Recently, with the development of international tade, the environment of shipping and ports had tremendous changes. We have seen the increasing shipping volume dirven by the fast growth of China’s economy, which results in fierce competition among the ports of this area. Great attention has been shown to the question of a port competitiveness. Port competitiveness has been defined in various aspects, we regard customer loyalty as port competitivenessin this study. From the perpective of port marketing, we find it is of significance that the full understading of shipping carrier’s satisfaction, trust and loyalty towards ports will be important to enhance the competitiveness of the ports and avoid the unhealthy competition among them.
From the literature review and the status quo of port logistics service industry, we find both the service quality and relationship quality have become the main strategy for all the ports in the world to enhance their competitiveness under the environment of global fierce competition. Under the theme of customer loyalty in the port logistics industry and its influencing factors like service quality and relationship quality, the paper intends to explore how customer satisfaction is impacted by service and relationship quality of port logistics industry, how customer trust is impacted by customer satisfaction, and finally how customer loyalty is impacted by customer satisfaction and customer trust. Five research hypotheses have been made under the above framework.
The study is based on servey aproach, and the major container shipping carriers and shipping agencies at port of Qingdao with the land offices are the targets of questionnaire. Tooled by calculating software SPSS 21.0, the effective data were analyzed by basic statistical analysis, factor analysis and regression analysis.
Through empirical analysis of this study, the main conclusions drawn are as follows.
1. Service quality of port logistics has great influence on the customer satisfaction. The service quality is consisted of technological quality, functional quality and physical conditions, in which, only functional quality has positive correlation with customer satisfaction, while the technological quality and physical conditions have less correlation. It is proved that port enterprises should strengthen the functional quality so as to increase the customer satisfaction with the ports.
2. Port relationship quality has great influence on the customer satisfaction. Port relationship quality is consisted of personalized service, information sharing, and relation continuity, in which personalized service and relationship continuity have positive correlation with the perceived value of the customer, while information sharing has no correlation. The study indicates that port enterprises should strengthen the personalized service and relationship continuity so as to increase the customer satisfaction.
3. Customer satisfaction, customer trust have an important impact on customer loyalty. Among them, customer satisfaction has direct correlation with customer loyalty, and indirectly correlated through customer trust.