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Relationship heterogeneity in Taiwanese maritime logistics service supply chains

Lin, Moses Shang-Min, Potter, Andrew ORCID: and Pettit, Stephen ORCID: 2021. Relationship heterogeneity in Taiwanese maritime logistics service supply chains. Supply Chain Management 26 (3) , pp. 385-401. 10.1108/SCM-03-2019-0116

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Purpose With the diverse, heterogeneous nature of relationships being a key characteristic of service supply chains, their management is an important area for consideration. This is particularly true in the maritime logistics industry, yet the factors that lead to this heterogeneity are less well understood. This paper aims to explore the structure of relationships within the maritime logistics network and determine why they vary. Design/methodology/approach Interviews were carried out with 41 practitioners involved in the Taiwanese maritime logistics network. The data from these interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis and quasi-quantification. Findings The interviews identify that structural holes exist within this maritime logistics network, and that these particularly influence the relationships within this sector with ports being significantly affected. However, five factors are particularly identified that can further impact the strength of these relationships. Often, weak links between ports and both cargo owners and freight forwarders emerge as value-added services are provided by the network. Research limitations/implications The findings are framed in a Taiwanese context, where cultural and political norms may give different results to other geographical regions. The research also limits consideration to containerized flows. Practical implications By providing detailed insights into relationship structures within the maritime logistics network, managers can take steps to develop appropriate links with other members of the network, reflecting upon the factors that lead to heterogeneity. Originality/value This paper expands knowledge on logistics service supply chains, identifying the importance of relationships in a derived demand environment. For maritime researchers, specific factors leading to relationship heterogeneity in the network are detailed, to inform future research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1359-8546
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 26 November 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 19:40

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