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Fact Sheet

Vessel Load Factor Analysis



Start Date:  Aug 2004

End Date:
 Sep 2006






Problem Addressed:  

The development of viable fleet forecasts and economic benefit analysis of vessel operations requires understanding of vessel loading and lading management relationships relative to type of vessel employed, the nature of cargo and associated requirements for handling and transfer, and the regime for vessel operations management given logistical requirements and limitations for cargo services. Historically and presently many USACE waterway system analyses do not include efforts to reconcile critical load factors for projected or potential variances in vessel immersion and capacity relative to cargo volume and weight or the disposition of non-cargo components of vessel loading such as bunkerage, requirements for ballast, and carriage for unitized cargos. Non-cargo components often represent significant requirements for vessel loading by weight and therefore directly impact immersed hull draft and corresponding needs for waterway improvements in regard to increased channel depth, width, or reach. The limited load factor information as contained in the existing IWR deep-draft manual is no longer considered sufficient in detail or representative given the nature of vessel operations as they prevail today due to changes in transportation technology, level of transportation information reporting, and maritime industry practice(s). Continuation of current analytical practice without better understanding and address of vessel load factor relationships can result in significant uncertainty and error in the formulation of vessel fleet forecasts and associated determination of requirements for waterway improvements such as increased depth or width.





The objective of investigations for vessel load factors is to develop a reference of valid relationships and parameters for estimating the disposition of cargo and non-cargo components of vessel loading to in turn better estimate requirements for vessel immersion and draught.




Project benefits include better analysis of waterway improvements and estimation of associated economic benefits via a more consistent and verifiable approach for the estimation of vessel loading and immersed draught under variable or alternative specifications for waterway system design.








Contract Data:

120171, E5076




Products (Bookshelf/Toolbox):



Related Links:




Revised 23 Sep 2011

Source: Navigation Economic Technologies Program

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