Multi-Criteria Evaluation of Port Competitiveness in West Africa Using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)


In the last decade, inter-port competition in West Africa has become fiercer as captive hinterlands of ports continue to overlap and become contestable or shared. This is due to door-to-door supply chain services being offered by shipping lines and third party logistics service providers through inter-modalism. In addition, as cargo becomes more concentrated in the region, there have been calls for the selection of a hub location for shipping lines serving the region in order to exploit economies of scale. This paper therefore aims to evaluate the competitiveness of major ports in the West African region based on criteria selected by experts. Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process, port competitiveness was evaluated and ports ranked according to the total weights obtained based on the different criteria used. The Port of Abidjan emerged the most competitive port in West Africa with its strongest links being its efficiency and performance, infrastructure and political stability outlook in spite of recent political turmoil. The Lagos Port Complex, West Africa’s largest port in terms of scale and throughput, emerged fifth falling behind the Ports of Lomé, Tema and Dakar respectively owing largely to its political stability outlook. The least competitive port was the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

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van Dyck, G. and Ismael, H. (2015) Multi-Criteria Evaluation of Port Competitiveness in West Africa Using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 5, 432-446. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.56043.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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