Ocean freight forwarders play a critical role in the economic development of Taiwan and import/export services are their most important business line. As an integral element of the marine transportation industry, forwarders find themselves exposed to greater risks due to the homogeneity of their services in a highly competitive and changeable marketplace. It is hence essential to develop a model to evaluate trade risks so as to prevent and mitigate such risks, enhance competitive edge and operational sustainability. This paper examines the trade risks undertaken by the ocean freight forwarding industry in Taiwan and applies the algorithms of fuzzy multi-criteria decision making (FMCDM) to construct a model to assess such risks for the industry in an empirical study. By combining the fuzzy set theory with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique, this paper finds that the most important dimension of the import/ export risks undertaken by ocean freight forwarders are partnership risks, followed by freight operational risks and warehousing operational risks. The top three risk items are the unfamiliarity with overseas customs regulations and procedures, insufficient capability in warehousing operations and insufficient capability in container loading/unloading.

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