Vyshniakova Daria Hryhorivna
Odessa Natioval Economic University

In a global competitive environment the winner is the one port that uses a dynamic and effective approach to marketing. Ports can use marketing techniques as a guideline to face the demands in view of more open and competitive markets. Hence, port marketing is considered as a high-value tool in order to search and capture new markets and products.

Keywords: advertising, information, maritime transport industry, marketing, research, sea commercial ports, strategy

Category: 08.00.00 Economics

Article reference:
The Use of Marketing Techniques in Ukrainian Sea Commercial Ports // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2014. № 5. P. 2 [Electronic journal]. URL:

View this article in Russian

Maritime transport is a multipurpose national economic structure, which provides domestic and international transport links.

Evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities is an indispensable component of any marketing department. Marketing division of the enterprise is one of the key centers, principally responsible for the preparation of important decisions for the company and it coordinates the activities of other departments. This determines the particular importance of monitoring and improving the effectiveness of the marketing function.

The development of the port industry in Ukraine is being held in the conditions of increasing both a domestic and a foreign competition between the Ukrainian ports and ports of other Black Sea countries. One of the main reasons for the decline of competitiveness of Ukrainian ports is their poor performance in the market and in the stevedoring services, i.e. the lack of using port marketing. Actually, most of the ports do not refer to the port marketing, and when such attempts take place, the taken measures have not met their requirements. Marketing departments have been already created in several Ukrainian ports, but their work doesn’t correspond to concept of modern port marketing yet.

The main content of marketing activities is the organization and management of the supply and trading activities of enterprises (organizations) in a developed market economy. If we consider the port as an economic system in which the transformation of resources takes place, port marketing must operate in the input of this system (the acquisition of resources) and in the output (selling of products, works and services to clients of the port (shippers, ship-owners, etc.)

Therefore, port marketing, on the one hand, should provide direct contact with suppliers of resources to obtain them on the most suitable conditions in order to produce the products, works and services at the lowest cost. On the other hand, port marketing throughout the complex port operations is the only area that allows direct contact with clients in order to sell them manufactured products, works and services in the greatest volume and at reasonable prices. The latter indicates that through marketing ports should learn about the their clients demands, and try to maintain close ties with them.

While forming the marketing system port must first define its goals and strategy. Marketing objectives should be subordinated to the overall objectives of the port. At this stage of development of Ukrainian ports their main goal is to minimize the cost of goods passing through the port (cost reduction) and to offer acceptable tariffs, to ensure optimal timing of the transportation and maximize the added value of the cargo. The overall objective of the port allows to define precise objectives of marketing: to attract more cargo traffic for maximum load in each specific port, as well as to find the necessary resources to ensure the activities of the port at the lowest possible prices. Some ports as a general purpose can put maximum profit, diversification of port activities, etc. It should be stated in the port and marketing strategies.

Port marketing has three main areas of development, which are defined as the structure of marketing department and its specific objectives: information, research, and advertising. These three areas are very closely interrelated.

Information area implies the obtaining of information from clients about what services they expect from the port. Inaccuracy and lack of information are often the cause of ineffective marketing.

Marketing-oriented information should include:

  • Information about all major existing and potential clients of the port, their production and business activities, long-term plans, needs and constraints, etc.
  • Data on the technical innovations and economic changes in all transport modes, as well as in other ports, the development of multimodal transport system, electronic data processing, new types of vehicles;
  • Research results on general economic, commercial and industrial developments in countries and trade partners of Ukraine, Ukraine itself and its individual regions, which affect the traffic volume, the geography of origin and destination;
  • Information about the situation in other ports: the organization of cargo handling, technical capacity, bandwidth, the actual loading, price, port fees, etc.
  • Information on the activities of other transport modes operating in contact with the port;
  • Comprehensive and detailed information about your own port.

Research activities within the port marketing must be carried out at the level of individual market segments. Here we must first explore the container transportation, transportation by specialized Ro-Ro type vessels, etc., transportation of dry cargo to their main business, and other bulk cargoes. Research activities in the port system of marketing should not be viewed as a single event, but as a systematic work on the prediction of future existing cargo flows , their changes and possible changes in the methods of transportation, maintenance and handling.

Marketing research should be carried out in a systematic manner and analyze the following problems:

  • Technological changes and economic changes in transport processes, the development of the various links in the transport network;
  • The effects of changes in the port industry, agriculture, foreign trade, affecting the volume of traffic, their places of origin and destination;
  • The impact of port activities on public policy, the state of the legal framework, the work of partner organizations, related modes of transport, etc.

Marketing research for port marketing purposes must be provided by qualified specialists with extensive knowledge about the port and its customers, and all related activities; these specialist must have good knowledge of research methodology, be able to find and analyze a variety of data. Also, specialists must have strong incentives to work.

The final stage of the port marketing is advertising activities directed towards certain objects (cargo, ship-owners, freight forwarders and others), the planned activities are realized and new information is collected. At this stage, the ports should rely on the widely used principle in the world practice: “Treat your customer as a king.”

Port managers should not wait for the customers to come to the port. They have to find clients and try to meet their demands. It’s necessary to establish direct personal contacts between senior officials of the ports and the key persons in the major domestic and foreign companies.

An important element of advertising is publishing. Each port should have its own issue, which would regularly publish information about it, about introduction of new technologies, new projects, achievements, tariffs, regulations, etc. Printing activities should not be confined within the local national publications. It’s necessary to make extensive use of specialized international issues.

Another important part of the advertising campaign is the organization of visits by port customers and other people who are relevant to its operations; seminars, conferences, receptions, open houses, etc. It’s also necessary for the port marketing to establish good relations with customs and other regulatory organizations, local and national authorities.

Effective marketing requires that the proposed works and services must be implemented to the clients in time, be diverse and flexible.

  1. Cateora, P. R., Gilly, M. C., & Graham, J. L. (2011). International marketing (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  2. Coto-Millan, P. P., Pesquera, M. A., & Castanedo, J. (2010). Port Marketing Strategies and the Challenges of Maritime Globalization. Essays on port economics. Berlin: Springer.
  3. Onkvisit, S., & Shaw, J. J. (2004). International marketing: analysis and strategy (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

All articles of author «Daryavysh»

© If you have found a violation of copyrights please notify us immediately by e-mail or feedback form.

Contact author (comments/reviews)

Write comment

You must authorise to write a comment.

Если Вы еще не зарегистрированы на сайте, то Вам необходимо зарегистрироваться:
  • Register