Drivers and barriers for truck appointment systems at container terminals - A business model perspective

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Quality and operations management (MPQOM), MSc
Ericsson, Rebecca
Svensson, Philip
An increasing demand for global freight transportation by sea as well as increasing competition within the sector require that container terminals re-evaluate their current operations. Inefficient container transactions between a terminal operator and trucking companies negatively impacts the two actors as well as social and environmental performance. The truck appointment system has been forwarded by several academic researchers as an alternative solution to capacity expansion; Rather than stressing limitations in capacity the system facilitates the efficiency of container transactions. Although the system was conceived already in the early 2000s and is associated with multiple benefits in academic literature, it has only been implemented in a few container terminals. This indicates a misalignment between the drivers and barriers forwarded in literature and those perceived in practice as well as a lack of know-how among terminal operators on how to realize the system’s benefits in practice. This master thesis report aims to address the drivers and barriers of different truck appointment systems seeking to facilitate the service of container transactions and hence terminal competitiveness. A qualitative research strategy has been deployed in the study. Concurrent to a literature review, semi-structured interviews have been conducted in the frames of a multiple-case design. The contributions of this study include: a framework compiling, categorizing, and clarifying the different TAS components and options; compilations and clarifications of different drivers and barriers; a compilation and clarification of the relations between overlying drivers and barriers and truck appointment system components and options; identification and clarification of positive and negative relations between different overlying drivers and barriers and hence the necessity to consider the constraints and objectives of both terminal operators and trucking companies when designing and operating a truck appointment system; and an analytical business model framework based on TASs considering the constraints and objectives of both terminal operators and trucking companies. These contributions are meant to increase terminal operators’ know-how regarding the truck appointment system and how to reinforce the drivers respectively mitigate the barriers of the system through the related design as well as their business model.
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