Port competition and selection studies have mostly focused on container shipping, and the competition among dry bulk terminals has been ignored in the literature. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore terminal competition and selection criteria in the dry bulk market with a case study applied in Izmir, Turkey. A mixed methodology approach that combines qualitative and quantitative data is employed. The paper reveals seven main criteria for dry bulk terminal selection. One of them, the physical and technical capability of the terminal, is found to be a pre-condition that cannot be traded off. The importance weights of the other six selection criteria are ascertained using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP) analysis. Cargo handling costs are the most important criterion, while the other criteria in rank order are damage/loss performance, location, handling speed, responsiveness, and storage facilities. The results indicate that dry bulk shippers have different rankings of selection criteria, thus suggesting that shippers' expectations are heterogeneous. Although dry bulk terminal selection criteria are similar to those in container shipping, the content is quite different. Another interesting result is that shippers in the dry bulk market are concerned with some similar issues as carriers in container shipping when selecting a port.
Balci, G., Bilge Cetin, I., & Esmer, S. (2018). An evaluation of competition and selection criteria between dry bulk terminals in Izmir. Journal of Transport Geography, 69, 294-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2018.05.011