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Forecasting Australian port throughput: Lessons and Pitfalls in the era of Big Data

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Peer-reviewed

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Conference Object

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Authors

Tyshetskiy, Yuriy 
Mathews, George 
Vitsounis, Thomas 

Abstract

Modelling and forecasting port throughput enables stakeholders to make efficient decisions ranging from management of port development, to infrastructure investments, operational restructuring and tariffs policy. Accurate forecasting of port throughput is also critical for long-term resource allocation and short-term strategic planning. In turn, efficient decision making enhances the competitiveness of a port. However, in the era of big data we are faced with the enviable dilemma of having too much information. We pose the question: is more information always better for forecasting? We suggest that more information comes at the cost of more parameters of the forecasting model that need to be estimated. We compare multiple forecasting models of varying degrees of complexity and quantify the effect of the amount of data on model forecasting accuracy. Our methodology serves as a guideline for practitioners in this field. We also enjoin caution that even in the era of big data more information may not always be better. It would be advisable for analysts to weigh the costs of adding more data: the ultimate decision would depend on the problem, amount of data and the kind of models being used.

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Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists

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