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PIANC Report n 165 - 2015



The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure



PIANC has Technical Commissions concerned with inland waterways and ports (InCom),
coastal and ocean waterways (including ports and harbours) (MarCom), environmental
aspects (EnviCom) and sport and pleasure navigation (RecCom).

This report has been produced by an international Working Group convened by the
Maritime Navigation Commission (MarCom). Members of the Working Group represent
several countries and are acknowledged experts in their profession.

The objective of this report is to provide information and recommendations on good

practice. Conformity is not obligatory and engineering judgement should be used in its
application, especially in special circumstances. This report should be seen as an expert
guidance and state of the art on this particular subject. PIANC is not a certifying body and
disclaims all responsibility in case this report should be presented as an official standard
and/or as a certification.

PIANC Secrtariat Gnral

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B-1000 Bruxelles


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ISBN 978-2-87223-229-1

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Materials 4
Design 5
Maintenance 5
Drainage 6
Settlement 6
Automation 6
Ground Conditions 7
Units 7





Container Terminal Operation Area 13
Wharf or Quay Area 14
Container Storage Yard 14
Intermodal Rail Yard 15
Truck Gate Facility 16
Buildings and Automobile Parking 17
Typical Load Repetition Analysis for Container Terminals and Intermodal Facilities 17
5.7.1 Entrance Gate 17
5.7.2 Wheeled Storage Area 18
5.7.3 Side/Top Pick and Truck Operations 18
5.7.4 RTG and Truck Repetition 19
5.7.5 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) Load Repetition in Automated Container Terminals 21


Introduction 25
Equipment 27
6.2.1 Transfer Plant 27
6.2.2 Transport Plant 29
6.2.3 Miscellaneous Special Equipment 32
Wheel/Tyre Load Transfer Mechanics 33
6.3.1 Single Equivalent Wheel Load 33
6.3.2 Tyre Pressures and Contact Areas 34
6.3.3 Critical Load 34
6.3.4 Cumulative Damage Factor 34
6.3.5 Wheel Proximity Factor 35
6.3.6 Trailer Landing Gear Dolly Wheels and Shoes 37
Operational Movement Dynamics Factors 37
Traffic Patterns 39
Containers 40
6.6.1 General Types 40
6.6.2 Characteristics 41


Conventional Container Terminals 45
Automated Container Terminals 45
7.2.1 Coordination between Pavement System and Other Infrastructure Elements in Automated
Stacking Areas 46


Introduction 48
Surface Water Drainage Rainfall and Run-Off 48
8.2.1 Rainfall 48
8.2.2 Surface Flow 49
Area Drains, Channel Drains and Slot Drains 52
Surface Water System Design Method 53
Water Quality and Best Management Practices 53

Sub-Surface Drainage 54
8.6.1 Sources of Sub-Surface Water 54
8.6.2 Issues 54
8.6.3 Drainage Layers 55
8.6.4 Materials 56
8.6.5 Construction of the Drainage Layer 57
Sub-Surface Collector Drains 57
8.7.1 Gravel Beds 57

Introduction 59
Geotechnical Investigation 59
9.2.1 Investigation and Planning 59
Geotechnical Design Criteria 61
9.3.1 General Design Criteria 62
Geotechnical Risks Related to Pavement Design 65
Geotechnical Construction Engineering 67


