Technical and economic analysis and evaluation of multimodal terminals with a focus on performance of port (Case Study of Noshahr Port)

Author Name(s): Shahriar Afandizadeh, Saeid Abdollahi Lashaki
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Multimodal transportation is currently one of the transportation approaches that using it in the transportation network reduces the freight transportation lag. Creating goods transportation terminals plays an important role in the formation and development of multimodal transport system. Ports as multimodal terminal of goods and products are considered as incoming and outgoing gates of each country and they play an important role in the national economy. The rate of loading and unloading of goods at the Noshahr Port that has no significant difference with other northern ports in terms of performance indices is very low. Therefore, by analyzing the port performance indices in the Noshahr port and evaluating it with other ports, we can identify the effective parameters in order to improve the loading and unloading of goods. This paper aims to compare the performance of northern Iranian ports (Noshahr, Anzali, Amirabad) using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. According to findings of the study, the score of Noshahr, Anzali, Amirabad ports was 0.085, 0.797, and 0.112, respectively. It indicates that Anzali port had higher performance than other ports in northern Iran, but Noshahr port as the focus of this study had low performance despite having necessary facilities and equipment. In addition, we can reduce this much gap with Anzali port by providing some solutions.


multimodal transportation Terminal, analytical hierarchical analysis AHP, port performance


Transportation plays a special role in global economic development and it is considered as basic human need and as an effective factor in the economic life of nations. In developed countries, with development of trade and commerce, transportation methods were also developed and traditional methods were replaced by modern methods that multimodal transportation is one of them.  There are various types of multimodal terminals in internal waterways lines with regional markets, ownership structure, strategy, and different features around the world. Terminals are important in terms of performance, cost, and quality. It is mostly argued that the costs of multimodal transportation in multimodal terminal increase (Smith et al., 2016). Ports are an important part of logistical system in international trade. In our country, ports are considered as incoming and outgoing gates of some of the goods imported and exported. In any port, cargoes are discharged from vessels and they are stored in the area before transferring by rail or road to the domestic terminals of storage. (Imai et al, 2009). In addition, domestic terminals of ports are locations for storage of exported goods transferred to this location for loading in vessels. The process of transportation of the goods is effective when it is necessary to stop vessels in port. In many developed countries, in order to improve the efficiency and throughput of the ports, transportation planning is used in ports, loading and unloading terminals of goods. The performance of multimodal terminals in ports is one of the major issues that have been taken into consideration. Due to fact that the performance of a port is influenced by the performance of all of its facilities and equipment and other resources available in each of terminals of the port, the performance of each port can be evaluated by evaluating the performance of each terminal (Kennedy, 2001). If it is necessary to increase the efficiency of infrastructure and networks, to reduce the patrol ship time, and to reduce the waiting time, new infrastructure and transportation terminals should be built.


The performance of the ports is a subject that has not been studied so much compared to other stages of research in the ports. The proposed framework can provide appropriate conditions for future decision making in the area of port performance and it can be developed in future studies.  In addition, investigating the effect of adopting different policies in ports on general performance of the port is innovation of this study that its applied results can be used by port managers. AHP method was used in this study to evaluate performance of ports in the north of the country. Accordingly, seven effective parameters affecting the performance of the port were identified and they were placed in paired comparison matrix of ports. According to Table 3 and evaluation of options by using AHP method, it was found that Anzali port has higher scores compared to other northern ports of Iran and it has better performance status compared to other ports in the northern geographical area of Iran. Noshahr port as the focus of this study ranked third after Amirabad and Anzali ports. It should be noted that Noshahr port did not rank first in any of the indices assessing the performance of the ports. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the performance of the Noshahr port by improving and developing these indices. The indices of waiting time and service time had the greatest impact on the performance of the port, so it is important to improve these indices. Despite having the high facilities as well as large area for port operations, Amirabad port had not a good performance and it can be concluded that this port, as Noshahr port, has great difference with Anzali port in terms of rate of loading and unloading of goods. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt required policies to increase the rate of loading and unloading of goods in two important ports of Mazandaran province.

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