Services for Ports & Terminals

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In the past 15-20 years, the unprecedented growth in the size of container ships, gas carriers and bulk carriers has put significant strain on port facilities and waterways due to the significant increase in dredging and number of offshore wind farms. HEC has worked on numerous projects to solve navigation challenges and reduce the environmental footprint for ship owners and ports.

Harbor Operability Analysis


Recently, HEC combined 3D ship modeling with a 3D bathymetric model of the local underwater topology of an existing berth to determine if a ship owner’s existing and unbuilt ships would be able to be accommodated. This study cross referenced loading conditions and tidal conditions to determine berthing feasibility. Mooring loads and container crane outreach were also analyzed. Find out more here.

Estimating Emissions

HEC specializes in evaluating all types of hull forms, propulsion plant and fuel options for new ships, and getting existing ships to comply with international and local emission regulations. We have developed a  proprietary tool that evaluates propulsion options, fuel types and boil off gas/reliquefaction capacity for newbuild LNG carriers.

The data, methodology and tools derived from these projects have formed the basis for a number of emissions calculators. One application of a Carbon Footprint Study for the Port of Seattle may be found here.

Another recent application conducted for a US oil major’s strategic research team determined fuel consumption and emissions from bulk shipping considering different import/export terminals, cargo quantity, vessel size, engine and fuel types, exhaust treatment methods and emissions regulations.

A third application has been to supply the Institute for Water Resources of the US Army Corp of Engineers with fuel consumption estimates for a wide range of oceangoing vessels.

Wake Modelling

The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) of the US Army Corp of Engineers evaluates waterway improvements proposed for coastal harbor projects using an advanced suite of techno-economic tools and models.

HEC has provided sample hull lines for a wide range of ship types and sizes and a wake model to the IWR for use in their evaluations.

Other Work

HEC has also carried out other work for ports:

  • Navigational Risk studies - see projects here and case study
  • Terminal studies - such as one for a gravity base LNG receiving terminal
  • A study for OCIMF looking into crane loads associated with hose handling at offshore terminals
  • Cold ironing trials at the Port of Oakland on a containership