Drivers of and Barriers against Market Orientation: A Study on Turkish Container Ports
Journal article, 2019
Privatization transforms the operations-focused and stakeholder-independent approach of container port management into a competition and market-oriented perspective. This integrates a marketing philosophy with the management of the overall port organization. In this way, ports become more responsive to market demand and create profitable and sustainable customer value, so as to achieve competitive advantage. This change is caused both by the evolving port governance systems, as well as by changing market demand, requiring ports to respond to the needs of the supply chains they serve. An increasingly prevalent logistics perspective in maritime transport is accelerating pressure on ports—and other members of service supply chains—encouraging them to adopt market-oriented strategies. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to discover both the drivers and the barriers that container ports face while adopting market-oriented strategies. Taking Turkish container ports as the main unit of analysis, this article combines the Delphi method with fuzzy analytic hierarchy processing to identify the prioritized opinions of industry stakeholders. The results indicate that customer relations are perceived to be very important for container ports, in terms of communicating value-added services, and even more important than economic concerns or possessing market knowledge. Often, however, ports define their customers within a limited scope, and fail to adopt a supply chain perspective. Therefore, new strategies, such as market resegmentation including support service providers, or evaluating end-customer demands by analyzing supply chains that include port services, should be developed to eliminate the prioritized barriers. Drivers, such as collecting market information, or building market-oriented teams, can be used more effectively to make market orientation a new competition tool for all ports. Finally, our results provide new variables to scholars studying port marketing and put forward recommendations for testing the relationships between these variables.