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The Application of Mathematical Programming Approaches to Estimating Container Port Production Efficiency


  • Kevin Cullinane


  • Dong-Wook Song


  • Tengfei Wang



Container terminal production is both an important and complicated element in the contemporary global economy. This paper aims to evaluate the efficiency of the world’s most important container ports and terminals using the two alternative techniques of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Free Disposal Hull (FDH) model. The results give an insight into the current efficiency ranking of the world’s major container ports and terminals. They also confirm expectations that the available mathematical programming methodologies lead to different results and that appropriate variable definition of input and output factors is a crucial element in meaningful applications of DEA and FDH. It is also concluded that the availability of panel data, rather than cross-sectional data would greatly improve the validity of the efficiency estimates derived from all the mathematical programming techniques applied. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Cullinane & Dong-Wook Song & Tengfei Wang, 2005. "The Application of Mathematical Programming Approaches to Estimating Container Port Production Efficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 73-92, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:24:y:2005:i:1:p:73-92
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-005-3041-9

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    1. Robin Cross & Rolf Färe, 2008. "Farrell efficiency under value and quantity data," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 193-199, June.
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    3. Figueiredo De Oliveira, Gabriel & Cariou, Pierre, 2015. "The impact of competition on container port (in)efficiency," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 124-133.
    4. Serebrisky, Tomás & Sarriera, Javier Morales & Suárez-Alemán, Ancor & Araya, Gonzalo & Briceño-Garmendía, Cecilia & Schwartz, Jordan, 2016. "Exploring the drivers of port efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 31-45.
    5. Carlos Pestana Barros & Zhongfei Chen & Peter Wanke, 2016. "Efficiency in Chinese seaports: 2002–2012," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 18(3), pages 295-316, September.
    6. Deng, Ping & Lu, Shiqing & Xiao, Hanbin, 2013. "Evaluation of the relevance measure between ports and regional economy using structural equation modeling," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 123-133.
    7. Trujillo, Lourdes & González, María Manuela & Jiménez, Juan Luis, 2013. "An overview on the reform process of African ports," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 12-22.
    8. Pierre CARIOU & Gabriel FIGUEIREDO DE OLIVEIRA, 2015. "Les Déterminants De L'Efficience Portuaire : Une Analyse Des Ports À Conteneurs Méditerranéens," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 41, pages 83-99.
    9. María Manuela González & Lourdes Trujillo, 2009. "Efficiency Measurement in the Port Industry: A Survey of the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 43(2), pages 157-192, May.
    10. repec:eee:trapol:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:63-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:68:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_jors.2015.91 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Caldeirinha, V. M., 2011. "Size and specialization as determinant of iberian port performance: new methodology to group different ports," MPRA Paper 31957, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Odeck, James & Bråthen, Svein, 2012. "A meta-analysis of DEA and SFA studies of the technical efficiency of seaports: A comparison of fixed and random-effects regression models," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1574-1585.
    14. Güner, Samet, 2015. "Investigating infrastructure, superstructure, operating and financial efficiency in the management of Turkish seaports using data envelopment analysis," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 36-48.
    15. Beatriz Tovar & Sergio Jara-Díaz & Lourdes Trujillo, 2007. "Econometric estimation of scale and scope economies within the Port Sector: a review," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 203-223, June.
    16. Hung, Shiu-Wan & Lu, Wen-Min & Wang, Tung-Pao, 2010. "Benchmarking the operating efficiency of Asia container ports," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 203(3), pages 706-713, June.
    17. Lita Iulian, 2011. "Tools used to benchmark the efficiency of container ports and terminals," Constanta Maritime University Annals, Constanta Maritime University, vol. 16(2), pages 69-72.
    18. Shui-Mu Ju & Nan Liu, 2015. "Efficiency and its influencing factors in port enterprises: empirical evidence from Chinese port-listed companies," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 571-590, August.
    19. Cavaignac, Laurent & Petiot, Romain, 2017. "A quarter century of Data Envelopment Analysis applied to the transport sector: A bibliometric analysis," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 84-96.
    20. Carlos Pestana Barros & J. Augusto Felício & Renato Leite Fernandes, 2012. "Productivity analysis of Brazilian seaports," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 503-523, September.
    21. Jason Angelopoulos & Constantine Chlomoudis & Eustratia Dalvadani, 2014. "International Dock Work Conventions in the era of post-globalization," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 64(1), pages 5-15, january-m.
    22. Pérez, Ivone & Trujillo, Lourdes & González, María Manuela, 2016. "Efficiency determinants of container terminals in Latin American and the Caribbean," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-14.
    23. Wanke, Peter F., 2013. "Physical infrastructure and shipment consolidation efficiency drivers in Brazilian ports: A two-stage network-DEA approach," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 145-153.
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    25. Di­az-Hernández, Juan José & Marti­nez-Budri­a, Eduardo & Jara-Di­az, Sergio, 2008. "The effects of ignoring inefficiency in the analysis of production: The case of cargo handling in Spanish ports," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 321-329, February.


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