Port Planning and Infrastructure Design

The main goal of this short course is to familiarize the participants with designing the layout of a port as well as the port related structures in the port area or offshore area such as breakwaters and berthing facilities.

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For whom?

This course is useful for engineers involved in the design and/or supervision of ports and coastal structures. Having knowledge about the coastal processes such as wind, waves, tides and tidal currents is necessary.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 15 January 2018
End: 02 February 2018
Deadline IHE application: 14 December 2017 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 2850

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. List different types of Sea going vessels and identify the main characteristics of the ship and Explain the International functions of a port, governance and economic and financial aspects of port management
  2. Explain the administration models of ports and the various steps in port masterplanning
  3. Determine the main dimensions of the Terminals in the port. Determine the alignment and dimensions of the approach channel base on the PIANC guideline and the main dimensions of the wet infrastructure in the port
  4. Choose the equipments needed in a Container Terminal and Design the Terminal
  5. Design the layout of the port and the details of berthing facility for different type of berths and Evaluate a port layout based on multi-criteria analysis
  6. Include uncertainty in port planning and management

Course content

The design of port layout, including the port master planning, port basins and terminals will be discussed.

The content of this part of the course is as follows:

  • Maritime transport: various types of merchant ships; commodities and types of vessels.
  • Port Master Planning: port functions and organization, port planning methodology, planning process.
  • Design of Wet Areas: ship maneuvering and hydrodynamic behavior, approach channels, maneuvering areas within the port, port basins and berth areas.
  • Design of Terminals: terminal services, terminal components, types of terminals, terminal capacity, terminal dimensions.
  • Introduction to queuing theory as a tool on port planning.

Also an extensive overview of the design and construction of berthing structures (bulk cargo terminals…etc) will be given. This part of the course will cover the site selection, investigations at chosen site, the determination of design parameters and normal design sequence of berthing structures, typical lay-out and components of berthing structures. Also design criteria, structural considerations, construction methods and choice of construction equipment will be discussed.

In addition to the course work a field trip to the port of Rotterdam is included in this course.


  • Prof. Han Ligteringen
  • L. Groenewegen
  • R. Groenveld
  • C. Klaver
  • A. Dastgheib