Effect of online quotation platform on container shipping orders

Tingting Han, Dong Yang, Ping Ji, Cheuk Li Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In the digital era, major shipping lines are developing instant quote and online booking platforms. In one of the first attempts to investigate the post-event effects of this trend, we evaluate how a shipping line’s online quote platform impacts its shipper portfolio and the ordered container volume. In order to control for unobserved, time-varying effects that could be correlated with the platform’s implementation, we apply the regression discontinuity design (RDD) method to the import trade data from 2016 to 2019 of a top shipping line that released its platform in August 2018. We also adopt global polynomial regression and local liner regression so as to control for the effects of different polynomial time trends. We find the container volume assigned to the shipping line declined slightly after the online platform was launched. The container orders of small shippers increase by 3.97 TEU on average after online platform adoption. The volume of assigned containers from other shippersdeclines. These findings hold fruitful implications for shipping lines. A significant increase in the number of small shippers and their container volumes demonstrate administrative cost saving and risk mitigation for a shipping line. However, it also leads to possible loss of large customers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Liner shipping
  • managerial implications
  • new technology impact
  • online quote platform
  • regression discontinuity design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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