Assessment of container terminals competitiveness in the Brazilian market: a cluster analysis

Felipe Souza, Dong Yang, Aluisio Moreira, Leandro Barreto, Cira Pitombo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This article presents an analysis of the competitiveness of Brazilian container port terminals and discusses the implications for the sustainable development of this sector in Brazil in the context of container ship size maximization. A cluster analysis was developed. Thirteen criteria were selected in the analysis taking into consideration both the previous literature and the characteristic of Brazilian ports. The classification shows that the third group of terminals (Santos Brasil, BTP and Paranaguá) has the highest average values in eleven out of the thirteen criteria, standing out mainly in annual capacity, number of plugs, and GDP hinterland. This is the most competitive group with the highest frequency of ship visits. It is also interesting to find that this group of terminals has a limitation regarding the operational draft that limits the port sector when receiving large ships. Considering the expected inclusion of New Panamax-class ships operating on the Brazilian coast, container terminals have restrictions due to the limited operational draft. Conclusions are drawn regarding the potential for implementing strategies and policy interventions. The study represents an application inspired by the current debate in the Brazilian port sector, which presents the country’s urgent problem of receiving large capacity ships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Brazilian container terminal
  • cluster analysis
  • port competitiveness
  • port policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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