VII International forum
“Marine Industry of Russia”
Hotel complex
Department of affairs of the President of the Russian Federation

Moscow, 24, B.Yakimanka Str
24-25 May 2017
Forum bulletin

More on piers, berths and breakwaters

Such hydraulic structures as berths, piers and breakwaters can be uses both separately and as a basis of the port complex.

Breakwaters protect aquatorium of the port and coast line from attack of the wave power. Berths and piers serve to secure water transport. Depending on their purpose, berthing facilities can be:

  • cargo;
  • passenger;
  • ferry;
  • ship-repair;
  • harbor vessel ones, etc.

Berthing facilities are also grouped by their location with regard to the shore, possibility of displacement, design features and operating principle, used construction materials, perception of lateral earth pleasure, etc.

Design Features

Layout of berthing facilities depends on the ability to ensure maximum possible protection from wave and ice action with due consideration of the topographic and hydrographic characteristics of the site. Geological, hydrogeological, hydrological, meteorological and seismic data as well as availability of road, railroad and aquatic access, development outlook, optimum balance of earth masses in construction of the facility, possibility of territory and aquatorium creation are to be taken into account.

Type and construction of berths are to be selected basing on its technical and economic feasibility in the specific conditions of the construction. Height and length of the berthing facility depend on the draft and length of the design vessel. In the course of design for the northern climatic region conditions, specific characteristics should be taken into account; those are presence of significant ice loads, hummocking, soil condition change in the event of straight-freezing and frost retreat, possibility of freezing device usage as well as ice and frost soil application as construction materials.

Construction Features

Construction of breakwaters and berthing facilities features in process complexity, labor inputs and considerable amount of works. Construction is marked by execution of works in complex natural conditions (sea and river currents, rough water, storms, tidal effects, fogs and deep water).

In case of displacement of construction floating equipment in some aquatorium areas, such areas should be swept and, if necessary, examined by divers. Objects and obstacles found in the course of survey and creating hazard to regular navigation should be moved away or marked with floating beacons, if such removal is impossible.

Construction of berthing facilities at open coasts usually begins with erection of protecting structures (breakwaters, dams) or their parts, if such constructions are provided for in the project.

Operating Features

Running of berths and breakwaters comprises:

  • establishment of construction running regime and supervision of its compliance;
  • facility observation and their continuous maintenance;
  • carrying out of corrosion prevention of constructions;
  • revelation of bearing capacity potentiality of constructions with the aim of intensification of their use with minimum costs for their strengthening and alteration;
  • strategic planning and engineering of reconstruction and repair;
  • current and through repairs of facilities, drafting and maintenance of construction certificates.

Running regime is to comply with design specification, designation, practical technical state, operational conditions and service life of such constructions.

Meaning and Development Outlook

The water transport industry on the territory of the former USSR is on the down grade now, and berthing facilities do not comply with international standards. By now, deterioration of berths and port facilities reached 80%. New ocean-going vessels at international navigation lines require reconstruction of existing berths and construction of new ones.

Capacity grown of Russian ports can be achieved not only by modernization of berthing constructions but by overall development of the port area as a whole (including access communications). Water transportation need in Russia is 175 million tons per year by estimate, while the fleet of the country can transport about 100 million tons. Russian sea ports can handle only 62% of freight including 95% of coastal and 60% of export-import one. For transportation of import and export cargoes, Russia uses ports of neighboring states and suffers losses of considerable part of profits and loses its face as a reliable partner at the world market.

The Federal Target Program for the Retrofitting of the Transport Infrastructure of the Russian Federation (2002-2010) was developed to solve this problem. It includes partial programs for development of inland waterways and water transport. In addition to fleet modernization such partial programs consider reconstruction of water transport constructions and further increase of transportation via waterways. Resolution of these problems is especially topical considering participation of Russia in the European Agreement on the key inland waterways of international importance and on creation of international transport corridors “North-South” and “East-West”.


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