Rapid changes in logistics environment and intense competition among the shipping companies mean that shipping firms should expand their respective strategies from a traditional marketing based on 4P’s to a relationship marketing focusing on a long-term relationship with customers. Consequently, they can get a mutual benefit by building close relationship with shippers and freight forwarders.
The purpose of this study is not only to explore the nature of the relationship between liner shipping company and freight forwarder but also to suggest a strategy for efficient and effective customer relationship management(CRM) in order to establish long-term cooperative relationship.
In order to achieve the purpose of the study, the following research model is constructed.
(1) Independent variables representing the characteristics of the relationship are classified into the characteristics of the shipping(supplier) firm (shipping company's reputation, size perceived by shipper, service capability, transactional satisfaction) and of the salesperson (expertise, authority, customer orientation)
(2) Mediating variables indicating relationship quality consist of the trust of shipping company and its own salesperson perceived by shipper along with a performance variable representing long-term orientation.
The research methodology used in this study are as follows (1) The characteristics of shipping firm and its own salesperson have a positive impact on shipper's trust of shipping company and salesperson. Particularly, shipper's trust of shipping company and salesperson is influenced by characteristics of salesperson more than characteristics of shipping firm.
(2) The level of shipper's trust to shipping firm and salesperson affects similarly long-term orientation. Thus, shipper's trust of shipping firm influences the level of their trust on salesperson.
Based on the research results, the following suggestions for effective and efficient CRM(customer relationship management) are drawn.
(1) There are strong requirements that continuous education and training are needed in order to cultivate the expertise of salesperson and to shape customer-oriented and customized attitude.
(2) Management' effort and strategy for keeping and maintaining shipping company's reputation perceived by shipper are necessary.
(3) Business transaction between shipping company and shipper should satisfy parties concerned.
(4) Shipping firm should be well-equipped with sufficient shipping tonnage to provide safe, reliable and punctual shipping service and offer competitive freight rate, enough container box and several equipments. Firstly, literature survey and review related to the relationship marketing analyzing correlation among characteristics and quality of the relationship and long-term orientation are carried out.
Secondly, based on the literature survey and review, questionnaire survey from 15 March to 15 April, 2005 targeting salespersons and operators working at freight forwarder's companies in Busan and Seoul is performed.
Thirdly, multivariate data analysis method such as frequency, reliability, factor analysis and SEM using AMOS are used to analyze the data.
The final results and conclusions are found to be as follows