Evaluating Efficiency of International Container Shipping Lines: A Bootstrap DEA Approach

In order to evaluate the effects of the recent global economic crisis on seaborne trade, this article conducted a non-parametric analysis of the efficiency of major international container shipping lines (CSLs). A Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied to highlight the efficiency status of top CSLs using a bias-corrected efficiency estimator. Hypotheses regarding the underlying production frontier of major international CSLs are tested in the first stage and an output-oriented, non-increasing returns to scale DEA model is used to compute efficiency scores estimates of the different CSLs in the second stage. Confidence interval estimates of efficiency and returns to scale for each CSL are reported and the results of the analysis indicate that none of the CSLs assessed operates under constant returns to scale and that average efficiency is 0.74, finding considerable waste in the production of CSLs for the year 2009. In addition, the major international CSLs in 2009 have oversized operations that exceed the most productive scale size. The model considers the number of ships, fleet capacity and labor as inputs, and container throughput handled and turnover as outputs. The evidence presented in the article suggests that strategic alliance membership is not a guarantee for efficient practices in operations but there must be other strategic reasons for CSLs to join these types of alliances.


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  • Accession Number: 01519169
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2014 2:39PM