MarCom WG 165: Design and Maintenance of Container Terminal Pavements (2015)

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A container terminal pavement comprises one or usually more layers of pavement construction materials arranged so as to support and facilitate the handling and storage of containers by a port's container handling equipment over the natural or improved subgrade on which the port is built. In this regard, container terminal pavements are similar in character to highway pavements or aircraft pavements.

However, container terminal pavements are required to deal with the following unique matters:

  • Wheel loads of container handling equipment can be an order of magnitude greater than those commonly encountered on highways: highway pavement design methods should not be used for container terminal pavements.
  • It is common for container handling equipment to travel in channellised paths: pavement surfacing materials which have performed well on highways may fail in these areas.
  • Tyres are often inflated to over 1,000 kPa (145 psi), whereas highway vehicle tyres are inflated to 700-800 kPa (100-115 psi). This can lead to rapid deterioration of surfacing materials.
  • Braking, cornering, accelerating and running over uneven surfaces increase wheel patch loads applied to a container pavement significantly. Container terminal pavements sometimes fail at the locations where these factors predominate.
  • Containers rest on four corner castings which can easily lead to deformation of soft surfacing materials.
  • The sizes and shapes of container terminal pavements introduce onerous drainage requirements which can lead to pavement materials becoming wet and damaged.
  • Slow moving handling equipment can lead to deformation of flexible surfacing materials.
  • Container terminal pavements comprise a major element in the capital cost of a container terminal so their design needs to minimise both the construction cost and maintenance cost, usually over a fixed period which is related to the commercial arrangements in place.

All parties involved in container terminal pavements need to recognise the following potential issues which are dealt with more fully in the remainder of this report. WG 165 would consider the following matters to comprise a distillation of the potential pitfalls. It is their hope that there will be no more significant container terminal pavement failures. The remainder of this report seeks to provide information and analysis which will ensure that designers/ constructors/operators are able to circumvent any issues resulting from the following factors: materials, design, maintenance, drainage, settlement, automation, ground conditions and units.

  • Written by: MarCom Working Group 165
  • Published: October 08, 2015
  • Language: English