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An evaluation of the factors that determine carrier selection

UNSPECIFIED (2007) An evaluation of the factors that determine carrier selection. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    The selection of freight transport mode in cities like Hong Kong, with little land, is in some
    respects obvious. The deciding criterion for mode/carrier selection is based on the selection
    of either the lowest total transport cost or the shortest transit time for the cargo. The peculiar
    nature of each transport mode, namely; rail, sea, road and air, will definitely earn their own
    places when shippers need to make a decision on their shipments. The nature of the cargo
    will also affect the choice of carrier/mode when they are transported in break bulk.
    Fortunately, the invention of ISO containers in the late 1950s eliminated and overcame the
    shortfall in some transport modes. With the extensive usage of ISO containers hereafter,
    shippers can now enjoy a much freer choice of transport mode.
    When China started its open-door policy in the late 1970s, many local (Hong Kong)
    manufacturers relocated their factories to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) due to the low labour
    and land costs. Delivery of shipments was mainly carried out by Hong Kong freight
    forwarders as they had been in business with the shippers for decades. Road transport was the
    only mode choice available at that time due to the inflexibilities in other transport modes such
    as sea and rail. Progressively, these factories were relocated northwards at a later time due to
    the gradually increasing labour and land costs. Freight forwarders were then faced with a
    prolonged delivery time due to the stringent Customs regulations in China as well as a
    progressive increase in the physical distance between the factory and the loading port in
    Hong Kong. The continuous developments in adjacent ports in Southern China offered
    freight forwarders an opportunity to revise the route of consignments so that the lowest cost
    and shortest transit times were achievable. Nowadays, consignments from the PRD region can be transported to the loading ports via at least three transport modes, namely, sea (barge),
    road (truck) and rail.
    In addition to physical constraints in the mode/carrier selection, the mode choice in China is
    further complicated due to the inflexible Customs regulations and government policies on tax
    Considerable research has been done on mode and carrier selection for bulk cargo in Western
    countries. However there is no explicit study on the mode choice in China. This thesis studies
    factors that will affect the shippers’ mode/carrier choice and ascertains the unique key factors
    that will affect their mode/carrier choice in the PRD for their overseas consignments. From
    this study, it was observed that shippers irrespective of the consignment size and cargo value
    prefer to use a loading port that is reliable and efficienct in operation. This is the first thesis
    written about carrier mode choice in China applying systematic and rationale methods to
    express the mode selection criteria in PRD area. The results were achieved by using the
    pairwise comparison method - Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method so that rigidity of
    the results is academically accepted. Nevertheless, further study on the mode choice can be
    carried forward through assessing buying behaviour and the shipper-carrier relationship.

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    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: © The Author 2007
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Southern China; freight transport; mode/carrier selection
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
    Schools: School of Applied Sciences

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    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 02 May 2008 15:18
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:22


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