To read this content please select one of the options below:

A Six Sigma framework for marine container terminals

Amir Saeed Nooramin (Faculty of Maritime Economics and Management, Khoramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, Khoramshahr, Iran)
Vahid Reza Ahouei (Faculty of Marine Engineering, Chabahar Maritime University, Chabahar, Iran)
Jafar Sayareh (Faculty of Marine Engineering, Chabahar Maritime University, Chabahar, Iran)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




This research uses an optimisation model, based on the Six Sigma methodology, which assists marine container terminal operators to minimize trucks' congestions, as a defect in the global containerisation and smoothing the gate activity to reduce trucks' turn‐around times. The main purpose of this paper is implementing the Six Sigma in the landside of marine container terminals to reduce the average number of trucks in queues and average trucks' waiting times in both entrance and exit gates.


This study examines the applicability of the DMAIC method along with the SIPOC, cause and effect diagram, and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA).


In this paper, Six Sigma methodology is found as an accurate optimisation tool in marine container terminals. Risk Priority Numbers obtained from the FMEA analysis denote that additional control procedures and associated inspections are needed as monitoring tools on the working time and activity of weighbridge operators and truck's drivers. In addition, serious consideration should be given to operator's performance appraisal and improving the administrative systems.

Research limitations/implications

This study was carried out with some boundaries; like the complex operational system in marine container terminals, available data, time constraints, training the team members and controlling the implemented obtained results.


To date, no study has adequately examined the Six Sigma methodology in marine container terminals as an optimisation tool for reducing trucks' congestion. The challenging issues inherent this problem and the limitation of existing research, motivates this study.



Saeed Nooramin, A., Reza Ahouei, V. and Sayareh, J. (2011), "A Six Sigma framework for marine container terminals", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 241-253.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles