عنوان مقاله [English]
In the past few decades, small ports have lost their regional and national role due to development and growth of major ports of the country and have transformed into local ports. However, these ports have much potential to assist Ports and Maritime Organization to fulfill its long-term perspectives. Port networking is one of the newest ideas developed in leading countries of the maritime transportation industry. In a networking approach, small and large ports can act as performance nodes of the network contributing to the whole system in order to reach the superior goals and outlook. In this research, the focus is on commercial ports of Khuzestan province: Imam Khomeini, Khorramshahr, Abadan, Arvandkenar, Choebdeh, Sajjafi and Shadegan. First, port assessment indicators are defined using Delphi method, considering spatial and economical, multimodal transportation and infrastructures approaches. Then, each port`s specifications are precisely assessed using modified indicators and every port is valued into three levels. Finally, considering common network designs, the most optimum network model is developed for commercial ports of Khuzestan.