Does it really worth investing in relationship marketing for a port business?

Caliskan A., ESMER S.

CASE STUDIES ON TRANSPORT POLICY, vol.7, no.2, pp.375-383, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cstp.2019.02.003
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.375-383
  • Keywords: Relationship marketing, Port service marketing, Port customer relationship, Port financial performance, Port performance, RELATIONSHIP QUALITY, PERCEIVED VALUE, TRUST, CHOICE, COMMITMENT, SATISFACTION, STRATEGY, BENEFITS, LOYALTY
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Container terminals have been facing intense competition and continuously changing environment due to some forces such as strategic alliances, privatization, overlapping hinterlands, and global terminal operators. To justify high investment and operation costs and to achieve profitability container terminals must attain satisfactory cargo volumes. Practically, physical investments and cooperation among ports are current ways that ports struggle with new forces in the container transportation market. In addition, customer loyalty is an important asset for a port to ensure adequate flows. This study investigated the impacts of relationship marketing tactics on container terminals' financial and non-financial performance indicators. The data was collected from 24 container terminals located in Turkey (134 responses) and analyzed through multilevel structural equation modeling. Based on the results our core conclusion is that the more a port implements relational marketing tactics, the higher the quality of the relationship with the customer, which then returns to it as the performance of the customer relationship and consequently the financial performance.