International Transport Forum Discussion Papers

ITF Discussion Papers make economic research, commissioned or carried out in-house at the International Transport Forum, available to researchers and practitioners. They describe preliminary results or research in progress by the author(s) and are published to stimulate discussion on a broad range of issues on which the ITF works.

English, French

Time Efficiency at World Container Ports

The ability of ports to ensure efficient cargo transfers is one central dimension of their overall function as transport nodes. Before containerization, such as in the late nineteenth century, large seaports were already competing in their attempt providing fast transit between sea and land, in a context of growing global trades (Marnot, 2012). Such aspects are even more crucial nowadays when the port can be considered as only one element of value-driven supply chains (Robinson, 2002) or as a set of independent terminals operated by global actors (Olivier and Slack, 2006). While port efficiency as a whole may be understood from various perspectives, its influence on trade facilitation (Clark et al., 2004) and regional development (Haddad et al., 2010) has been well underlined. Ways to measure port efficiency and performance are very diverse, but the time factor has been so far largely left aside, especially in international comparative studies of ports. More frequent are case studies of specific aspects such as fast-ship services (De Langen, 1999), broader approaches such as the global synchronization of transport terminals in a context of space/time collapse (Rodrigue, 1999), or operations research about queuing models of vessels in relation to port entrance channels and berth allocation and productivity.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error