Common Pavement Sections used in Container Terminal Pavements 70
Concrete Block Paving (CBP) 71
Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) 73
In Situ Jointed Reinforced Concrete Pavements 73
Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement 75
Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete (SFRC) 75
10.6.1 Height Reduction Factor 77
10.6.2 Joint Spacing Increase Factor 78
Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) 79
Hydraulically Bound Mixtures (HBM) 80
10.8.1 C10 Lean Concrete 80
10.8.2 Cement Bound Material 3 (CBM3) 81
10.8.3 Cement Bound Material 4 (CBM4) 81
10.8.4 No-Fines Lean Concrete 81
Hot Mix Asphalt 81
Reinforced Concrete Runway Beams 84
Grouted Asphalt Surface Course 85
Crushed Rock Sub-Base Material 85
Capping 85
Treatment of soils 85
Factors Influencing Pavement Material Selection 86
10.15.1 Pavement Performance Factors 86
10.15.2 Ease of Localised Repairs and Maintenance 86
10.15.3 Resistance to Fuel and Oil Spills 86
10.15.4 Resistance to Channelised Traffic 86
10.15.5 Resistance to Static Point Loads 87
10.15.6 Shearing Resistance to Tyre Rotation 87
10.15.7 Excessive Wear on Equipment Tyres 87
10.15.8 Subgrade Settlement or Heave 87
10.15.9 Thin Pavement Courses 87
10.15.10 Permeable Pavements 88
10.15.11 Construction Considerations 88
10.15.12 Earthquake Considerations 89
Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages of Pavement Type and Materials 89
10.16.1 Asphalt Pavement 89
10.16.2 Concrete Pavement 89
10.16.3 Block Paving 90
10.16.4 Roller Compacted Concrete 90


Introduction 91
Examples of Existing Guidance 91
11.2.1 British Port Association (BPA) Edition 4 2007 91
11.2.2 French LCPC Method NF P 98-086 2011 92
11.2.3 Spanish Method ROM 4.1-94 Proyecto y contruccin de pavimentos portuarios/
puertos del estado 1994 92
11.2.4 Australian Heavy Duty Industrial Pavement Design Guide revision 1.035 2007

11.2.5 Sector Standard of the Peoples Republic of China Code for Design and Construction
of Pavements Roads and Stockyards in Ports JTJ 296-96, 1997 93
11.2.6 Other Manuals 94
Comparisons and Advantages/Limits 94
11.3.1 Dynamic Loads 94
11.3.2 Statics Loads (Containers) 95
11.3.3 Subgrade 95
11.3.4 Sub-Base 96
11.3.5 Surface Layer 96
Example Calculation 96
11.4.1 Subgrade/Sub-Base 96
11.4.2 Dynamic Load Data (Reachstacker Traffic) 97
11.4.3 Dynamic Load Structure Result 98
11.4.4 Static Loads 99
11.4.5 Static Load Results 100
11.4.6 Comments 101
11.4.7 References 101
Conclusion 101


Introduction 102
12.1.1 Concrete Transfer Function 1 103
12.1.2 Concrete Transfer Function 2 103
12.1.3 Concrete Transfer Function 3 103
Summary of the Different Pavement Design Calculation Models 105
Transfer Function Application to Container Terminal Pavements 105


Introduction 110
Specifics of Developing Countries 110
13.2.1 Clients 110
13.2.2 Soil Data 111
13.2.3 Load Assumptions 111
13.2.4 Pavement Materials 111
13.2.5 Testing of Pavement Material/Quality Assurance 112
13.2.6 Application of Pavement Material 112
13.2.7 Maintenance 113
13.2.8 General Points 113
Summary 113


1 Executive Summary

A container terminal pavement comprises one or usually more layers of pavement

construction materials arranged so as to support and facilitate the handling and storage of
containers by a ports container handling equipment over the natural or improved subgrade
on which the port is built. In this regard, container terminal pavements are similar in character
to highway pavements or aircraft pavements.

However, container terminal pavements are required to deal with the following unique

Wheel loads of container handling equipment can be an order of magnitude greater than
those commonly encountered on highways: highway pavement design methods should
not be used for container terminal pavements.
It is common for container handling equipment to travel in channellised paths: pavement
surfacing materials which have performed well on highways may fail in these areas.
Tyres are often inflated to over 1,000 kPa (145 psi), whereas highway vehicle tyres are
inflated to 700-800 kPa (100-115 psi). This can lead to rapid deterioration of surfacing
Braking, cornering, accelerating and running over uneven surfaces increase wheel patch
loads applied to a container pavement significantly. Container terminal pavements
sometimes fail at the locations where these factors predominate.
Containers rest on four corner castings which can easily lead to deformation of soft
surfacing materials.
The sizes and shapes of container terminal pavements introduce onerous drainage
requirements which can lead to pavement materials becoming wet and damaged.
Slow moving handling equipment can lead to deformation of flexible surfacing materials.
Container terminal pavements comprise a major element in the capital cost of a container
terminal so their design needs to minimise both the construction cost and maintenance
cost, usually over a fixed period which is related to the commercial arrangements in place.

