AbstractIn the upcoming years, container terminals in India can attain more substantial throughput targets by exploiting their untapped potential of throughput. Numerous factors may affect the existing terminals’ ability to perform to their maximum capability. Despite the significance of the untapped potential, very few studies are available on the identification of the factors and their influence on the operational performance of the container terminals in India. The objective of this study is to identify the enabling and inhibiting factors and develop a conceptual model that indicates how their relationships affect the operational performance of the container terminals in India. This study identified 21 enabler attributes, 15 inhibitor attributes, and seven performance indicators through an extensive literature review and expert consultation. Furthermore, exploratory factor analysis was adopted to group the identified attributes into five enabling factors, three inhibiting factors, and two performance indicator factors through a questionnaire survey of 81 respondents from different container terminals in India. A hypothesized conceptual model encompassing all these attributes and factors was created and tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS SEM). The results revealed that the considered enabling and inhibiting factors have a significant influence on the operational performance of container terminals. Infrastructure upgrading and system initiatives, terminal facilities and policy, reefer (refrigerated container) systems and logistics advantage, systems and process, and concessions and cost initiatives are the critical enabling factors. In addition, management- and resource-related issues, infrastructure issues and market capture, and policy- and procedure-related issues may be deemed as critical inhibiting factors. This study may help port professionals and port operators to incorporate these factors and improve the operational performance of container terminals. Furthermore, this study contributes to the minimal literature available on the factors influencing the performance of Indian container terminals.