Global terminal operators: a competitive strategic position analysis

Akyar D. A., Celik M. S., Ceylan B. O.

Maritime Policy and Management, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03088839.2023.2248985
  • Journal Name: Maritime Policy and Management
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, EconLit, Environment Index, Geobase, Metadex, PAIS International, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Boston consulting group matrix, container terminals, Global terminal operators, maritime transportation, strategic positioning
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


Port operators and liner shipping companies attempt to gain cost and competitive advantages by providing services in complementary maritime-related areas. In line with this purpose, companies undertake a task known as Global Terminal Operator (GTO). Substantially, there are more than 21 GTOs of various sizes involved in container terminal operations worldwide, handling 80% of the total containerized cargo traffic. In recent years, there have been drastic changes in the GTO market with numerous mergers, acquisitions, and concessions. However, academic and sectoral studies have fallen short of keeping up with these changes. To fill the gap in research, a dynamic portfolio analysis has been carried out within the scope of this novel study for the first time for the GTOs with the help of BCG Matrix analyses. Findings reveal that GTOs followed different development paths with respect to their distinctive characteristics. Major operators maintained their market dominance, unlike the minors who followed an unsteady path of development. This paper contributes to the academic literature by conducting a comprehensive market analysis for the GTO sector and revealing the dynamic development courses as well as strategic competitive positions of the operators from a managerial perspective toward shaping future strategic plans of the industry stakeholders.