Ship Berthing

Berth (A Vessel’s Bed)

A berth is a technical term used for the place where a craft or vessel is to be moored through mooring ropes, cables, etc.
Whenever the cargo has to be loaded or unloaded the vessel reaches the port, the harbors have a designated location where the vessel should be parked and fastened for safe loading and unloading process, this particular place is termed as a Berth.
Berths are designed by the port management authorities for safely holding the vessel or ship berthing. They are alongside a jetty or floating dock.

What is Ship Berthing?

Ship Berthing is a process of securing a ship alongside towards Jetty/Pier/Port/Wharf with mooring ropes. The vessel is fastened using mooring ropes during this process for the purpose of charging/discharging or loading/unloading. Different types of berth come into action according to the cargo and vessels for the process of ship berthing.

Types Of Berth

Berth can be classified into many ways that are-By construction:

By Construction –

Solid Structure Berth

It has solid vertical piles that have filler material. These are usually constructed by the use of a gravity wall structure.

Open Structure Berth

The open structure berth offers a high flexibility but it can not hold too much weight i.e. it restricts the quantity of cargo that can be supported by the berth.

By Shore Connections-

Finger Pier

Finger pier berths are attached to the shore. They offer a greater berthing area per length of water front. They are specially used for small to medium vessels generally passenger ships. These berths can also be utilised for military consignment.

Offshore Berth

Offshore berth come into practice for precarious cargo handling specially for oils and gases. This type of berth is situated far from the shore for safety purpose. They have a specific structure that are termed as DOLPHINS having bollards and fenders according to the configuration of the craft that is brought for berthing.

By Cargo –

Bulk Berth

Bulk berth are specially used for the dry or liquid bulk cargo. Crafts are filled with the help of pipelines, excavators or conveyor belts. Bulk cargo is stored alongside the berthing area e.g. stockpiles.

Container Berth

This type of berth is for handling containers. Loading and unloading takes place with the help specifically designed cranes for particular tasks.

General Berth

A berth used for small goods consignments. General berths are usually present at small scale harbours.

Layby Berth

When the charging/discharging vessels are busy then lay by berth are used for short term waiting. Lay by berth gives fundamental facilities for the crew.

Liquid Berth

This type of berths is placed offshore for safety purposes. They are made to handle liquid and gas products. Storage of products is at a distance from the berth connected with the berth via pipelines.

Marina Berth

It is used for recreational crafts or boats. Owners of the boat use marina berth to on and off their boats.

X & Z Berth

It is a part of naval bases handling warships especially nuclear-powered warships which is being used for defence related purposes of a country.

Ship Berthing Procedure

Just like we park our car in the parking space, the ship is parked at berth for cargo operations with the help of proper ship berthing procedure. The exact ship berthing procedure varies due to many factors such as ocean currents, winds, vessels, etc. The basic berthing procedure is stated below step by step.

STEP 1 – The craft approaches the place at angle of 20 degree.
STEP 2 – It is guided in such a way that speed is 1 or 2 knots and the forward part is about 10m away for passing the lines.
STEP 3 – Now the tug comes into action to clutch the bow in order to prevent the contact from jetty.
STEP 4 – Then the vessel is stopped by reversing the engine.
STEP 5 – Craft is pushed towards the jetty by aft tug. If the speed is greater than 0.2m/s it should be retarded via tugs.
STEP 6 – Now the ship is placed properly using rudder and engine, few metres earlier from jetty.
STEP 7 – Finally, after proper positioning, vessel is brought alongside with the help of tugs and mooring ropes.

Berthing Area On Ship

The portion of the ship which has a bollard and where the mooring ropes are fastened can be termed as a berthing area on a ship as it is useful for the process of ship berthing.

Vessel Berthing Report

Whenever a ship reaches the port, the port management authorities have to maintain a report which includes information about the empty berths where the ship can be placed and information regarding which ship is placed in which berth, duration of berthed vessel and gives slots for upcoming vessels. This vessel berthing report is very essential for the smooth incoming/outgoing of ships.

Vessel Berthing Schedule

Ship berthing schedule is a kind of time table, i.e. which ship is placed when, when it will leave the berth also it tells us about when the upcoming ship is to berthed and its departure time also. This kind of record is maintained by the respective authorities of ship port management.

What is Mooring?

It is a physical permanently fixed structure through which a craft can be secured using ropes, chains, cables, etc. Examples of moorings are jetty, wharf, pier, and buoy. A craft is fastened to a mooring rope in order to prevent the free movement of ships on the water for safe and secure cargo operations. Moorings play an important role in ship berthing.

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