Port performance measurement in the context of port choice: an MCDA approach

Jafar Rezaei*, Linde van Wulfften Palthe, Lori Tavasszy, Bart Wiegmans, Frank van der Laan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
274 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Port performance and port choice have been treated as separate streams of research. This hampers the efforts of ports to anticipate on and respond to possible future changes in port choice by shippers, freight forwarders and carriers. The purpose of this paper is to develop and demonstrate a port performance measurement methodology, extended from the perspective of port choice, which includes hinterland performance and a weighting of attributes from a port choice perspective. Design/methodology/approach: A review of literature is used to extend the scope of port performance indicators. Multi-criteria decision analysis is used to operationalize the context of port choice, presenting a weighted approach using the Best-Worst Method (BWM). An empirical model is built based on an extensive port stakeholder survey. Findings: Transport costs and times along the transport chain are the dominant factors for port competitiveness. Satisfaction, reputation and flexibility criteria are the other important decision criteria. The results also show how the availability of different modal alternatives impact on the position of a port. A ranking of routes for hinterland regions is done. Originality/value: The paper focuses on two extensions of port performance measurement. So far, not all factors that determine port choice have been included in port performance studies. Here, first, factors related to hinterland services are included. Second, a weighting of port performance measures is proposed. The importance of factors is assessed using BWM. The approach is demonstrated empirically for a case of the European contestable hinterland regions, which so far have lacked quantitative analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalManagement Decision
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Best-Worst Method
  • BWM
  • MCDA
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Port performance measurement


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