All parties involved in container terminal pavements need to recognise the following potential
issues which are dealt with more fully in the remainder of this report. WG 165 would consider
the following matters to comprise a distillation of the potential pitfalls. It is their hope that
there will be no more significant container terminal pavement failures. The remainder of this
report seeks to provide information and analysis which will ensure that designers/
constructors/operators are able to circumvent any issues resulting from the following factors.


A feature of container terminal pavements is that they employ materials which have
progressively evolved as successful highway pavement construction materials where axle
loads and tyre pressures are lower than those which occur at container terminals. Also,
trafficking is often slower and more frequently stationary than highway trafficking and this
affects some asphalt materials adversely. In some regions, asphalt suppliers supply a Port
Mixture, which is more stable than mixtures normally supplied for highway pavements.
Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM or lean concretes) have been used successfully to
provide the strength required by container terminal pavements. These materials can develop
patterns of fine cracking. Care has to be taken to ensure that the asphalt or concrete block
surfacing is not adversely affected by these cracks. They can cause the asphalt surfacing to
crack or concrete block paving bedding sand to escape into the cracks. Induced cracks are
sometimes introduced into HBM which need to be sealed.

There is often a preference to use recycled materials and this is to be encouraged. However,
this can involve innovation which can introduce risk. In such cases, the risk should be
addressed by a rigorous investigation into the engineering properties of any such materials
being proposed. Furthermore, consideration should be given to the ultimate disposal of any
toxic recycled material: the container terminal owner may be storing a future disposal liability
within his pavement.


The selection of the pavement course materials and thicknesses is a major part of the
pavement design process. There are already several authoritative manuals providing
guidance on this aspect of container terminal pavement design. This report describes those
manuals and does not seek to replace them.

The existing design manuals each describe a method of selecting container pavement layer
materials and the thicknesses of those materials. Because of the credibility of these design
guides, this report does not seek to present an alternative pavement section design method.
With the exception of the Spanish guide, they are based upon computing stresses and/or
strains at critical locations within and directly below container pavements, comparing those
computed stresses/strains with values which the pavement construction materials are known
to be able to sustain successfully, sometimes referred to as permissible stresses/strains and
thereby providing pavements of sufficient structural capacity. The permissible stresses/
strains are established by using a Transfer Function, which is a relationship between the
number of repetitions of a loading event and the corresponding permissible stress/strain.
Transfer functions are entirely empirical relationships which have been derived by observing
the way in which pavements have performed historically and are usually informed by
scientific fatigue relationships. The most difficult parts of container terminal pavement design
comprise the assessment of the way in which the terminal will be used, combining the effects
of loading events of different types, establishing the support provided to the pavement by the
ground and assessing the effects of changing temperatures and precipitation.


All container pavement design guides allow their user to produce a pavement section which
should survive for a required number of loading events. If the time frequency of loading
events is known, this means that a design can be produced for a number of years, often 20
years or 25 years, but it needs to be recognized that pavements normally attain their end of
life condition as a result of the number of load applications rather than at a certain time in the
future. Pavements do not fail suddenly but gradually deteriorate with time and under traffic
loading to reach the end of their serviceable life, where they become uneconomic to maintain
to acceptable performance levels. During that period, the pavement is expected to
deteriorate such that at the end of its design life it will be of zero or little value. This is
sometimes defined in terms of depth of ruts, amount of cracking, degree of differential
settlement, the development of potholes or other localised defects or a combination of these
things. The pavement is expected to deteriorate progressively during its design life but to
remain functional so long as the planned periodic intervention is carried out. It is important
that the parties understand that all pavements deteriorate with age and use and that this is
not necessarily an indication of a fault in the pavement. The designer/constructor should be
able to advise the owner/operator/manager regarding the way in which the pavement will
perform, including the timing and nature of intervention. In fact, a design solution which does
not include such advice is incomplete.

