Growth Opportunity of A Limited Port in The Shadow of A Dominant Port: A Case Study of Bangkok Port, Thailand

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Bamrungbutr, Chayakarn (2020) Growth Opportunity of A Limited Port in The Shadow of A Dominant Port: A Case Study of Bangkok Port, Thailand. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Maritime transportation has traditionally been a crucial part of world economy. Countries which are connected to a seaboard or major river will have the opportunity to develop a port which can provide access to water transportation. When there are two or more ports in the nearby area, customers tend to prefer to use the facilities available at the main ports since goods handling and transfer are more efficient and economical. Nearby ports which receive little or no special support from the government, and are thus overshadowed by the larger ports which inevitably leads to the loss of their market share (Tongzon 2002; Magala 2008). These shadow ports must find ways to survive and prosper in a competitive environment. Indeed, both main and regional ports could become shadow ports of another nearby port. Generally, ports will grow if they succeed in providing profits to the sellers and the related third-party service providers and delivering value to the buyers (Robinson 2002b; 2003). There are few studies regarding the port competition for growth and survival between two nearby main ports. Difficulties begin to arise if a new main port is established because of limitations or inefficiencies of an existing port which could not provide satisfactory services to customers or contribute to the economic activity of the nation (Limskul 1998). Therefore, with the loss of their market and lack of support from their governments, the existing ports need to find a way to survive. These ports are metaphorically under the shadow of the nearby superior port. Most of these shadow ports are regional ports which are situated near main ports. On the other hand, and of interest to this study, there is a situation where there are two main ports (where one port was built after the other) situated near each other. Thailand, is one of the countries that have a significant part of its economy reliant on water transportation. Here, the situation of having two main ports close to each other has arisen. These two ports are Bangkok Port (the older main port which is in Bangkok), and Laem Chabang Port (the more recently established main port which is in Chonburi province). This study focuses on using the Opportunity Capture framework to understand and explain how a main port can manage to grow in the proximity of a nearby predominant main port. The original framework was suggested by Magala (2004). Ansoff’s Matrix (Ansoff 1957) and the Noticing, Collecting and Thinking (NCT) model (Seidel 1998) were used with this framework in an attempt to capture the opportunity for shadow ports. Port experts in Thailand were interviewed regarding their opinion on potential policies that the shadow ports should pursue in order to be viable and competitive. Five categories of experts include personnel from the Thai government, the shipping- related council/federation, logistics providers, relevant business sectors and respected academics who are researching in this area. Semi-structured interviews as a qualitative approach toward the development and understanding were based on the Opportunity Capture framework. The data from the interviews were analyzed qualitatively using the NCT framework in order to highlight important criteria and underlying factors required to create policies for the shadow port. Six findings were extracted from the analysis, and the strategic solution for Bangkok Port was derived from the use of the Opportunity Capture framework and evaluated with Ansoff’s Matrix. The findings and the strategy suggested here could be implemented to increase the competitiveness of Bangkok Port and, finally, to allow the port to grow if that is the direction that Thai government wishes for the port. Finally, this study found that Bangkok Port could gain more profit by adapting itself into a coastal port since there is a plan to establish a coastal port at Laem Chabang Port. Hence, Bangkok Port could use this opportunity to increase its competitiveness by becoming a domestic hub for distributing imported goods inside the country, and by collecting export goods before shipping them to Laem Chabang Port via coastal ships. With this solution, Bangkok Port could gain profit from such strategic directions by: (i) providing the services of domestic port, (ii) offering rental office for third-party logistics providers to use inside the port, and (iii) offering a container freight stations (CFS) service to open and close containers using existing equipment and skills.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Current > Division/Research > Graduate School of Business
Keywords maritime transportation; Bangkok Port; Laem Chabang Port; Thailand; ports; Southeast Asia; opportunity capture framework; economics
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