Towards sustainable port management: Data-driven global container ports turnover rate assessment

Dong Yang, Shiguan Liao, Y. H. Venus Lun, Xiwen Bai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate assessment of port turnover rate is essential for port operators and shipping carriers to benchmark and improve their operations. This study proposes a standardized method to estimate the port turnover rate based on satellite data of ocean ships. This method can be generalized to accommodate ports of different geographic and operational characteristics with minimum input and running times. To achieve the research objective, we first construct berth polygon areas for terminals based on Greatmaps (GMap) visual technique. Then, two tailor-made algorithms are proposed to estimate the berthing time of ship in a berthing event. Finally, we assess the port turnover rate with aggregate berthing time at a port and its historical port throughput. Assuming that the turnover rate is unchanged in the short term, we can use the estimated turnover to estimate the monthly throughput of global ports. The findings suggest the average Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) of our estimation is 3.84%. Standardized and high-frequency port statistics are highly valued by the industry but very costly to access. The proposed method makes high-frequency port turnover rate and throughput available for a wide range of users. The statistics and findings will enhance standardization and transparency of port statistics and promote the sustainable development of port industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103169
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Automatic Identification System
  • Container port
  • GMap visual technology
  • Port sustainable development
  • Port turnover rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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