Many ports find that regular localised repairs are necessary and have term contracts with
experienced contractors. Carrying out local repairs can be a cost-effective way of prolonging

the life of a pavement and so delaying major intervention. As in many areas of life, a stitch in
time saves nine.

The life of the pavement can be extended at any time during its design life by installing
strengthening measures such as an overlay/inlay as explained in the British Ports
Association Port Pavement Design Manual. Most pavements are designed on the basis of
requiring intervention during their design life and the container terminal operator/
owner/manager should plan for this. Intervention may comprise resurfacing an asphalt
pavement, resetting concrete block paving, resealing joints in concrete slabs or improving
skid resistance of the surface. It should be expected that intervention will be confined to the
surface layer: the pavement base should survive the design life as a result of the use of a
Transfer Function and the pavement foundation should have been designed to last the whole
term of the design life without requiring repairs. It can be helpful for the parties to agree at
the outset the year-on-year levels of acceptable pavement deterioration. This can be
encapsulated in the form of a Statement of Engineering Parameters which comprises tables
showing the predicted amount of each type of defect which can be expected at each
anniversary together with anticipated levels of periodic intervention. Only when these
predictions are exceeded need there be conversations between the designer/
constructor/owner regarding the performance of the pavement.


Terminal pavements need to drain and they need to have sufficient grip to prevent skidding
of container handling equipment. Pavements are usually built to a fall of approximately 1 %
towards a surface water drainage system.

A container terminal pavement serves as the first element in the drainage system by having
falls, or slopes towards a surface water drainage system. The designer should endeavour to
locate the remaining drainage infrastructure away from areas of intense or frequent loading.
Usually, the falls are predominantly towards the quay and the pavement remains horizontal
and flat in directions parallel with the quay. Many ports favour linear drains running along the
valley lines which take the water down to underground pipes which often discharge into open
water according to and in line with local environmental regulations. Special provisions are
usually included to deal with spillages from containers, which may be toxic, such as the
provision of a depressed bonded area where leaking containers can be relocated so that the
fluid can be contained and dealt with appropriately.


It is normal for container terminal pavements to settle during their design life for a variety of
reasons. Often the container terminal pavement is built at a level that requires a significant
depth of fill material to be placed ahead of the pavement. Although measures may be taken
to minimise settlement, it should always be assessed as part of the design process.
Differential settlement is frequently more troublesome than overall settlement. It often occurs,
for example, between the pile-supported quay deck and an adjacent ground bearing
pavement. Sometimes, articulated concrete slabs are used to accommodate differential
settlement. Settlement is more likely to be caused by semi-permanent loads, such as
container stacks, than by the wheel patch loads of container handling equipment.


Many ports use Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to transport containers through the
terminal. There are different ways in which AGVs are guided. In some ports, magnets are
included within the pavement and in others, combinations of Global Positioning System
(GPS) and radar are used, in which case nothing is embedded within the pavement. There
are two matters for the pavement designer to take into account in all AGV projects. The first
is the channelisation of the AGVs and the second is the additional dynamic factors which
AGVs may apply to a pavement. Both of these factors can lead to enhanced degrees of
surface rutting. If the AGV control software allows, the routes of individual AGV movements
should be randomly offset laterally to minimise their special effects on container terminal
pavements. The pavement designer should also keep in mind that repairs to pavements can
be more disruptive in the case of AGV terminals because it may be necessary on safety
grounds to close an entire terminal when a localised repair is being carried out. In the case of
AGV pavements including magnets, it is important that the design and maintenance prevents
the ingress of water around the perimeter of the magnets.

