Global Maritime Container Carriers' Mid-term Strategies as a Tool for Change Management in the Post-Covid Era

Andrzej S. Grzelakowski
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXVI, Issue 4, 737-754, 2023
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3323


Purpose: The basic aim of the research is to: 1/ identify the main market and regulatory challenges currently faced by global maritime container operators and try to assess them and 2/ indicate the current forms of operational activities and mid-term development strategies of the container shipping carriers in terms of efficient managing such a significant change. Design/Methodology/Approach: At conducting this research, the following methods were applied: factor analysis (FA), market analysis (MA), critical narrative review of few current papers, as well as in-depth analysis of many reports, experts’ opinions and statistical data. In addition, a structured interview was conducted with representatives of five leading container shipowners having their branch offices in Poland. Findings: The research results indicate that: 1/ appreciable decline in demand for container transport by sea followed by significant reduction in freight and contract rates, resulted in a sharp decrease in the revenues of sea carriers, and seriously deepened the uncertainty regarding the possibility of continuing adopted by them in the Covid era strategies, 2/ in addition to significant market challenges, the implementation of existing strategies is also at risk as a result of new regulatory solutions regarding the shipping decarbonization and energy transformation as well as the expiry of the CBER from 2024, 3/ in the face of new regulatory and market challenges, the container shipping carriers are forced to take strategic actions in the field of change management in line with the goals set by regulatory authorities. Practical Implications: The results of the study indicate that currently existed design of the global container shipping market in its advanced oligopolistic form may change significantly, evolving gradually towards a more competitive and friendly for shippers and forwarders structure. Originality/Value: The obtained research results may constitute the basis for filling the currently existing theoretical, methodological and application gap in the field of change management of an unprecedented scope and nature in the container transport segment, contributing to the theory of management sciences. This kind of research can contribute to enriching the knowledge on functioning the maritime container transport markets in a period of ongoing radical changes in its regulatory system as well.

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