© 2022, Pacific Star Group Education Foundation.Purpose: The term competitive has always been used as a comparison to provide a distinction between two or more things. Southeast Asia handles billions of tonnes of global seaborne trade annually. Thus, there is a necessity to look in detail at the performance indicators of port competitiveness on the basis of port performance. Design/methodology/approach: This study has categorized 18 Malaysian bulk terminals into two different classes based on various performance indicators. The distinctions used a hierarchical cluster analysis by arranging the performance indicators. The technique is among the most popular techniques used to form homogeneous groups of entities or objects. Findings: In this study, it was found that two classes were classified as being competitive from the homogeneous groups created. Based on the performance metrics chosen, Group 1 had the lowest score, and Group 2 had the highest score. It was found that the Westport and Northport of Klang Port had the best performance of all. Research limitations/implications: A major challenge for the study is the lack of variables relevant to other port competitiveness requirements, and a detailed research study is needed to gather information on the satisfaction of terminal customers, the paperwork involved, the accuracy and consistency of tariffs paid, the level of safety at sea and on land, and environmental protection around the facility site. Originality/value: The study on ports has been given less attention among researchers in this particular area. Therefore, this paper focuses on the port terminals in Malaysia and compares port performance metrics between ports to determine their competitiveness.