A decision support system for port selection

Jasmine Siu Lee Lam, Jing Dai

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


A number of studies have been carried out on the factors determining port choice, derived from the perspectives of shippers, carriers or both. Recently, some studies using multi-criteria analysis, more specifically Saaty's analytical hierarchy process (AHP), have been undertaken to address port competitiveness and port selection by shipping lines. Based on a review of the literature on port selection, this article proposes a decision support system (DSS) for port selection using AHP methodology. The proposed DSS is web-based and thus it can be accessed by more decision makers and data collection can be carried out faster. Moreover, AHP addresses the issue of how to structure a complex decision problem, identify its criteria, measure the interaction among them and finally synthesise all the information to arrive at priorities, which depict preferences. AHP is able to assist port managers in obtaining a detailed understanding of the criteria and address the port selection problem utilising multi-criteria analysis. This article presents the architecture and the port selection procedure of the web-based DSS, and then illustrates three different cases. It shows how technology advancement can bring positive effects of strategic planning to shipping firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-524
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • analytical hierarchy process (AHP)
  • decision support system (DSS)
  • liner shipping
  • multi-criteria analysis
  • port selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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