This thesis aims to analyze the complexity of the cruise supply chain and makes a statement on the issue of outsourcing not only the logistics part but also the onboard processes. In our research, we consider that the supply chain starts and ends in the cruise liner. We are taking account processes from placing the order and managing the procurement until the final onboard consumption. After analyzing with a conceptual model the main characteristics of the supply chain and basing on the classification of the cruise supplies, we distinguish the cruise supply chain in two chains, the food and beverage chain, and the engine and hotel stores chain. We point out that engine and hotel stores supply chain is coordinated centrally and directly from the cruise company while food and beverage is divided on the procurement, logistical and inboard activities. This is the room for outsourcing the whole processes in a third party provider. The main conclusion of this thesis is that for a small or medium sized cruise company that is not part of a large group and is operated globally, outsourcing could increase the quality and the efficiency of the services. Of course with an added value agreement with trust and collaboration. For a large group of companies, we believe that the optimal strategy should include investments in their owned facilities and network by introducing a core business company that is going to manage all the processes in each ship of the group. As the research is limited in the European region, a future research could take in account the yearly itineraries that are going to partly change the data. In addition, we believe that an economic analysis on a company that has already outsourced the department, could provide more accurate result for the economic benefits from such a strategy.

Berden, K. (Koen)
Maritime Economics and Logistics
Erasmus School of Economics

Vogt, A. (Achim). (2012, September 14). The Tariff Effect of Imposing a European Carbon Tax on Maritime Transport. Maritime Economics and Logistics. Retrieved from