Container shipping plays an increasingly vital part in global trade. The world's population depends upon the safe, efficient and effective transit of commodities, food and manufactured goods in ships that are purpose-built to carry standard containers. The world's ports have responded to this trend by developing specialized terminals and facilities geared specifically to containerized cargoes. Shipping companies calling at inefficient ports incur unnecessary additional costs. Delays to their schedules undermine their relationship with customers and, ultimately, their marketing efforts and revenue base. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the container port production process. It goes on to describe the different possible methods for assessing relative efficiency and applies these methods to some of the world's largest container ports. The results are analysed in relation not only to the possible implications for port management and practice, but also for national economic and ports policies.

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