Authors: Khalid Bichou
Addresses: PORTeC, Centre for Transport Studies, 618, Skempton Building, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2BU, UK
Abstract: Despite the growing amount of research into container-port operations and efficiency, much of the literature on the subject treats container ports and terminals as black box systems without examining the structure of their transformation and production processes. Research on the network and multi-stage structure of container-terminal operating systems is scarce and its applications in the context of port performance and benchmarking are even scarcer. In this paper, we argue that the container terminal production would be best modelled as a network of interrelated sub-processes and operating sites and develop a supply chain DEA model aimed at capturing the transformational process within the container-terminal system and across its sub-systems. We start by modelling container terminal operations as a container-flow process and analyse their site-specific and combined efficiency before formalising a two-stage supply chain DEA model to measure the efficiencies of both individual and network container terminal operations. Although, due to the unavailability of detailed operational data, this study is limited to container export flows only, the results provide further insight on the network structure of container-terminal operating systems and confirm the existence of disproportionate performances and efficiency levels between container-terminal operating sites and sub-processes.
Keywords: container terminals; terminal operating sites; data envelopment analysis; operational efficiency; network structures; supply chain DEA; supply chain management; SCM; container ports; modelling.
International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.6 - 26
Published online: 30 Dec 2010 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Free access Comment on this article