Ports and waterways

Ports, waterways and locks are being extended and adapted in order to meet economic demand. At the same time, we have to respond quickly and intelligently to the extreme high and low water levels caused by climate change. How can we ensure that transport by water is affected as little as possible by these extremes, while keeping costs as low as possible? Deltares helps project developers, investors, contractors and government authorities with the design, construction, and servicing of ports and waterways. Our knowledge about waves, morphology, ship hydrodynamics, water quality and ecology allows us to advise clients about the efficient use of water transport, and to optimise the design of ports, waterways and locks. This can include the efficient and sustainable loading and unloading of ships and predicting water depths so that cargoes can be tailored accordingly.

Haven en boot

Our expertise relating to the efficient and sustainable loading and unloading ships covers

  • Wave conditions in and around ports (port authorities, terminal operators, oil companies)
  • Calculating the required dimensions for access channels and port infrastructure for navigation purposes
  • Operational predictions of waves and currents for navigation purposes and the execution of specific operations
  • The impact of passing ships on moored vessels, and on banks and structures
  • Sedimentation in access channels and ports in relation to dredging costs
  • The impact of ballast water and antifouling on ship hulls.

Our expertise relating to predicting water depths so that cargoes can be tailored accordingly covers

  • River water levels and bed morphology
  • Dredging and sediment management plans for the optimal management of waterways
  • Operational predictions of water depths allowing for the optimal utilisation of ship cargo capacity
  • The impact of propeller flows on bed and bank materials, and on structures

Optimising the design of locks and dams

In the decades to come, many water-based engineering structures such as locks and dams will reach the end of their technical lives. In the short term, then, they will have to be replaced. Deltares helps government bodies and contractors with the design, construction and servicing of dams and locks. Our expertise and experience based on a range of disciplines allow us to devise smart solutions for high-quality and cost-efficient engineering structures.

Deltares expertise covers

  • The optimisation of designs for lock chambers, allowing ships to pass through quickly and safely
  • Limiting salt intrusion
  • Geotechnical stability
  • The calculation of operational and extreme hydrodynamic design boundary conditions
  • The design and optimisation of filling and emptying systems
  • The calculation of hydrodynamic interaction between ships and structures.