The aim of this paper is to explore the operating efficiency, the scale efficiency targets, and the variability of DEA efficiency estimates of Asian container ports. This study applies data envelopment analysis (DEA) with the traditional DEA model, most productive scale size concept, returns to scale approach, and bootstrap method to assess the operating performance, set scale efficient targets, and determine efficiency rankings of Asian container ports. The results of this study can provide port managers with insights into resource allocation, competitive advantages, as well as optimization of the operating performance. The potential applications and strengths of DEA in assessing the Asian container ports are highlighted. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.