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 unclear today whether autonomous vessels will be entirely self-sufficient or whether they will need 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.


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

Our insight into the behaviour of docked vessels and our capability to simulate the behaviour and effect on operations will enable smart ports to optimally use the potential benefits of this approach and explore the pros and cons of implementation.

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, 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 the berths. We also identify ways for clients to reduce investment costs, through change of use or extending the lifetime of existing assets.

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