Access Channel Design & UKC Services

Safe and reliable access to ports is essential to compete with the increasing size of ships that ports want to attract. However, capital and maintenance dredging are expensive and it can therefore be a considerable advantage to apply the latest technology in both designing and operating an access channel.

The factors that determine the required dredged depth include:

  • The volume of traffic expected and the split between ships of various types and draughts:
    • Double lane and separation zones
    • Manouvrability of (design) ships
  • The tidal range and currents
  • The wave conditions and their persistence
  • The type of seabed material
  • The (tidal cross-)currents and winds
  • The speed of the ship and turning manoeuvres
  • The level of sophistication of the admission policy

The nautical depth can be optimised by probabilisitcally accounting for the dynamic response behaviour of the fleet calling at the port and terminal. Each type of ship responds differently to the environmental conditions and a proper analysis can reduce the capital costs of maintenance and channel deepening.

We not only evaluate whether a ship can safely transit the channel (single transit criterion), but we also look at whether the channel is intrinsically safe for the the design life of the channel (long term criterion).