The influence of service quality management factors on quality of service in cargo handling: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports

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University of Dar es Salaam
Much has been said and written about the service quality concept and its application in solving problems. Service quality is an important tool that has been used by organizations as a means of attaining customer satisfaction and organizations' high performance. Studies, in the area of service quality, have shown that there was a considerable interest in service quality concept in both academic and business circles. In academics, the interest was on developing models, concepts, hypotheses and theories of service quality, whereas in business, empirical studies focused on understanding and measuring service quality, for example, in banks, telecommunication, credit cards, and health care. However, none of the studies have addressed the highly fundamental question of influence of service quality management factors particularly in cargo handling in the port industry in developing countries. Cargo handling in developing countries, like Kenya and Tanzania, impacts immensely on volume and value of foreign trade including domestic economy. Therefore, service quality for that aspect is seen by management of port authorities and port users to be crucial not only to port operations but also in achieving organizations' goals. The main objective of this study was to find out how service quality management factors influence the quality of cargo handling services in the port industry, using Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports as case studies. Findings revealed that, in general, there were significant relationships between the service quality management factors and service quality in cargo handling in the two ports. It was observed that where factors were managed with high efficiency level, high service quality level was realised. On the basis of observations made from this study, it is recommended that service quality management factors be effectively managed in order to deliver high service quality level to meet customer satisfaction. Service quality level associated with desirable port performance depended on management factors used.
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quality management, cargo, service quality
Mrisha, M.A.H.(2008) The influence of service quality management factors on quality of service in cargo handling: the case of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.