|Scenario analysis for supply chain integration in container shipping|In: Maritime Policy and Management. Taylor & Francis: London. ISSN 0308-8839, more
Competition in the business world nowadays is largely between supply chains, rather than individual players only. The same situation exists in container shipping. The study looks into container shipping from an integrated perspective and investigates the nature and level of supply chain integration in container shipping. Based on empirical examinations of the world's top 30 container shipping lines, a scenario analysis is conducted. The paper aims to present the scenario analysis for examining supply chain integration in container shipping. It also aims to formulate strategic recommendations for liners to create and sustain competitive advantage. The scenario analysis is designed to allow more complete consideration of alternative possible outcomes and their implications on the research topic. It involves an evaluation of past and present events and provides a plausible discussion of what might occur in the future. It depicts four scenarios of supply chain integration in container shipping, namely, low integration, partner-focused integration, activity-focused integration and high integration. On the whole, research findings suggest that market situations favour those scenarios representing higher level of supply chain integration. Importantly, with reference to the scenario analysis, shipping lines should position themselves in an appropriate scenario and formulate strategic plans accordingly.