Embraport, a new 2-million TEU terminal currently under construction in Santos, Brazil originated with our 2005 study. The first photo shows the project during the start of construction process (Jan 2012); the second at its final stage (planned for late 2013). The third photo shows Embraports' main competitor of Embraport in 2005 when it was in the midst of an expansion plan, which included the replacement of the Reachstacker-based yard system with RTG-based, the construction of a new berth and installation of 6 new, post-Panamax STSs.

Our legislative reform study for Abu Dhabi port system (2007) was designed to facilitate the development of a large new port complex in Mina Chalifa. The picture shows a model of the proposed complex. As seen in the picture, it consists of a marine section with a container and bulk piers and an upland section for port-related industries. the marine section requires a massive reclamation.

As part of our legislative reform study for the Abud Dhabi port system (2007), we visited Port Rashid, Dubai. The picture is taken at the entrance to the port, near the historical rock, showing Capt. Diwani and Asaf Ashar.

During our port reform study of Cape Verde (2007), we visited all Cape Verde ports. examined their facilities and expansion plans and, based on extensive interviews with local shippers and shipping lines, assessed various options for physical expansion and institutional reform. The picture shows Porto Grande's main pier and the container yard behind.

A view of Port Praia, Cape Verde, and the port city from the mountain top. We participated in the development of the port's masterplan (2006), which included an addition of a new berth and container staging area, along with an off-dock yard and logistic center.

As part of the masterplan study of Ghana's Ports (2007), we examined existing facilities and operating systems of its two main ports, Tema and Takoradi. The picture shows the common system of handling bagged rice imports in Takoradi. The slings are handled by ship's gear from hatches onto a platform built from stevedore pallets. From there, individual bags are moved manually and stacked on trucks.

An important task of our study of the Pan American Highway Ferry (2006) was an assessment of a wide range of possible ship configurations, from modern RoPax, freight-only RoRos (similar to that shown in this picture) and RoCons. The study also includes market assessment of traffic (passengers and cars), calculation of pro-formas for various types of ships and examination of competing transport modes such self-driving and air (for passengers).

Our strategic masterplan for Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (2008) was focused on containers. The forecast underlying the plan assumed, among other, further conversion of breakbulk and bulk cargoes to containers. Banana exports, Quetzal main cargo, was still partially handled by refrigerated ships. The picture shows a typcial handling of palletized banana exports, using a "robot", or a special cage for 4 pallets.

Puerto Quetzal handles all its containers by MHCs (Mobile Harbor Cranes), with up to four of them handling the same ship. A new container terminal proposed in our masterplan study (2008 ) will be mainly based on modern STSs (gantry cranes).

Our study of the feasibility of a transshipment hub in Port St. Louis, Haiti (2008) involved a long field trip and on-site examination of the proposed site, shown in the picture. This site is located at a natural deep-water harbor with calm water that does not require protection (breakwater) and only minimal dredging.

During our study of Panama Port Law (2006) we met with all the major Panamanian terminals and with the Canal Authority, including field observations of trips these terminals and the Canal. The picture shows Hanna Ashar (Asaf's wife) at the first lock where she was awarded an honorary Lock Master certificate!.

Our strategic masterplan study for the Port of Morgan City, Louisiana, USA (2007) targeted a wide range of non-containerized cargoes related to the off-shore supply industry. In parallel we also assessed the potential to renew short-sea container services to Mexico and the Caribbeans, taking advantage of the shore-based container crane.

Our study of inter-island shipping in the Philippines (2006) was focused on small Ro/Ro ships and specialized terminals, serving a mixture of walk-on passengers, cars, small trucks and loose cargo. The picture shows a modern Ro/Ro terminal in Batanga, Philippines

Unlike the modern ships serving Batanga (above), the smaller Phillipine islands are served by traditional wooden boats, with out-board mottor and outriggers. The loading of passengers is by foot, using a narrow gangway. Cargo handling, mainly bags with dry goods, is by the "head" system... The picture is taken in Port Pillar, The Philippines, during our inter-island study which includes, among others development of an innovative concession plan which includes BOTH a pair of ports and the shipping service between them (2006).

Inter-Island Shipping, Philippines (2006).

Our study of the inter-island shipping in the Philippines (2006) also included a design of a model Ro/Ro terminal in Port Pilar. Becaus of draft limitation, we assessed several potential sites for relocating this port. The pictures shows Asaf Ashar with a representitive of an investment bank at one of these sites.

Our study of the development plans for the Central Chilean ports (2009) involved reviewing of the two main ports: San Antonio and Valparaiso. The picture shows San Antonio Harbor, with the container terminal on the left. As seen in the above picture, the waterfront land is already fully ustilized. Hence, our proposed development plan included construction of a new outer harbor, located to the left of the existing container terminal, and connected to it (see more in the previous Images section).

San Antonio Container Terminal, Chile during our study (2009) with 4 STSs to which later on two new post-Panamax were added, bringing the total number to 6.

A night view of the container terminal at the Port of Buenventura, Colombia. Note the box hanging below the gantry crane.This terminal is the main competitor of the TCBuen, whose feasibility was assessed in a due dilligence study (2007)..

TCB, a new terminal in Buenaventura, ColombiaThe terminal began operations in early 2011 with Maersk Line as its main customer. We conducted a due dilligence study prior to its construction (2009) and later a follow-up study (2012) on expansion of the CY and installation of 2 additional STSs. The first picture shows pile construction. The metal sleeve is used as a mold and pulled out prior to construction of the cap begins. The second shows an areal photo at the start of construction and the third when Phase I completed.

The congesion in Lagos, Nigeria can be seen by the block stowage in Tincan Container Terminal. Also noted is the waiting line of trucks in the service road. Mitigating congestion is the main objective of our study completed in 2010.

Cumbersome Customs procedures contribute to Lagos congestion. Automated scanning, as seen in Apapa, could expedite the process.

In Bangladesh, River Freighters have wooden hull and carrying capacity of 800 - 1,200 DWT. However, these boats are limited to river navigation and breakbulk cargo. Our study examined the feasibility of using steel boats, with limited ocean navigability to connect river ports with Chittagong, the main port of Bangaladesh, which requires crossing an open bay (2010).


The waiting line of trucks at the main gate of Apapa, Lagos often includes 250 trucks, blocking the main entrance to this port and the entire city area surrounding the port. The proposed Truck Parking and Traffic Control developed by us (2010), was based on a series of Pre-Gate and General Truck Terminals linked electronically with the main gate. The Plan was intended to eliminate the on-street queuing seen in the above picture, and expedite truck processing.


Alongside ship bulk-to-bag, seen above in the port of Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, is a time consuming and labor intensive process. It also adds both to berth and yard congestion.

As noted above, the Port of Dar es Salaam, seen above, is highly congested. To ease yard congestion and improve overall productivity, we developed an elaborate program for relocating most of the CY operations to Integrated Off-Dock CYs (2010).


Dr. Asaf Ashar

National Ports and Waterways Institute
Washington DC Office
University of New Orleans
Phone: 240-242-3676