Culture effects on vessel detention

L.S. Bao, Tsz Leung Yip

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


This paper applies Hofstede’s cultural dimensions into the shipping industry and analyzes the culture effects on vessel detention. All ships have their own nationality but the flag control is manageably sophisticated. Substandard ships are aware of high risks, and quality control of ships is critical to the maritime safety and security. It has been proved that the detention rate depends on the flag of registry together with ship age, inspecting authority, type of ship, and recognized organization influencing. Previous research has focused on the performance of individual flag of registry in terms of casualty and detention rate. This study considers the collective characteristics of flags according to culture effects and their influences on ship quality. Based on Hofstede’s five‐dimension culture theory, we map the flag states on culture dimensions. From 12,635 detention records of the Tokyo MOU region from 2000 to 2009, we determine the effect of culture dimensions against the vessel detention. The findings can be summarised in two aspects. First, the power distance index has little influences on the detention rate. Second, more importantly, the individualism, uncertainty avoidance index and long‐term orientation have positively impacts on the number of detentions. Our findings show that culture indeed has an effect on the vessel detention taken by different Port State Controls. A further look on the flag of registry is that the performance of individual flags may be better illustrated if individual flags are classified according to culture dimensions. This paper is organised as follows: Section 1 introduces the background; Section 2 discusses related literature; Section 3 considers the data collection and methodology; Section 4 concerns the findings; and Section 5 addresses conclusions and further research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2010


  • Flag of registry
  • Culture theory
  • Vessel detention
  • Hofstede's five dimension


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