Value Co-Creation in the Maritime Logistics System - Evidence from the Port of Hamburg: A Contribution to the Service-Dominant Logic Theory.

Victoria Dietrich

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study adopts the theoretical perspective of the service-dominant logic (SDL), identified by Vargo and Lusch. It investigates how network actors interact in the service ecosystem of the Port of Hamburg to co-create value for their customers. The maritime actors of Germany’s largest port in many ways integrate their services provisions into global logistics systems. Due to the global interdependence of operations in logistics systems, the activity of one actor in the supply chain may impact the performance of other actors and also the outcome of an entire logistics system, for better or for worse. Hence, the more proficient maritime actors in the Port of Hamburg are able to sense and respond to customers’ needs, the more proficient is not only the performance of the individual maritime actor but also the competitiveness of the Port of Hamburg in its maritime logistics system. The need for the actors of the Port of Hamburg to interact through information technology and institutions to co-create maritime logistic value (MLV) for the port’s customers is the result of many factors. Most notably, there is, on the one hand, the ever more globalized flow of goods and services. This combines, on the other hand, with the ever more strained operand resources (i.e. infrastructure, physical resources) of the Port of Hamburg. It is anticipated that the container throughput will nearly double from 9.7 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) containers in 2014 to 18.1 million TEUs in 2030. Thus, the maritime ecosystem of the Port of Hamburg is experiencing difficulties in managing the current cargo volumes. To avoid capacity constraints and even loss of competitiveness in the future the maritime actors ready themselves to make ever more efficient use of the port area through intelligent operational solutions for interconnecting the port’s actors and improving the information flow among all involved actors. The study identifies that the port’s actors make extensive use of infomediaries as platforms to exchange and co-produce service offerings to operate their businesses more efficiently and to use the port’s operand resources more effectively. It is found that the efficient and effective combination of operant resources (e.g. knowledge, skills, operational processes) and of the port’s operand resources (e.g. harbor basins, roads, bridges) leads to superior MLV for the port’s customers.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages137