Ports, Harbours and Terminals

Ports, Harbours and Terminals

Ports, harbours and terminals are complex, multiple-stakeholder projects. We provide a wide range of services to port managers and port operators that help mitigate risk during development, maintenance and day-to-day operations.

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Key contact

Lee Hedd

Business Development Manager

Ottawa, Canada


Ports are faced with a rapidly changing external environment.  Most of the world’s leading ports are closely connected, albeit with complex relationships with their local neighbours.  Since urban centres have historically revolved around transport hubs, ports are often located in or near the city centre, an undesired location for ‘environmentally unfriendly’ port activities.

The increased attention of policymakers towards the development of the Port is focused on becoming a critical factor in the development of local economies.  Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) or Public-Private Initiatives (PPIs) are becoming increasingly common, especially in port redevelopment.  Increased competition often leads to more vital commercial awareness, which has caused a continuing trend of privatisation of ports worldwide.

Nevertheless, ports can contribute to urban economic development -While shipping volumes continue to grow, modern-day ports provide users and local communities with stakeholder solutions that add value to their ecosystem.

Port operating models  (Smart ports)

Ports require operating models that address tomorrow’s challenges.  Those ports that focus on traditional operations are at risk.  Shifting market forces put traditional critical players at risk of delocalisation or becoming obsolete, e.g., conventional chemical or fuel-based industries.  Increased competition between ports encourages them to focus on organisational efficiency and performance management.

Integration of supply chains

Port privatisation and liberalisation result from the increased competition between the port and the changing function of the port in the supply chain.  Port authorities can act as system integrators and shift focus from port to integrated supply chain performance.

Innovation and organisational efficiency

Data-driven technologies and the Internet of Things, combined with advanced robotics and analytics and additive manufacturing, will redefine the future of ports.

A tidal wave of technological innovation & integration pushes industries and businesses to transform themselves to become more data and insight-driven.  Aside from favourable pricing, the efficiency of operations and automation can create competitive advantages.  A port can optimise internal processes by real-time data processing and predictive information management, enabling their service proposition.

Technological advancements offer the port the opportunity to transform into an intelligent port.  Using various control systems and increasing automation in the port will reduce the risk of human errors and improve the system’s reliability.  The search for new initiatives or the guidance of traditional players through transformation into a new strategic focus will be a significant challenge.

Port operations consulting

We have shaped several customised services that address specific needs and requirements.

  • to assess development options
  • to identify expected results, potential risks, and funding needs

These options will be evaluated by determining investment options and a risk/reward analysis, ultimately leading to strategic recommendations for the future strategy. Our wide range of service offerings is tailored specifically for our clients active in the port industry.

The ability to identify every opportunity available demands a blend of skills and a breadth of experience, something we have built up working on some of the world’s most significant port projects.

Thriving port, harbour and terminal projects unlock every opportunity offered by the site, environment, design, construction and local economy.

Our global presence and regional strength in critical markets enable us to leverage our vast experience with port and port industry development across geographies to understand and address virtual port and shipping industry challenges.

Port Optimisation

Port Security

Security is an increasingly important issue, and we aim to provide the latest thinking and most pragmatic solutions.  We identify and support the delivery of sustainable and efficient solutions that will work throughout a port or terminal’s lifetime.

Ongoing operations

Ports and terminals which run safely, securely and efficiently benefit all stakeholders.  We provide a wide range of services to manage and mitigate risks during ongoing maintenance and operations.

Port Handling

We have extensive experience designing various solutions for port handling containers, general and Ro-Ro cargoes for quay walls and wharf structures.

  • Development of conceptual designs, layouts, and cost estimates
  • Determination of wave forces and loadings on structures
  • Preliminary and detailed designs
  • Management of site survey and investigations
  • Calculation of construction material quantities and construction cost estimates

BMT REMBRANDT: high integrity ship simulations

Ports need to be able to handle more and, increasingly, larger vessels to meet the demands of the modern shipping industry. Our industry-leading ship simulator helps users safely plan, train and prepare for complex manoeuvres at sea or in port. Applications range from port feasibility, design and evaluation studies to marine incident investigation and bespoke training.

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Ports and transport infrastructure authorities

Transport infrastructure across ports, airports, roads, and rail face challenges because of climate change and extreme weather.

These challenges present as the need for new design standards to accommodate future conditions, changes to modes of operation, increased downtime, changing levels of service, and increasing maintenance requirements and costs.

Because of climate impacts, breaks in the connectivity of transport supply chains across and between modes of transport (such as road and rail connections to seaports and airports) will also require much more connected and collaborative approaches.

We can assist governments and transport authorities understand these implications moving forward to inform new planning and design requirements and the progressive management of existing resources and operations.

Rail image

Measuring environmental impact

Wind, waves, currents, and human activity are constantly reshaping coastlines.

Beaches are eroded and rebuilt, nearshore seabed and river channels remoulded, and sediments carried to the coast

Port operations are optimised by minimising the number of days where operations are halted due to unexpected

Our objective is to identify and support the delivery of sustainable and efficient solutions that will work throughout a port or terminal’s lifetime.

We specialise in satellite remote sensing for the offshore, shipping, and maritime engineering sectors.

We help you tackle complex geological problems by computational simulation of geological scenarios.

Find out more about metocean data management & analysis
Environmental impact assessments


Our search and rescue software helps save lives. It combines the experience of world coastguard agencies with our marine environmental software systems.

Search and rescue data graphic showing tidal movement

Our collaborations

British Ports Association logo

The British Ports Association is the national membership body for ports in the UK, representing the interests of operators that handle 86% of all UK port traffic, to Westminster and devolved Governments and other national and international bodies.

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International Association of Ports and Harbours

IAPH is a non-governmental organization (NGO) aiming to be the global trade association of choice for port authorities and operators, representing their interests at a regulatory level at the International Maritime Organization, the World Customs Organization, the International Standards Organization and other global alliances such as the Global Maritime Forum and the World Economic Forum.

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Recent projects

Ports and terminals brochure