MTIA and Management Measures for Dredging Activity in a Busy Port

Using AIS-based methodology, BMT mapped out marine traffic scenarios that have enabled clients to plan future dredging activity safety & efficiently.


The seabed of Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing Container Basin (KTCB) and its approach channel are maintained at a depth of 15m - sufficient for the safe navigation of most container ships, but posing potential constraints for fully laden Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS), which must make use of tidal allowances.

To enable the increasingly popular ULCSs to navigate in and out the KTCB Terminals at all tides – and thus support the future competitiveness of Hong Kong as a regional trading hub – additional water depth is required.

We were commissioned to conduct a Marine Traffic Impact Assessment (MTIA) on the dredging activities required including the development of a detailed concept for the recommended management measures.

The key objectives of the MTIA were to 1. Comprehensively assess the marine traffic impacts arising from the works, and; 2. Devise appropriate mitigation measures to minimise the impacts to an acceptable level. 


As Hong Kong is one of the busiest commercial ports in the world, it was necessary that any dredging works taking place would do so with least disturbance to KTCB Operators.

This meant it was necessary to identify the optimal areas for work to take place and at which times.

We used AIS-based methodology to perform two key analyses: first, identify the amount of time ocean-going vessels spent maneuvering within the KTCB to identify variations over time, and second, review the traffic density and berth-specific transit patterns to review vessel activity across the waterspace of KTCB basin.

The latter allowed potential vessel activity that may require works vessels to vacate a specific works site to be identified.

Additionally, we provided a detailed concept for the recommended management measures, whereby the implementation of a web-based software tool could be effective in the planning and deployment assessment of dredgers within the Kwai Tsing Basin, and Northern Fairway.  


We provided a blueprint in which potential future marine traffic scenarios can be reviewed, this allows the project development team to map various outcomes and consequences and move the planning of the project forward in a manner which minimises risk and improves productivity of the works.

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