Green performance criteria for sustainable ports in Asia

Taih Cherng Lirn, Yen Chun Jim Wu, Yenming J. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to measure a port's green performance. The literature is reviewed and a survey is carried out to identify major green port performance indicators and to evaluate three major ports' overall green performance in Asia. Indicators located in the critical quadrants with a high degree of importance and low degree of performance are identified and resources are suggested that can be employed to improve the ports' overall sustainability performance effectively. Design/methodology/approach: Port performance indicators are reviewed to select the green-related ones by a session of brain storming with academicians from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in the shipping discipline. Selected indicators are used to design an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) questionnaire. The weight and degree of performance of each of the 17 green indicators among three major container ports are calculated by the data obtained from the AHP round survey respondents. Findings: Avoiding pollutants during cargo handling and port maintenance, noise control, and sewage treatment were perceived to be the three critical indicators by respondents in two of the three ports investigated. Among the three investigated ports, Shanghai port had the highest number of critical indicators to be improved. Air pollutants avoidance, encouraging the use of low-sulphur fuel, and using electrically powered equipment were three of the five critical indicators found in Shanghai port, but not in the other two investigated ports in this study. Originality/value: The theoretical implications of this research are the development of a conceptual framework to measure the degree of importance of a set of green port performance indicators, and to provide a decision support system to help port authorities to evaluate their performance regarding the 17 green port performance indicators compared with that of other ports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-451
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Asia
  • Green performance
  • Importance-performance analysis
  • Port management
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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