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A theoretical framework for the evaluation of competition between container terminal operators

Yao, Wei Yim; Lam, Jasmine Siu Lee; Cullinane, Kevin


Wei Yim Yao

Jasmine Siu Lee Lam

Kevin Cullinane


This paper presents a conceptual framework for analyzing the outcomes of potential competitive strategies and their expected payoffs for container terminal operators in the container handling industry. The framework is based on the integration of Bowley's linear model of aggregate demand of product differentiation with Porter's "Diamond" model. It focuses on the number of containers handled, prices charged, and profits earned to analyze a variety of strategies that could be employed by container terminal operators to enhance their competitive position. The findings suggest that strategies to build complementary relationships and stimulate greater demand are more desirable than alternatives because they generate benefits that accrue to the entire container port cluster. Conversely, strategies that are intended to raise entry barriers, employ strategic pricing mechanisms, and/or involve collusion are found to lead to the formation of insular clusters and retard competitive advantage in the long-run.


Yao, W. Y., Lam, J. S. L., & Cullinane, K. (2011). A theoretical framework for the evaluation of competition between container terminal operators. Singapore Economic Review, 56, 535-559.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011
Deposit Date Apr 18, 2012
Print ISSN 0217-5908
Electronic ISSN 1793-6837
Publisher World Scientific Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Pages 535-559
Keywords Container terminal; port competition; port competitiveness; port complementarity; product
differentiation; oligopoly; ports and harbours; maritime transportation; economic strategy; costs and prices
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