Port planners have to make decisions on optimal berth capacity for container port development. The main purpose of this paper is twofold. One is to review the current practices adopted by selected major ports in Asia in estimating berth and port capacities in their planning decisions. The other is to suggest a new approach to estimate the optimal capacity of a berth/port from the perspective of a national economy and to show how the traditional approach can integrate economic factors. Findings suggest that port planners should look into incurring costs of not only the construction, but also the opportunity costs of ships and cargo when deciding to use port facilities to full capacity.
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