Ports are infrastructure intended for the purporse of vessels docking to load and unload goods or people. Harbours are bodies of water where ships, boats and barges can be docked. Ports and harbours may be situated along coastal or in-land waterways.

The planning of ports is an inherently multidisciplinary activity which requires expertise in the field of transport economics, shipping, nautical matters, safety and logistics. Factors which are important include waves and currents, sediment transport and coastal morphology, dredging and land reclamation, and design of breakwaters and quays.

Safe navigation

Safe navigation in ports and waterways should be insured by the port authorities and a good safety record is of utmost importance for the competitive position of the harbours. An important factor for safe navigation is the space that is available under a ship’s keel, known as the under keel clearance (UKC).

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