Delivery insights

Designing the concept of operations for an intra port transport system

Client Situation

As part of the long term plans of a Host City of a major summer multi-sport event, a new cruise ship pier was planned to be constructed.

For the event, the city intended to provide accommodation to more than 20 000 clients in several cruise ships that would be berthed in the new cruise ship pier in order to enhance the city’s accommodation map.

Given the volume of port residents and the limitations posed by the facilities of the port, our client asked us to develop an efficient transport system for intra-port operations.

The way to problem solving

The first step was to develop a sophisticated demand model that takes into account the demand for transport services generated by the cruise port clients when they are visiting sessions in competition venues or the city.

Based on the identified peaks of port resident movements either leaving or returning to the cruise ships during the event days, we designed alternative transport solutions examining various locations of the intra port bus mall and alternative ship berthing arrangements.

We then assessed the resulting options in terms of both qualitative and quantitative criteria, such as average walking time, average travel time by bus, total vehicle kilometers, and legacy value and we selected the preferred transport solution.

For the preferred transport solution, we developed the detailed design and the transport operational concept. The performance of the recommended design was validated with speciliased software that simulated operations in the Port focusing on all pedestrian and vehicle flows


We delivered the following key outcomes to our client:

  • Estimation of the demand (for port residents arrivals and departures) by day and by time of day, as well as by client group, ship and intra-port mode of transport
  • Design and quantification of bus and pedestrian flows within the Port
  • Sizing of the Pedestrian Screening Areas required
  • Suggestions for ways to operate passenger terminals and intra port bus services for the event
  • Activities required in order to transform the cruise ship pier into a venue taking also into account the legacy value
  • Validation of the intra port concept of operations through simulation and optimization of average queuing times at intersections, Pedestrian Screening Areas and load zones.