The purpose of this study is to perform an international comparison of logistics/port operations with a main focus on India.
Using data from the transportation and freight service industry during 2000‐2005, this study first conducts revealed comparative advantage (RCA) analysis to investigate India's logistics competitiveness and then uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to analyze the efficiency of India's container port operations.
The study's findings suggest that in terms of India's logistics competitiveness, its freight industry is relatively competitive while its transportation industry is not. Overall, while the study indicates that India's largest container port (Jawaharlal Nehru) is not very efficient; the RCA analysis shows that India still has a relative comparative advantage over its industrialized counterparts except for Japan and France in the transportation service industry. Interestingly, the DEA results also indicate that the efficiency value of the container port in India is second only to the US port of Los Angeles among the ports examined in industrialized countries.
RCA indicators are only able to examine past and present industry conditions based on export results, and do not provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for changes in levels of competitiveness. As for DEA analysis, this study focused only on land and equipment as input variables primarily because of a lack of data on worker efficiency. It is suggested that there is an urgent need for an overhaul of port equipment if India wants to accommodate the growing volume of imports and exports in the future.
This paper provides a first step toward gaining insights into India's current logistics/port competitiveness position in comparison with other emerging markets and advanced economies. This paper also contributes to providing a better understanding of the competitiveness of emerging economies (BRICs & Next 11), which are viewed as rising stars and have not yet been fully investigated in the existing literature. Several recommendations are also provided.
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