Modern ports must accommodate the demands of higher volumes of shipping traffic and bigger vessels while remaining safe, efficient and profitable.

A smart port will also have an eye on future developments, including the rise of autonomous vessels and unmanned mooring systems.

Royal HaskoningDHV supports port operators and developers via comprehensive understanding and analysis of ship movements and the behaviour of moored ships.


It is not fully clear whether autonomous vessels will be entirely self-sufficient or require navigation crews to board at port and safely steer the ship to its quay.

In either scenario, Royal HaskoningDHV can assist ports in installing the required systems, processes and plans to deliver safe and efficient operations. This may include the creation of rules and prioritisation policies as well as physical adaptations such as smart beacons and other infrastructure.

Dynamic Mooring Analysis

The latest smart mooring systems use magnetic or vacuum driven systems to hold vessels at berth. They are based on dampening the movements of docked vessels and, as a result, improving operations while reducing downtime and risks.

Our insights into the behaviour of docked vessels together with our capabilities in simulating the behaviour and effects on operations, will enable smart ports to optimally use the potential benefits of this approach and explore the pros and cons of implementation.

Smart Mooring

Predictive Application for Mooring (PAM)

The Smart Mooring application provides for safer mooring and more efficient vessel operations. In so doing, we actively support your safe operational decision making, in real time and with predictive insights of mooring forces and ship motions days in advance Our aim is to contribute to your interactive and digital terminal/port handbook. 

Our Smart Mooring application will:

  1. Provide a terminal or port safety overview, actively warning operators of any unsafe situations of moored vessels under their responsibility.
  2. Make vessel operations safer and more productive by providing insight for decision makers and increasing berth performance by redefining operational limits.
  3. Give operators time to act by predicting mooring forces and ship motions days in advance through the combination of calculations and metocean / weather forecasts.
  4. Help collect relevant mooring data and provide the required analyses to increase berth/ terminal / port efficiency.

In 2019, we developed this Smart, predictive mooring software application on the basis of our core competence in Dynamic Mooring Analysis (DMA*). 

*Dynamic Mooring Analysis (DMA) determines the behaviour of moored vessels. by mathematically modelling the behaviour (i.e., ship motions, mooring line forces and fender forces) of a moored ship. The software can also incorporate the gusting effects of winds and the vessels’ response to these effects.

Managing location challenges

Traditional ports are located in well-sheltered areas of coastline, often built slightly inland to benefit from lower winds, currents and waves.

The world’s newest ports are now being built in more exposed locations. Our specialist team works in many of these locations to ensure safe and economical operations, by applying our tools and insights such as Dynamic Mooring Analysis and Predictive Application for Mooring (PAM), wind, wave and tide modelling and the interaction of vessels within the port.

Our state-of-the-art practices identify cost-effective solutions for the safe mooring of ships and to increase the efficiency of berths. We also identify ways for clients to reduce investment costs, through change of use or extending the lifetime of existing assets.

Our services for the design and evaluation of any port basin and navigation channels include:

  • Dimensional designing
  • Downtime analyses
  • Safety assessments
  • Port capacity studies
  • Determination of necessary marine services
  • The layout of the aids to navigationShip manoeuvring simulations 

To understand more about the latest navigation and mooring innovations, get in touch with our team.