Ground Conditions

The Geotechnical Engineering and Foundation Design sections of this Report explain the
importance of the ground upon which every container terminal pavement is built and the
benefit of carrying out a comprehensive site investigation exercise. Whereas faults in other
parts of the pavement can often be dealt with by partial and sometimes localised
reconstruction, a failure to comprehend the nature of the ground can lead to the need for a
complete pavement rebuild which, of course, could cost several times more than the original
construction cost when the need to accommodate the working terminal is factored in. Also,
whilst overestimating ground properties will not cause a catastrophic failure, the additional
pavement cost may diminish the profitability of the terminal throughout its life. The site
investigation may need to be taken to a greater depth than would be the case for say a
highway pavement. The fact that many container terminals are installed over deep fill to
attain the level of the quay introduces additional complexity: in some cases, surcharge
loading has been introduced in order to pre-compact the underlying material in order to
improve its engineering properties and to reduce post-pavement construction settlement.
Container terminals occupy large areas where there is always the possibility of soft spots in
otherwise competent ground. Therefore, care must be exercised when interpolating between
borehole logs. Many container terminals are located on brownfield sites where there may be
a wealth of historic geological site specific data. This should be reviewed. Often the most
appropriate site investigation is carried out incrementally, commencing with a desk study
which leads to a preliminary limited intrusive investigation which in turn informs the main site
investigation. Sometimes, a secondary intrusive exercise may be necessary to clarify any
anomalies which the earlier work has highlighted.


WG 165 comprises members from regions where different units of measurement are used.
Rather than imposing one regions units throughout this report, the most appropriate ones
are used in context throughout the report. In many places both Imperial and SI units are used.
Appendix 6 comprises conversion factors and also nomenclatures in the case of sieve sizes.
Container sizes are always referred to as 20 Foot and 40 Foot (there are other sizes but
these two are the most commonly used) these two terms are names used internationally
rather than dimensions.

2 Structure of Report

This document has been produced by the members of Working Group 165, who met for the
first time on January 11, 2013 and who identified the following as being important matters to

Differential settlements between pavements serving different functions (e.g. between

quay apron, rail interfaces, front and back reach areas)
Impact of level of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV Address aisle rotation, i.e. shifting
container rows periodically)
Drainage of the pavement is very important
Sub-base and subgrade; different approaches to evaluating support provided (e.g. CBR-
value, Ev1/Ev2, multi-layer analysis)
Pavement must be performance based
In-use pavement expectations must be communicated and managed
The report needs to address the needs of owners of terminals and pavement
performance needs to be more predictable
Address fatigue performance of different materials
Temporary pavements
Different maintenance strategies

The above list led the Working Group to task the members to convene Topic Groups to
address a number of aspects relating to container terminal pavement engineering. The
remainder of this report comprises a distillation of the endeavours of these Topic Groups and
of the discussions which took place during 2013 and 2014 in London, Brussels, Rotterdam,
Barcelona and Lille.

3 Chairmans Introductory Comments

It has been my privilege to chair WG 165 and to work with a particularly able and enthusiastic
group of container terminal pavement experts from many parts of the world. Together we
have produced what I hope will be an informative and valuable document which will be the
starting point for those involved in the planning, design, construction, maintenance and
operation of container terminal pavements.

Container terminals have provided a major challenge in that they bring together many
evolving technologies and areas of endeavour. It is the scale and size of everything
associated with a container terminal that introduces the challenges. They bring together the
worlds largest ships, the worlds highest cranes, the worlds longest quays, the worlds
heaviest materials handling equipment and the worlds largest pavements. They are key to
the way in which the world trades and this brings not just prosperity and growth but perhaps
more importantly a closer understanding between disparate peoples.

