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Transhipment of bulk ore products using a floating harbour transhipper

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 10:22 authored by Gregor MacFarlaneGregor MacFarlane, Matsubara, S, Clarke, LJ, Nick JohnsonNick Johnson, Ballantyne, RJ
Transhipping bulk ore products such as iron ore and coal is often considered an attractive alternative to direct shipping from large port facilities. This is particularly true when the latter involves considerable cost due to major dredging operations, long jetties, large tracts of coastal land and large storage sheds. Significant savings in capital investment can be achieved by using small feeder vessels to transport the product from a smaller shore based facility to the export vessel moored in deep water. However, transhipment faces other challenges with respect to limiting sea state and environmentally undesirable dust spillage and materials transfer problems. The floating harbour transhipper (FHT) is a new concept for bulk ore transhipment currently being developed by the Australian company Sea Transport Corporation and the Australian Maritime College. The FHT is essentially a large floating warehouse with an aft well dock to support material transfer operations from the feeder vessel. The FHT's bulk cargo handling equipment transfers material from the feeder vessel into its own stockpile or directly to an export vessel moored alongside, or from the stockpile to the export vessel. One of the many major advantages that this concept offers the mining export industry are reduced transhipment delays caused by inclement weather, which is a result of the significant reduction in relative motions between the FHT and feeder vessel due to sheltering effects, compared to the more exposed situation during traditional side-by-side mooring arrangements. This paper presents an overview of the primary hydrodynamic issues currently being investigated: primarily the interaction between multiple floating bodies in close proximity to each other while in a seaway. The investigation is employing a combination of physical scale model experiments and numerical techniques to investigate the behaviour of all three vessels. Various ship-to-ship interaction scenarios are investigated, including (i) the feeder vessel docking, docked or undocking within the FHT well dock, and (ii) an ocean going bulk carrier moored alongside the FHT. Selected outcomes from recent investigations are presented.


Australian Research Council

Sea Transport Corporation


Publication title

Proceedings of the 2015 Coasts and Ports Conference


R Reinen-Hamill






Australian Maritime College


Barton, A.C.T. Engineers Australia

Place of publication

New Zealand

Event title

Coast and Ports 2015

Event Venue

Auckland, New Zealand

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Port infrastructure and management

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