OMC has worked with many ports and port authorities to maximise the throughput to ensure the safer and more productive transit of bulkers, containers and oil tankers. Below are three case studies highlighting the benefits of DUKC®.



Bulk Ports

Case Study Port Hedland (WA)

World’s largest bulk export port, operated by PHPA

DUKC® commissioned 1995. Series 5, 2013

Access by oceangoing ships into and out of the harbour is via a narrow curved channel. Increased draft and tidal window have delivered reduced risk, more reliable scheduling and smarter channel maintenance.

Each year an estimated 1800 ships sail under DUKC® advice with 39cm per ship average draft increase.

This amounts to 5850 additional tonnes per ship

  • or 10.5 million extra tonnes per year

  • or, at $110 per tonne, more than $1.1 billion of extra revenue

In 2013, the new web-based DUKC® Series 5, coupled with a targeted dredge campaign based on OMC advice and a revised tide model, yielded on average an extra 71cm draft per ship. That is over and above the benefits from DUKC® Series 4 and would amount to more than $1 million extra per ship.

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Port Hedland Port Authority shot (1)


Container Ports

Case Study The Port of Lisbon

A key European port exposed to large Atlantic swells
DUKC® commissioned in 2007

DUKC® has contributed to the dramatic increase in trade and passenger ship movements at this key European port.

  • The Port of Lisbon is one of the most important ports on the Iberian Peninsula. A variety of container, bulk and passenger ships use the port, servicing large parts of Portugal and Spain. However, restrictions on these ships come from the port’s exposure to large Atlantic swells.
  • The size of ships, and the amount of cargo they can carry, is often restricted by very large ship motions and the threat of these ships hitting the sandbars outside of the Tagus River estuary. The DUKC® system implemented at the Port of Lisbon in 2007 has allowed the Lisbon sea pilots to use scientific methods to predict the motions of ships in high swells, and therefore better plan when it is safe to take ships into and out of the port.
  • The forward thinking of the Port, and the introduction of advanced technologies such as DUKC®, have helped the Port of Lisbon to dramatically increase its trade and cruise passenger numbers since 2007. New container lines have provided direct links to places such as South America, Africa and the Middle East, opening up more markets for this port. DUKC® also helped see in the arrival of the biggest ships to ever visit the Port, carrying up to 6500 TEU which would have normally bypassed Lisbon for other destinations.
  • The Port of Lisbon’s use of DUKC® also lead to the involvement of the Port in the cutting-edge MarNIS research project led by the European Union, bringing dozens of researchers, scientists and maritime industry leaders to Lisbon. The DUKC® also forms one of the key pillars in the Port of Lisbon plan for Safe and Pollution-free Sailing in their Guide of Best Practices.

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Regional Ports

Case Study Marsden Point

Two oil tanker groundings within three months in Marsden Point channel under static rule
DUKC® commissioned 2004

  • The unexpected grounding of two tankers within three months in New Zealand’s Marsden Point channel, after no accidents there in the previous 30 years of operation under the static rule, demonstrates there is really no certainty that this approach to UKC will always be safe. Instead, the inherent risk of a static approach to UKC was revealed when the two tankers ran aground at the sandbar at Marsden Point because there had been no accidents there in the previous 30 years of operation under the static rule. One of these ships, the Capella Voyager, split its hull and took on several thousand tones of water. The economic and environmental costs were huge.
  • In 2004, Marsden Point regulators commissioned a DUKC® system for the port and there have been no groundings since then. After its installation, retrospective DUKC® runs were developed for the 61 import tankers that had arrived during the previous year. The two ships that ran aground were estimated to both have more than -2.5m indicative net UKC. Had the DUKC® been operational before the transits of the Capella Voyager and the Eastern Honor, a DUKC® system would have advised that those two tankers which grounded not sail on those days due to inadequate UKC.
  • The Port of Marsden Point, on the North Island, is the location of New Zealand’s only oil refinery which is serviced by a two-berth terminal for import and export tankers.
  • It is a difficult port to safely transit, with an approach channel exposed to heavy swells and a shallow sandbar at the seaward end that ships have to pass over when they are most exposed to swell.

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