Facility sharing in business-to-business model: A real case study for container terminal operators in Hong Kong port

Hoi Lam Ma, Collin Wai Hung Wong, Lawrence C. Leung, Sai Ho Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In maritime shipping, sharing economy could prove to be a valuable approach. Nowadays. because of the prevalence of transhipment, and alliance of ship liners, a port with multiple terminal operators needs to manage a large amount of inter-terminal transfer (ITT) of containers. ITT increases operating cost for both carriers and terminal operators. For Hong Kong Port (HKP), a port with five operators, ITT becomes a major problem and burden. One can reduce ITT by assigning vessels to nearby berths. However, such nearby berths may belong to other terminal operators. Indeed, terminal operators can benefit from each other if facilities can be shared. This paper proposes a novel approach to study how the sharing of facility between terminal operators in HKP – who compete for market share – can benefit each other. Here, we propose two resource-sharing strategies. We have conducted numerical experiments based on real data collected from HKP. We examine the performance of the two strategies with respect to costs, service level, and operations efficiency. We found that the sharing economy concept works well in this business-to-business model. It successfully reduces operating cost, while improving the service quality without sacrificing benefits of individual operators. Lastly, recommendations along with insights are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107483
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Business-to-business sharing model
  • Container terminal
  • Facility sharing
  • Inter-terminal transfer
  • Sharing strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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