While port efficiency has been broadly researched in recent years, studies analyzing effectiveness are more recent. Both efficiency and effectiveness play an important role in assessing port performance. As some authors state, we can relate efficiency to “doing things right,” whereas effectiveness refers to “doing the right things.”
In this chapter, we offer a description of the methodologies used to estimate port efficiency and effectiveness. We also review the empirical literature in order to highlight its characteristics, scope, and limitations. The research has used different variables as inputs, outputs, and efficiency drivers. In addition, the diversity of approaches and sample composition hinder comparison of the results achieved. Both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, it is possible to go further in empirical research to reach a degree of consensus in relation to the determinants of port performance.