A Method to Estimate the Capacity of an Intersection of Waterways in Ports

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The maritime transportation growth leads to more intensively used waterways, especially in ports. Since the capacity of an intersection of waterways becomes more important, this research presents a new method to estimate this capacity. Based on an analogy between roads and waterways, the conflict technique is applied to an intersection of waterways. The vessel flows in each direction and their conflicting movements are input for the capacity calculation. The generic method can be applied to any intersection, considering the conflicts between the different streams in the intersection and the flows inferred from empirical data or from predictions. The applicability of the method is shown with two case studies, based on data from the Port of Rotterdam. After using the proposed method, we compare the real flows with the estimated ones to assess the capacity estimates. This method can improve traffic management strategies, traffic rules in waterway intersections or port designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1848-1866
Number of pages19
JournalTransportmetrica A: Transport Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • AIS data
  • Capacity
  • maritime traffic
  • radar data
  • waterway intersection


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