”. called the “OSG’s Networking System”. Teekay achieves quality differentiation through the application of a strict safety management policy. Their competitive advantages that differentiate them from their competitors are the following: Frontline possesses a large and modern fleet of tankers. Worldwide achieves quality differentiation through the application of an environmental protection policy. of chartering department and of fleet. Mitsui achieves personnel differentiation through the application of continuous training programs. In addition. • The geographical field of tankers employment: various market segments ensue. Frontline achieves geographical and quality differentiation through its capacity to possess a high technology fleet employed in any sea. as well as image differentiation through the public acknowledgement of its active role in the environmental protection efforts. The latter includes as many categories as the products are. • The type and duration of charters: every charter market has a segment that includes shortterm charters (spot market) and a corresponding one. the crews are trained at the simulation centers of the company. The appropriate marketing mix is offered in every market segment. Teekay obtained in 2003 the “Certificate of Environment Management International Standards . in order to gain the preference of the charterers. called the “Marine Operations Management System”. Worldwide won in 2003 the “Green Award”. as well as quality differentiation through the application of a strict environmental protection policy. Lines has created a strict management system called the “MOL Environmental Management System”. personnel and image differentiation. The tanker companies use differentiation strategies of transport service.
NOL/APL. In addition. This has as a result. 47. which can provide safe.P. The above companies are the ten largest liner operators and they provide high quality transport services. which applied improved marketing strategies. MSC. the liner companies believe that their selection criteria from a shipper are the voyage duration.planning strategies for improving the work conditions and for increasing the ship efficiency. and reliable itineraries. The companies provide high quality transport services. oil processing industries) and through the application of an environmental protection policy.6% of the total number of containerships in the world and the 35% of total TEU21. 3. they place their competitors in an inferior position.988. Tanker Pacific Management has made a good image in the tanker market and has built the reputation of the most reliable and responsible company. i. It should be noted that the liner operators were the first companies in the world. modern and specialized fleet. Cosco. the largest tanker companies use advertising as a basic competition tool. Bergesen achieves quality and personnel differentiation. All companies classify the shippers’ requirements in the same manner the shippers rank their needs. the frequency and the flexibility of the itineraries. 12 . Angelicoussis Shiphld also achieves quality differentiation through maintaining new. In this way.Moller – Maersk Group achieves quality differentiation through the implementation of auxiliary marine activities’ policy (such as. The A. creation of brochures. play decisive role in selecting the liner company by the shipper. and Hapag Lloyd which manage 1. The company achieves image differentiation through the application of good business relations’ policy. YangMing.980 mil. This deep knowledge of their clients’ desires are owed to the fact that the companies maintain good business relationships as well as market research departments. The carrier’s image in the market and the history of losses and damages. although it is taken seriously under consideration by the shippers. which understood the importance of marketing and were the first. which can provide safe. KLine.2 Empirical Research at the Largest Liner Operators The liner companies participated in the research were the following: A. How do they Perceive the Shippers’ Requirements? The study showed that the largest liner companies in the world have a very clear picture of their clients’ requirements. the maintenance of long-term relations with charterers. and have as a motive to reveal this quality through advertisements. rapid. donations in researches. P&O Nedloyd. The company achieves also personnel differentiation through constant training programs. manned by experienced analysts. Empirical research showed similar results to those showed for the tanker companies. The freight. TEU (703 containerships). advertisements in shipping press etc. The tanker companies have developed various advertising programs.e. if the last provides lower quality services.P. More specifically. and reliable itineraries. rapid. who collect the necessary information regarding the shippers. Thus. the reliable execution of the transport and the immediacy of the itineraries. modern and specialized fleet. The provision of a safe carriage of goods and the compliance of company with the international safety standards are important selection criteria of the carrier by shipper. Nippon Yusen Kaisha achieves quality differentiation through maintaining new. is not the decisive carriers’ selection criteria. These programs include design of web page on the internet. Evergreen. NYK.Moller – Maersk Group.
