How smart port design influences port efficiency – A DEA-Tobit approach

Barbara T.H. Yen*, Ming Jiu Huang, Hsin Ju Lai, Hung Hsuan Cho, Yi Ling Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the key elements affecting the efficiency of maritime transport is the design of ports, including traditional facilities and smart port designs with automated machinery. Governments are committed to transforming their ports into smart ports because of the potential benefits, such as more efficient operation from information and communication technologies and the internet of things. A smart port can also save energy and manage environmental impacts to achieve sustainable development. This research investigates how smart port design can influence the efficiency of maritime transport with a three-step DEA-Tobit modeling procedure. First, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is used to evaluate port operating performance. Second, to investigate the influence of smart port design, three smart port aspects are identified: automation, environment and intelligence. Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used to determine the importance of each aspect. Finally, a Tobit regression modeling approach is constructed to evaluate how the weighted smart port aspects influence operating efficiency. This study uses the top 20 maritime ports based on their throughputs as the case study. Model results show the various influence of the three aspects. Pollution control from the environment aspect has the largest positive impact on port efficiency. On the contrary, information sharing from the intelligence aspect has a negative impact on efficiency which might be due to technology requirements, information overload and information process complexity. This study defines the smart port concepts that are integrated into port performance evaluation process. Model results confirm not all the design elements bring positive impacts. This is also the main contribution of this study that proposed an integrated measurement structure to investigate the influence and impact of the smart port concept. Finally, this study concludes with policy implications to prioritize smart aspects and indicators for policy makers and operators to help develop smart ports.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100862
JournalResearch in Transportation Business and Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Analytic hierarchy process
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • DEA-Tobit
  • Operating efficiency
  • Smart port
  • Tobit regression

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