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Efficiency of inland waterway container terminals: Stochastic frontier and data envelopment analysis to analyze the capacity design- and throughput efficiency

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  • Wiegmans, Bart
  • Witte, Patrick

Abstract

Although terminal efficiency has been thoroughly studied for deep-sea container ports and terminals, up till now, there has been little scientific literature on the efficiency of inland waterway container terminals (IWTs). This paper therefore focuses on determining and analyzing terminal characteristics that influence efficiency. Our analysis led to a number of conclusions. First, there exist important differences between IWTs and maritime terminals in terms of design capacity and thus also in operations. Different combinations of inputs and output have been tested with the SFA and DEA methodologies. Important terminal inputs turned out to be yard and crane, but also terminal operating hours and terminal area are important. When capacity is excluded as an input it turns out that the importance of inputs becomes more diverse under SFA. Furthermore, when the inputs and output are varied it shows that this leads to a variation in best and worst performers (the efficiency depends on defined inputs and output). Finally, terminal operating hours are an important input for IWTs which is an important difference with maritime terminals which are open 24/7. In terms of how efficiency is defined, there arises a considerable difference between design efficiency (capacity) and the operational efficiency (terminal throughput).

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  • Wiegmans, Bart & Witte, Patrick, 2017. "Efficiency of inland waterway container terminals: Stochastic frontier and data envelopment analysis to analyze the capacity design- and throughput efficiency," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 12-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:12-21
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2017.09.007
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