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Port Master planning and Inland Waterway Transport

Our world’s population is growing and the demand for trade and transport via water is growing along. This requires development of existing and new coastal and riverine ports with associated suitable water-based transport means. Despite the maritime sector is growing in a relatively constant manner, the dynamic economy and the global energy transition urge for a flexible approach to port master planning, as type and magnitude of transport demand can change fast. Sustainability also plays an important role in Port Master Planning; mainly because bulk transport via water is the most efficient transport mode in terms of energy usage, and secondly because sustainability aspects will play an increasingly important role in the design and planning of ports (from a structure-lifespan, energy and environmental perspective).

Further, more and more large sea ports across the globe start the transport mode transition from road-based to riverine and canal hinterland connections. Especially in deltaic areas usage of the inland waterways as transport means can relief the congested road systems, both for passengers and cargo/freight. Proper functioning inland waterway connections are highly related to river discharges, the morpho-dynamics and the extent of the lowlands of deltas. In order to set up and maintain such inland waterways, sophisticated engineering is required.

CDR is fully committed to the development of inland waterways, as we believe it suits both the required global energy transition (most efficient means of transport in terms of energy) and the transport mode transition (bulk and passengers). Accurate survey campaigns and numerical modelling studies will map the current situations with capability to provide for predictions of future extreme conditions, ambient conditions and morphological changes. This includes expected dredging volumes, optimization of transport routes and optionally restricted transportation windows to international standard morphological modelling studies on sand transports, erosion and accretion, with and without protection structures.

For seaports, breakwaters creating a tranquil port basin and reduces sedimentation, often form a large part of the capital costs of port development projects. The design of such structures should therefore be reliable, while the cost expenditures should be optimised. This requires proper and in-depth knowledge on the latest design techniques and extensive experience to obtain the most effective design. We have in-depth knowledge of port breakwater and sea defence designs such as dynamically stable breakwaters (like berm breakwaters), concrete element breakwaters and rock breakwaters. Wave modelling studies are used to determined design wave conditions, either for conceptual, preliminary or final design, and to compute wave penetration into ports or sheltered areas. breakwater layouts and consequent wave penetration into port areas is one of the most important design items for ports as too high wave disturbance causes increased downtime. The (combined) effect of wind waves, swell waves and long waves (infra-gravity waves) from different directions should be properly taken into account to determine the wave disturbance and hence expected downtime at the berths. As the breakwater structures often form the main capital costs of a port, optimization of the layout (breakwater length) may therefore be decisive for the feasibility of a project or winning the project as contractor. CDR in cooperation with partners have developed a quick, practical method to optimize (Port) Breakwater layouts using wave penetration modelling in an iterative process, enabling to optimize a Port design together with the Client in a single workshop session.

Available on-line data can furthermore be used to produce reliable wave fore-casts to optimize downtime during construction, increase accessibility of ports or determine the best time-slot for unloading in exposed conditions. Operational, extreme as well as short term and forecasted wind and wave statistics can be provided for offshore locations which can be translated to nearshore by wave studies. In addition, we can develop site and project-specific marine forecast services.