Service Quality and its Importance for Rail Freight Customers
AbstractLiberalisation process has just started in the Turkish rail market with the new law recently entered into force in order to comply with EU Directives. In the liberalised markets, service quality is the decisive factor that rail undertakings can use to create difference and achieve competitive advantages. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the customer perceived service quality for rail freight transport and to highlight the important service quality gaps that must be dealt in the process of market liberalisation. The analysis is based on the findings of the survey conducted by interviewing rail stakeholders to understand their perceptions on rail service quality. The results of the research revealed that the widest quality gap relates to “transit time” which is perceived as the most important dimension of the operational quality of the freight services. It was identified that forwarders’ service quality perception is lower than that of shippers.