MarCom WG 185: Ports on Greenfield Sites – Guidelines for Site Selection and Masterplanning (2019)

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Press release

This report was prepared by an international Working Group (WG 185) convened by PIANC in 2015. A previous PIANC Working Group, WG 158 (2014), considered the preparation of masterplans for the development of existing ports. The objectives of this new WG 185 were to provide a comprehensive guide for the masterplanning of new ports and specialist marine terminals on greenfield sites and in particular to help:

  • identify and evaluate development options and potential development sites

  • define the optimum location for new port/terminal development

  • consider various metocean, geophysical, hydrodynamic, environmental and other parameters associated with the development site

  • consider marine access, exposure and availability of the port/terminal, including open water terminals

  • consider the operational performance and the economic needs of the port or terminal

  • consider urban and transport networks planning

  • considering the impact a new port may have in terms of new logistics chains or a change (a major one in some cases) to existing logistics chains

  • integrate the above to optimise the masterplan for the new greenfield port or terminal development

PIANC WG 158 – ‘Masterplans for the Development of Existing Ports’, was published in 2014. This new publication, WG 185, builds on WG 158 and provides guidelines and recommendations for the preparation and application of port masterplans for greenfield ports and specialist marine terminals. In particular, it provides guidance on how to:

  • identify, develop and review the needs

  • set the functional and performance requirements

  • outline the spatial needs

  • identify and evaluate the potential sites

  • prepare development options

  • evaluate/screen/optimise development options

  • plan the permitting and Implement the masterplan

In addition, the report considers the overall timeframe for implementation, including design, tender processes and construction periods for typical developments. At each stage the approach considers the environmental aspects, constraints and requirements of the port development adopting PIANC’s Working with Nature concepts.


  • Written by: MarCom WG 185
  • Published: April 04, 2019