An investigation into the operational efficiency of container freight stations at the port city of Mombasa
Odhiambo, Jacqueline D
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This research was conducted with the aims of measuring the relative operational efficiency of the CFS's at the seaport town of Mombasa using DEA methodology and also to establish the factors that determine operational efficiency at container freight stations (CFS's). The study adopted a descriptive survey methodology. The population in the study constituted all the 16 CFS's in Mombasa as at December, 2012; however, only 11 were relevant to the research since they handled only containers. A census of the population was conducted. Analysis was conducted through the use of DEA analysis. The results of the research indicated that for the year 2011,5 CFS's were on the frontier, with 6 off the frontier. The results also depicted very narrow differentials between the most efficient CFS's and the most inefficient one, with a range of only 0.l60204. The test of significance suggested that there was no significant difference between the most efficient and least efficient CFS' s in 2011. The results also indicated that 10 out of 11 CFS' s were on the frontier, a general indication that industry-wide operational efficiency had improved in the year, 2012. The differential between the most efficient and less efficient CFS was similarly narrow and insignificant. With respect to factors that influence operational efficiency at CFS's in Mombasa, the study found that personnel and the equipment were the operational efficiency factors that CFS's in Mombasa found to be most relevant in determining operational efficiency. Similarly, the study established that personnel, both in terms of absolute numbers and competence, influenced operational efficiency at CFS's to a very high extent. Similarly and by a larger margin, they thought that equipment influenced operational efficiency at CFS's to a very high extent. The study consequently concluded that the relative operational efficiency of the 11 CFS's in the research, were more or less evenly matched since the differentials were not significant. The research also concluded that a general increase in operational efficiency across the 2 years had increased. In addition, the study concluded that personnel competence and size together with equipment were the most influential factors on operational efficiency of CFS's in Mombasa. On the basis of the findings, the research recommended that since there was a deliberate effort across the industry to improve operational efficiency, industry policy makers should encourage and structure such efforts to improve operational efficiency across the industry. The study also found that personnel and equipment were the most important factors that influenced operational efficiency across the CFS's. The study therefore recommended that concerted efforts be made by players to always ensure the continuous upgrade in the quality of both equipment and personnel so as to push the efficiency frontier ever outwards.