Whether operating a port or building a cruise ship, the unique mix of customer, regulatory and market factors to which the maritime marketplace is subject requires an equally unique mix of skills and experience to succeed.

Global and national macroeconomic growth drivers, specific regional and local trends, supply and competitive factors, and management actions can affect the maritime market or geography, underlying passenger or freight demand. Maritime organizations need answers to questions that include:

  • How should we price our services in a dynamic and competitive market?
  • How do supply and demand trends impact our growth prospects?
  • How can we optimize our channels to market and our salesforce in light of technology and market trends?
  • How can we generate more profit from on-board sales and ancillary revenues?
  • How will new port capacity affect freight flows?
  • How do we structure our major project investment to maximize its financial return?

How we help

L.E.K.’s maritime expertise spans marine services and sea freight, passenger ferries and their operations, cruise operators, shipbuilding, and ports infrastructure. From strategy development and investment appraisal through strategy activation and business performance improvement, we have the global experience to unlock value for our clients and deliver success, with a broad range of strategic and operational services.

For vessel operators, we can provide specialist expertise in revenue management, on-board sales, channel strategy, and network and fleet optimization. For port operators, we have a deep understanding of commodity and sector market dynamics and the business development strategies that drive growth, together with the financial and commercial toolkit to assist in rigorous evaluation of major infrastructure decisions.

Our global reach and a breadth of experience enable us to identify the factors affecting maritime organizations’ operating environments and to provide insight into the levers for unlocking growth and driving sustainable competitive advantage.


Examples of our work

To learn more about L.E.K.’s work in the maritime sector, please refer to these case examples:

  • Evaluated pricing and revenue management strategy for a ferry operator, covering its short sea and cruise ferry operations. L.E.K.’s analysis resulted in a completely new approach to dynamic pricing and revenue management and in development of the marketing and channel strategies to support this.
  • Reviewed the on-board customer proposition, including retail and restaurant/bar offers, to assess on-board revenue growth opportunities for a European passenger cruise and ferry operator. This project directly linked L.E.K.’s maritime, retail, and consumer expertise to deliver a detailed and actionable set of recommendations. The results included a successful refit of the retail and restaurant offers, new category planning, and the retail operations approach.
  • Generated business development strategies across a wide range of commodities/sectors for a major port operator. L.E.K. evaluated end-market dynamics, supply chain and competitive position, and introduced value proposition, key account management, value chain participation and partnering, pricing and go-to-market strategies.
  • Assisted a port operator in an investment appraisal and business case for a major post-Panamax container terminal and associated infrastructure. This container terminal was subsequently built and is now in successful operation.
  • Reviewed the network and fleet plan for a ferry operator, to support vessel investment/divestment decisions and to optimize network for the freight and passenger markets.
  • Developed a shipping charter cost forecast for a range of cargo ship types, to support a client’s longer-term investment decisions in the sector. L.E.K.’s experts developed a bespoke analytical approach to identifying the key drivers of historical changes in charter costs as a basis for forecasting future rates, taking into account new construction and scrappage rates as well as other relevant market drivers. This gave the client strategy-changing insight into the most attractive sectors going forward.
  • Assessed business plan and operations of a luxury yacht manufacturer, in support of a potential acquisition. L.E.K. completed a detailed review of the relevant market demand outlook, the customer behavior and purchasing process, and the competitive situation, and compiled an overall business assessment focusing on the major pipeline projects.

How do we help clients achieve high-impact results?

Learn about how we can help you with your Travel & Transport needs.