Empty container movements arising from cargo seasonality: Turkish terminals

Ahmet Selcuk Basarici*, Tanzer Satir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to reveal the magnitude of empty container movements (ECM) arising from cargo seasonality by means of long-term datasets of Turkish terminals. Trade imbalance is one of the well-known major reasons of ECM. Cargo seasonality apart from some other operational drivers and market effect, i.e. commercial decisions of the ship operators, is the major operational driver in Turkish terminals effecting ECM. Furthermore, this study highlights the significance of market effect, leading to take measures for more effective empty container operations in terms of decision makers leading the ship operators. Design/methodology/approach: Time series analysis of full container datasets was performed through X-13ARIMA-SEATS methodology, implementing seasonal adjustment. Findings: The results indicate that 17 of 112 time series in hand, based on a terminal/hinterland, container type and “in and out” foreign trade, exhibit cargo seasonality. Roughly, the amount of ECM originating from cargo seasonality in Turkish terminals represents 10 per cent of total ECM except trade imbalance in those terminals where seasonality is present. This reveals that ECM arising from market effect should not be underestimated. Research limitations/implications: Reefer container traffic could not be sorted from the datasets. Originality/value: This paper focuses on one of the major reasons of ECM, cargo seasonality. It brings a novel point of view and interpretations which were not suggested previously about ECM, motivating to overcome inefficiency in container operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages18
JournalMaritime Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Pacific Star Group Education Foundation.


  • Cargo seasonality
  • Empty container movement
  • JDemetra+
  • Maritime container transportation
  • Market effect
  • Time series analysis


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