cargo is transported in identical units of standard dimensions that are loaded and unloaded in the same manner. which is based on the system of unitization. the company achieves quality differentiation through the application of Safety and Risk Management System. the largest liner companies of containerships apply a low degree of differentiated marketing strategy. • The geographical field of containerships employment: a series of individual markets ensue. 13 . “Customs-Trade Partnerships Against Terrorist Validation Award”. (1994) presupposes that the duty of the enterprise is to determine the needs of its clients and offer the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than its competitors22. as the special containers are. The competitive advantages of the largest liner companies that differentiate them from their competitors are the following: The A. Based on the above philosophy the liner companies have set the following objectives: Primary aim of the companies is the provision of high quality shipping services.Moller – Maersk Group possesses a large and modern fleet of containerships. the companies have adopted the marketing philosophy with the market as a focal point. agents and shippers. in order to win the shippers’ preference. In every individual segment the buying behavior of the freighters displays common characteristics. The shippers’ needs are differentiated from market segment to market segment. in order to cover the different transportation needs of shippers and to serve the specialized cargoes. The liner companies use differentiation strategies for the transport service. The company has won the awards “ISP”. In this way. However. Which Marketing Strategy do they Apply? The container is a means of cargoes’ transport. According to this philosophy.Which Marketing Philosophy do they Adopt? The largest liner companies know that the clients’ requirements are orientated towards quality. In addition. The liner companies give special emphasis to the provision of logistic services. They address to selected market segments by adapting their policy to each one of these. the company achieves geographical differentiation. The above – mentioned system leads to uniformity of the transport service provided. and manages a large network of routes servicing the needs of trade throughout the world. Therefore. packaging and handling to the minimum.P. The latter includes as many subcategories. which according to Kotler P. so that they provide the desired transport services. constraining the cost of transport. Thus. and the “Transportation Safety Administration Award”. The next objective of the companies is their compliance with the international standards of ship’s safety management. suppliers. The companies seek to maintain a good reputation and image among banks. The liner companies use geographical. The liner companies understand the different needs the shippers have in the above market segments and plan the appropriate marketing programs. “Maritime Excellence Lifetime Achievements Awards”. personnel and image differentiation. The market of standard containers and the market of special containers. special containers were created. insurers. quality. The appropriate marketing mix is provided in each segment. The segmentation of the liner market is based on: • The type and volume of the cargo: the market is distinguished into two basic categories. The liner companies maintain advanced systems of transport monitoring and of constant updating of shippers.
• K Line has created a strict management system. a complete cargo transport from the storage area to the point of destination. while time and effort are saved. In this manner the company achieves image differentiation. In addition. The liner companies have developed similar advertising programs to those developed by tanker companies. the article attempts a comparative analysis of marketing implementation in the largest tanker and liner shipping companies in the world. NOL / APL achieves quality differentiation through maintaining a new and modern fleet of specialized containerships. The Hapag Lloyd Group is the largest manufacturer and leasing company of containerships. at the right moment of time. P&O Nedloyd. the company showed a remarkable doubling of its fleet (from 120 ships in 1997. with the appropriate promotion. In this way. segmentation. at the right place (port or geographical area). Additionally. of liquid bulk cargoes etc. the appropriate maritime transport services. The marketing 14 . NYK achieves quality differentiation. In this way. CONCLUSIONS This article presents the stages of marketing implementation in shipping companies. Figure 4 presents the basic results of empirical research. During the last six years. The system provides fast and valid information. which is based on teamwork. of pressurized gas. The companies provide high quality transport services. innovation. Cosco has built the best image in the market of containerships and has the reputation of the most reliable company. and have as a motive to reveal this quality through advertisement.e. achieves quality differentiation through the application of a technologically advanced EDI system between company and shippers.Evergreen achieves quality differentiation for the service provided through the application of a technologically advanced EDI System between the company and the shippers. MSC achieves quality differentiation. honesty and pragmatism. such as reefer containerships. The empirical research proved that the tanker and liner shipping companies . Yang Ming has built a very good image in the liner market and has the reputation of a company. In this manner. As a result. Cosco won the “Sailing Schedule Reliability Reward on Australia – East Asia Trade” as well as the “International Quality Management Platina Medal”. at the appropriate freight. the company achieves quality differentiation. hiring and selling containers to other liner companies.organization models in the world understand the importance of marketing implementation and apply improved marketing strategies (differentiation. The company won the “E-Commerce Excellence Award 2004”. i. the largest liner companies use advertising as a basic competition tool. Marketing of shipping companies is the provision from the right people (the personnel of shipping enterprise). with movable sides. to the appropriate clients (charterers – shippers). the company maintains long-term business relationships and achieves image differentiation. Hapag Lloyd Group achieves quality differentiation through the policy of constructing. with ventilation. called the “K Line Environmental Management Program”. (like Evergreen). which transpires the safety management philosophy throughout the organization. MSC gives high priority to the development of its fleet. NYK in comparison with the other liner companies possesses the most advanced and organized logistics services system. to 240 ships in 2003). promotional strategies).
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