Connectivity of Container Ports

Inbound and outbound connectivity scores for all ports in the container shipping network with a high inbound score signifying a good collection point, and a high outbound score signifying a good distribution point for global goods

  • Source: GT/CU/Hull

The Container Port Connectivity Index (CPCI) is constructed to represent the structure of the global container shipping network and combines concepts of economics and network topology to assign inbound- and outbound-connectivity scores to all ports in this network. A port with a high inbound score can be interpreted as being a good collection point for global goods, and a port with a high outbound score can be interpreted as being a good distribution point for global goods.

The Container Port Connectivity Index measures the trade connectivity of ports within the network of container shipping and is broken down into an inbound and outbound index. The data on Resource Watch represent both the inbound and outbound indices of global container ports, calculated using container ship scheduled services for the month of September 2017.

This index is the result of research performed at the Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation and Research Center, Chulalongkorn University Department of Industrial Engineering, and University of Hull Logistics Institute.

The CPCI is based on a network representation of container ports, where nodes in network represent individual ports and connections between nodes are weighted based on measures defined by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI).

This study uses the same 5 statistics as the LSCI, but on a port-to-port scale instead of the country-world scale of the LSCI: the number of shipping liner services calling between 2 ports, the number of companies providing those services, the number of ships in those services, the combined container capacity of those ships, and the capacity of the largest ship in service.

The Hyperlink-Induced-Topic-Search (HITS) algorithm is used to calculate the inbound- and outbound-connectivity of all ports in this network. Concepts of economics are captured by the LSCI measures included in the weights of the network, and network topology is captured by the application of the HITS algorithm to assign inbound- and outbound-connectivity scores. These scores are ordered to create the CPCI. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

Customize Visualization

Formal name

Container Port Connectivity Index


Although it has been shown to be correlated with some indicators of country-wise trade activity, the LSCI has been criticized for being an arbitrary collection of indicators. The CPCI specifically inherits one weakness of the LSCI, in that it is based on container capacity as opposed to actual container traffic. This network representation can be used to represent trips between pairs of ports and along port pathways, but it is not detailed enough to comment on the dynamics of transshipment—such as journeys where a container would have to be moved between ships.

Suggested citation

Bartholdi, J., Jarumaneeroj, P. & Ramudhin, A. Marit Econ Logist (2016). "A new connectivity index for container ports." 18: 231. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


Georgia Institute of Technology (GT)
Chulalongkorn University (CU)
University of Hull (Hull)

Geographic coverage


Date of content


Frequency of updates



Similar datasets