Offshore container terminal

Today's 22,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container vessels will be small compared to the 50,000 TEU vessels forecasted 50 years from now.[1] Modifying existing port infrastructure to handle future capacity is not viable: Crane reach, quay capacity, water depth limits, and trucking and traffic bottlenecks, limit the possibilities for port expansion.[2,3]

Bundling, organizing, and handling capacity in a more economical way, will offer savings in capital and operating costs in the North Sea.[4] Built-for-purpose offshore container terminals can offer unlimited growth in volume, and flexibility to meet the requirements of future cargo types. They require no dredging and can reroute feeder traffic more efficiently, reducing congestion and overland emissions.[4] Offshore hubs, like those already in use in Abu Dhabi and China, can generate and use renewable energy and also provide artificial reefs for marine habitat.[4]

When will the first offshore container terminal be in operation in the North Sea?

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[1] Bebbington, T. (2017), 50,000 TEU... the Future or Not?
[2] NGICT (2020), The NGICT-system in general
[3] igus (2020), igus® solutions for the shore power supply for container terminals and vessels
[4] Greenport (2015), Offshore Hubs for a Greener Future
More information:
Pluijm, M. (2015), Are Offshore Ports the Future?
Baird, A., (2013), Floating Container Storage and Transhipment Terminal – An innovative and low-cost port solution
Kurt, I., Turan, O., Boulougouris, E. (2015), Cost Based Analysis of the Offshore Port System
Ricci S. et al.(2016), Modeling an offshore container terminal: The Venice case study
Valentine, H., (2013), Offshore Container Terminals and Ocean Capable Barges
Pluijm, M., (2015), The benefits of offshore ports for the USA and Africa

By Matthew J. Spaniol