Research in Transportation Business & Management
Abstract Port managers, governments and stakeholders bring different perspectives to the challenges of resource allocation in the management of ports. Overall improvements to international supply chains can be derailed by port and hinterland bottlenecks. Ports need to have a method of identifying and prioritizing port investments to take advantage of the opportunities for future growth. While it is relatively easy to identify efficiency improvements, improvements in the effectiveness of operations in meeting user and customer requirements are often more difficult to discern. This paper examines effectiveness research over the last five years to explore effectiveness issues for major supply chain participants (beneficial cargo owners, shipping lines and supply chain partners). It focuses on the development of importance–performance gap analysis to assess the situation at the port-specific level. By focusing on the discrepancies between performance effectiveness and user expectations as a comprehensive means of guiding performance-improving investment decisions, the research demonstrates how conflicting recommendations may be resolved. The paper focuses on the determinants of users' evaluation scores based on a five-year research program of ports in Canada and the U.S. and what these findings mean for strategic decisions made by port managers.