Processing Time Ambiguity and Port Competitiveness

Sang Hyun Cheon, Chung Yee Lee, Yimin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Container seaports play an important role in cross-border logistics as firms increasingly expand their global footprint in sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. Besides convenience of access to hinterland regions, a key metric for a port's attractiveness is its processing time, that is, its ability to clear goods within a consistent, predictable time frame. Due to differences in infrastructure, government regulations, and operating procedures, ports may exhibit different degrees of predictability in processing times: some are more predictable while others are more ambiguous. We study how ambiguity in processing times affects a port's attractiveness under various circumstances. We find that even if a port maintains a consistent expected processing time, increased ambiguity can still affect its attractiveness to firms, although not always negatively. The effect of ambiguity depends on its nature, whether the shipments are time-sensitive, attitudes toward ambiguity, and trade terms surrounding shipments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2187-2206
Number of pages20
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • ambiguity
  • port operations
  • processing time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Processing Time Ambiguity and Port Competitiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this