The use of indices in the maritime transport sector
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Many disparate indices are collated across the transport sector, usually for the purpose of highlighting changes in particular system characteristics. In the development of new indices, questions arise as to what are the most widely used indices by practitioners and what can be learnt from their development and compilation? This paper explores the use of such indices in the context of the maritime transport sector with the aim of identifying and understanding the industry's most popular indices. Quantitative content analysis of 10 publications concluded that four indices dominate (the Dry Baltic Index, the Energy Efficiency Design Index, the Baltic Capesize Index, and the New ConTex Index). A further 14 indices were frequently observed, while in total 109 indices were observed. The 109 indices identified were grouped according to their common characteristics into four categories: maritime indices, economic performance indices, environmental indices, and miscellaneous indices, which illustrate the diverse nature of the maritime industry. As well as exploring the extant indices relevant to the sector, the benefit of this analysis is that the findings can form a basis for the development of other, new indices.
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