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Service quality and customer satisfaction in liner shipping

Kum Fai Yuen (School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore)
Vinh Van Thai (Division of Infrastructure Systems & Maritime Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 15 June 2015




This paper aims to identify the dimensions of service quality (SQ) in liner shipping and examine their effects on customer satisfaction.


The indicators of SQ in liner shipping were identified from reviewing the literature and interviewing six qualified industry practitioners. An online survey was then administered to 183 liner shippers in Singapore. Subsequently, exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis were conducted.


SQ in liner shipping can be represented by four key quality dimensions. In descending order of their impact on customer satisfaction, they are reliability, speed, responsiveness and value. Service differentiation by time-related attributes results in greater customer satisfaction than practising cost leadership in liner shipping.

Research limitations/implications

Allocation of resources to develop SQ in liner shipping should mirror the priorities established in this research. In addition, the developed measurement model for SQ can serve as a reference for liner shipping firms to assess the quality of their services.


A parsimonious and updated set of variables can now be used to represent SQ in the liner shipping sector. The paper also identifies the key drivers of customer satisfaction in liner shipping.



Yuen, K.F. and Thai, V.V. (2015), "Service quality and customer satisfaction in liner shipping", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 2/3, pp. 170-183.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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