The Floating Harbour Transhipper – New-Generation Transhipment of Bulk Ore Products


  1. Macfarlane, G.J.
  2. Johnson, N.T.M.
  3. Clarke, L.J.
  4. Ballantyne, R.J.
  5. McTaggart, K.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
Bulk products such as iron ore and coal are usually shipped directly from shore facilities using large bulk carriers. This often involves significant cost due to major dredging operations, long jetties, large storage sheds and the acquisition of large tracts of coastal land. The costs of direct shore to an ocean-going export vessel (OGV) loading often run into billions of dollars – prohibitive for small- to medium-scale mining operations, particularly in remote regions with only distant access to deep water ports. The current industry standard for mitigating these issues is transhipping; the bulk cargo is transported from a smaller shore based facility to the export vessel moored in deep water by a small feeder vessel. Transhipment, while mitigating many of these issues, does introduce other concerns with respect to limiting seastate, environmentally harmful dust and potential spillage during materials transfer. The Australian company Sea Transport Corporation and the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania are developing new technology for bulk ore transhipment: the floating harbour transhipper (FHT). The FHT is essentially a large floating warehouse with an aft well dock to support material transfer operations from the feeder vessel. The major advantages to the mining export industry are in the form of environmental and economic improvements, in some cases completely avoiding expensive dredging while minimising the environmentally invasive onshore infras
azimuthing propeller;seakeeping;ship motions
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-P006 — External Literature
Date of publication
16 Mar 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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