Research Output
System-based barriers for seaports in contributing to sustainable development goals
  The main purpose of this paper is to identify the reasons for the stagnant behaviour of seaports contributing towards SDGs.
Global seaport sustainability practices that correspond with SDGs were identified through an extensive literature review. Five (5) focus interviews were carried out with port managers in Sri Lanka to identify the existing knowledge about seaport sustainability, and the reasons for disparities between the global standards and country-level port sustainability practices. Data collected from a questionnaire survey of 55 seaport terminal managers in Sri Lanka were analyzed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Thematic Analysis.
Deficient collaborative policies, structural and managerial constraints, market constraints, and the absence of a well-established SDG-driven global port framework were were identified significant barriers for seaports to contribute towards SDGs.
Identifying barriers in implementing sustainable practices in ports helps the responsible authorities tackle them. Hence, seaports in return and the wider society benefit from the spillover effects of port operations aligning to SDGs.
This paper provides port organizations insights on the barriers needing to be addressed in their operational and management systems to best incorporate practices aligning to SDGs in seaports.

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  • Date:

    15 April 2022

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Katuwawala, H. C., & Mudiyanselage, Y. M. (2022). System-based barriers for seaports in contributing to sustainable development goals. Maritime Business Review, 7(3), 255-269.



Sustainable Development Goals, Port Sustainability, Change Management, Port Management, Principal Component Analysis, Barriers

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