Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

BMPH (Berth Moves Per Hour)

BMPH (Berth Moves Per Hour) is a critical performance metric used in the shipping and logistics industry to measure the efficiency of cargo handling at a port or terminal. It quantifies the number of container moves—loading or unloading—performed on a vessel per hour while it is berthed. This metric is essential for assessing the productivity of port operations and can significantly impact the turnaround time of vessels.

What is "BMPH (Berth Moves Per Hour)" in Shipping and Logistics?

Definition of BMPH

Berth Moves Per Hour (BMPH) refers to the number of container movements, including loading and unloading, performed per hour while a ship is at berth. It serves as a key indicator of port efficiency and operational productivity.

Key Characteristics of BMPH

Measurement of Efficiency: BMPH provides a direct measure of how efficiently cargo is being handled at a port.
Impact on Turnaround Time: Higher BMPH values indicate faster cargo operations, leading to shorter vessel turnaround times.
Influence on Port Selection: Shipping companies may choose ports with higher BMPH for quicker service and reduced waiting times.

Importance of BMPH

Operational Performance: BMPH is a vital metric for evaluating the performance of port operations and identifying areas for improvement.
Cost Efficiency: Faster cargo handling reduces the time a vessel spends at port, lowering berth fees and operational costs.
Competitive Advantage: Ports with higher BMPH can attract more business by offering quicker and more efficient services to shipping lines.
Resource Allocation: Monitoring BMPH helps in optimizing the allocation of resources, such as cranes and labor, to maximize productivity.

Factors Affecting BMPH

Equipment Efficiency: The number and performance of cranes and other handling equipment significantly impact BMPH.
Labor Productivity: The skill and efficiency of the workforce involved in loading and unloading operations.
Port Infrastructure: The design and layout of the port, including the availability of berths and storage areas.
Vessel Characteristics: The size and design of the vessel, as well as the type of cargo being handled.
Operational Practices: The procedures and strategies employed by the port, such as pre-planning of moves and coordination between teams.

Examples of BMPH Calculation

1. Single Crane Operation:

● A single crane completes 25 container moves in one hour.
● If only one crane is operating, the BMPH is 25.

2. Multiple Crane Operation:

● Three cranes are simultaneously working on a vessel.
● Each crane completes 20 container moves in one hour.
● The total moves per hour would be 20 moves/crane × 3 cranes = 60 BMPH.

3. Mixed Operations:

● Two cranes operate for one hour, each performing 30 moves.
● One additional crane operates for 30 minutes, performing 15 moves.
● Total moves: (2 cranes × 30 moves) + (1 crane × 15 moves) = 60 + 15 = 75 moves.
● Total crane hours: 2 crane-hours + 0.5 crane-hour = 2.5 crane-hours.
● BMPH = Total moves / Total crane hours = 75 / 2.5 = 30 BMPH.

Enhancing BMPH

Upgrading Equipment: Investing in more advanced and faster cranes can significantly boost BMPH.
Training Workforce: Improving the skills and efficiency of port workers through training programs.
Streamlining Operations: Implementing better operational practices, such as enhanced planning and coordination.
Infrastructure Development: Expanding and modernizing port infrastructure to facilitate smoother and quicker cargo handling.
Technology Integration: Utilizing automation and real-time data systems to monitor and manage port operations more effectively.


BMPH (Berth Moves Per Hour) is a fundamental metric in the shipping and logistics industry that measures the efficiency of cargo handling operations at a port. It directly influences the turnaround time of vessels, operational costs, and the overall competitiveness of a port. By understanding and optimizing BMPH, ports can enhance their operational performance, attract more business, and improve cost efficiency. Factors such as equipment efficiency, labor productivity, and port infrastructure play crucial roles in determining BMPH, and continuous improvement in these areas can lead to significant gains in port efficiency and service quality.