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PolyU's Hot Research Paper Sheds New Light on Container Terminal Management
The research results of a PolyU team have shed new light on buyer-supplier relationship in container terminal operations. The findings were released through the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics.
Managing a BSR is challenging due to organisational differences in operations priorities and the challenge is salient in container terminal management where there are various upstream and downstream parties. "While previous studies focused on downstream management, i.e., the provision of container services, we looked into the upstream – supplier management – which is vital to achieving performance goals." Professor Edwin Cheng, Dean of the Faculty of Business and co-author of the article says.
In the present globalised market, managing BSR between container terminals, as buyers, and service providers of container terminals, as suppliers, is an important part of logistics management. Entitled "A study on the antecedents of supplier commitment in support of logistics operations", the paper addresses the queries of enterprises on factors that nurture and damage supplier commitment. Survey data collected from 358 service providers of a global container terminal operator show that "implicit contract" encourages while "business uncertainty"
"Implicit contract", which refers to mutual understanding and expectations of partner firms of their roles and responsibilities in a BSR, contributes to developing a trusting relationship and strengthening cooperation between different parties. It complements explicit contract, which specifies the obligations of partner firms but does not take account of all the contingencies. Respondents of the survey evaluated their relationships with the container terminal operator in several key facets, including mutual understanding of remedies for failure, responsibilities of each party, coping with unplanned events, and handling and resolving disagreements.
The paper, published in IJSTL (Vol. 4, No. 1/ 2012, pp. 5–16), is co-authored by Dr Christina W. Y. Wong, Dr Kee-hung Lai, Dr Y. H. Venus Lun, and Professor Edwin Cheng of the Shipping Research Centre, Faculty of Business, PolyU. Hot Papers captured in Thomson Reuters' Web of Knowledge include very recently published papers (from the past two years) that show an unusual rate of citation in the current period.