Almost all the people involved in the shipping industry have come in touch from time to time with what is known as container transit. Some of these people may be working in one way or another in this field, whilst others may be familiar with the meaning and the importance of container transit. This research aims to examine the potential of the Baltic States' ports as transit gateways for the Trans Siberian container market. This work is divided in two parts, the theoretical and the practical. The first part of the study provides a theoretical presentation of the construct under investigation, starting with an introduction, presenting the objectives of this study, an overview of the region, the structure of the thesis and the limitations of the study. The next chapter focuses on providing a historical overview of the Baltic Sea region in order to establish the historical background of the countries involved in this trade while under the Soviet rule. Gradually the circle of the research will be widened and will concentrate on presenting and analysing the Trans Siberian Railway, along with various future projects that can influence its future performance. Also, the Baltic States will be initially presented individually but then will be analysed as gateway markets for containers in competition with Finland. In addition, the most important future factors that can influence the potential of the Baltic States' ports as a gateway market for containers will be analysed followed by an advanced literature review, better known as content analysis. Last but not least, a conceptual model will be designed in order to present a summary of the whole work so far. The second part of this research is the technical part and includes the statistical techniques applied in order to derive composite policies for the Baltic States. Initially, the scaling development is presented along with the derivation of the scale for this study and the statistical tests that determined the final form of the questionnaires. The next chapter is divided in four sections providing: a background for the experts participating in this research, the application and results from conducting Analysis of Variance and t-tests, as well as a descriptive statistical analysis of each one of the statements included in the questionnaire along with anecdotal data and comments derived from the experts in the region. The final section in this chapter presents a set of policies that is believed can be useful to the companies involved in that region. Moreover, the last chapter of this study provides a presentation of the problems which occurred while undertaking this research, as well as a discussion concerning further research. 111

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