A liner shipping network is a form of collaboration in the liner shipping industry where players such as intermodal services providers, container management services providers and container terminal operators share resources and assets to develop mutually beneficial strategies and seek operational performance gains. This paper examines the liner shipping industry from the network perspective with a focus on developing a descriptive framework for the development and operations of liner shipping networks. To achieve this objective, we use case study research to establish a descriptive framework for the reference of liner shipping companies (LSCs) and their business partners to operate and manage their networks competently. To understand the participation of LSCs in liner shipping networks, we explore the driving forces that prompt LSCs to develop and operate their networks based on evidence from case studies of liner shipping services. This study provides a useful framework for LSCs and their business partners to compare different areas for cost and service improvements in operating liner shipping networks.
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