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.


Basic knowledge of the coastal processes such as wind, waves, tides and tidal currents

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 17 January 2022
End: 04 February 2022
ECTS credit points: 5
Deadline IHE application: 16 December 2021 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3000

VAT is not included in the course fee

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 ships
  2. Explain the international functions of a port, and different aspects of port management
  3. Implement various steps in port master-planning
  4. Determine the main dimensions of different terminals in the port
  5. Determine the alignment and dimensions of the approach channel and the main dimensions of the wet infrastructure of the port
  6. Design the details of berthing facilities for different type of berths
  7. Include uncertainty in port planning and management by adaptive planning

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


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