Mrs. Sandra Haddad
Marketing in Liner Shipping: Current practices and suggestions for introducing new tools to the industry
In an era of globalization, competition, advanced technology and increased world trade customers became much more aware and demanding which created a need for efficient marketing practices. Marketing holds that the major factor to achieve the organizational objective is to identify the needs and to satisfy them better than your competitors. Marketing is to give the company’s customers the service they need, not to find the right customer for your service because it is a customer driven concept. This research does not aim at convincing the reader that successful operations are only about applying appropriate marketing tools nevertheless, it does say that marketing is a huge part of making liner shipping successful. No doubt liner shipping is far behind when it comes to marketing, especially when compared to other transport service industries like aviation. According to the European Shippers Council the reason is that the shipping lines have been protected for a long time by the conference system. In order to have high service quality, shipping lines have to research to understand what the shippers need, want and expect, which is a marketing practice. Finally all departments and activities have to work together to reach the company’s success, as marketing will not transform a shipping line unless there is devotion from every part of the company to transform and become a customer focused business. KEY WORDS: Marketing, customer satisfaction, segmentation, liner shipping, differentiation, cultural adaptation.