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International Journal of Transport Management
Ports have traditionally made use of quantitative measures to assess their performance. While contributing towards ranking a port in the worldwide context or even classifying ports according to their size, these provide little information about the quality of the services being offered. The trends in contemporary logistics and the emerging of the new economy mean that successful ports can no longer sustain this approach. It is therefore suggested that ports become agile. Agile ports entail a new approach to measuring port performance. Because its development requires the implementation of a two-stage integration process, internal and external, it is therefore proposed that a two-tier measurement of port performance indicators is also developed. The new port measurement indicators, besides considering quantitative aspects, will also focus on qualitative issues as they bring increasing visibility within the port environment and along the transport chain, enhancing a better integration of all supply chain logistics elements. Qualitative performance indicators are at the heart of lean ports and consequently of port networking. Additionally, they support a total quality port management system implementation which encourages continuous improvements. The objective of this paper is to suggest a set of new port performance indicators that measure lean port performance and sustain the subsequent development of agile ports.