Generally, an evaluation of container port competitiveness is regarded as a multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem which involves various stakeholders with conflicting interests. To solve MCDM problems, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method has been popular, but problems arise in managing uncertainty among decision makers, and contradictory opinions. The key issue discussed in this paper is how to obtain compromise weights (CWs) using a combined AHP procedure. This procedure incorporates Dempster-Shafer theory for eliminating uncertainty in the evaluation, and a levelling process for adjusting the contradictory opinions of each group, a so-called multiple decision-making group problem. For an empirical analysis, container ports located in Northeast Asia, known to exhibit severe port competition, were selected. Using an adoption of the methodology, the matrix of CWs was obtained. Using this matrix permits an exact evaluation of competitiveness in the sampled container ports. © 2010 Operational Research Society Ltd.
- combined AHP procedure
- compromise weights
- container port competitiveness
- Dempster-Shafer theory
- multiple decision-making group problems