The regional growth of the goods and services trade has placed greater pressure on the ports of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members, especially in the developing countries. The purpose of this study is to apply the generalized metafrontier Malmquist productivity index (gMMPI) to compare the port productivity of developed countries (DCs) and developing countries (LDCs) in APEC. The results indicate that, first, the average rate of utilized capacity among the ports of APEC members was only 65.7% during 2002-2011, which means that another 34.3% of additional through put can be handled with the same level of resources. Second, the average productivity of the container ports in the DCs appeared to be higher than those located in the LDCs. The main sources of productive growth in the DCs were based on scale efficiency change (SEC), technical efficiency change (TEC), and potential technological relative change (PTRC), while the main source of productive growth in LDCs was based on SEC. Third, SEC appeared to be the dominant factor that affects the utilization of all ports.
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