In the main container terminal pavements have served their owners well, but regretfully there
have been some spectacular failures which place them alongside every other major venture
of mankind. But there is one difference: none of the container terminal pavement failures
were inevitable. I have been investigating container terminal failures in many parts of the
world for over 30 years and have yet to encounter a failure which need have occurred. A
common factor has been the inclusion of an unproven technology or simply a mis-
understanding of nomenclature. Elsewhere, a failure to manage user expectations or
trafficking by more damaging equipment than was envisaged by the designer has proven
fatal to the well-being of the pavement. Also, of course, pavement failure can be subjective:
one mans failure would cause his neighbour to shrug and accept that it is just getting old
(like me).

The avoidance of future failures was one of the driving factors which led to the formation of
WG 165. Hundreds of years of container terminal pavement experience are contained within
its members and this has been distilled into guidance which we hope will ensure that future
container terminal pavements are all successful. Our focus has been on bringing together
experience, engineering, science, materials technology, commerce and common sense.

We have not tried to rewrite the already available guidance on many aspects of container
pavements; instead we summarise them and highlight where they will prove helpful. Nor
have we envisaged this document as plugging the gaps. Rather, we hope that it will enthuse
the user who we want to then embark upon a journey of learning all he or she can about
container terminal pavements. This is because it will be the well informed future participants
in the container terminal pavements business who will ensure that the as yet unconceived
container terminal pavements will serve all of us and our children well.

I have included contact details of the members of WG 165. I know that they will be pleased to
hear from anyone who shares their enthusiasm for container terminal pavements and I know
that they will give you good advice. In that regard, I consider those contact details to
comprise a valuable resource.

John Knapton

4 Employers Requirements

Container pavement engineering is one of the high risk elements of a container port
development; it requires a clear understanding of design responsibility. This is usually dealt
with on a project by project basis in a document called the Employers Requirements which
the client produces and which is often structured as follows:

Scope of Paving Work

Way in which the terminal will be operated
Materials to be used for the pavement surface layers (or concrete beam)
Allowable distances between stacked containers
Maximum stacking height of containers
Permitted locations of construction joints
Types of container handling equipment and wheel loads to be accommodated
Detailed assessment of predicted numbers of container movements per year
Authoritative guide to be followed for pavement section design
Design life requirements for pavements
Limiting settlements allowed
Review procedure to be adopted for design and specification
Quality Assurance Measures to be adopted during the construction phase
Levels of maintenance to be adopted throughout pavement life

The designer and contractor use the Employers Requirements document as the basis of their
proposals. Frequently, a container terminal is procured using a design and build contract. At
an early stage, design and specification documents are developed using the Employers
Requirements as guidelines. In fact, Employers Requirements writers often stray into those
areas, sometimes because they want to impose solutions which have previously given them
good service. For example, Engineering Requirements may set out the parameters which the
designer should adopt and then demand, say, a concrete block paved surface.

The reason for the formality of the Employers Requirements document is that pavements in
container terminals are subject to much higher loading and abuse than that commonly
encountered in highways and airports. This is due in part to container handling operations
producing significantly more channelised heavy wheel loading and increasing tire pressures
than is typical for other types of projects. Furthermore, the impact of a pavement failure on
the terminal operation can be massive, leading to closure of parts or the entire terminal.

An absence of a national or international organisation responsible to standardise and monitor

container terminal pavement performance has increased the challenge of designing,
constructing and maintaining a container terminal pavement simply because there is less
collated historically proven, long-term experience available to the interested parties.

Container terminals are commonly developed to accommodate current operational needs.

Container handling equipment has progressively increased in weight with each successive
iteration. The number of pavement load repetitions has continued to increase and container
transporting and stacking methods usually change over a container terminals life, affecting
both the loading locations and numbers of load repetitions at these locations. These
uncertainties, when coupled with the complications associated with construction over
reclamation fill sites of marginal and variable engineering properties (i.e. low subgrade
properties) result in substantial challenges for the designer.

The lack of a universally acceptable container terminal pavement design standard has led to
the tendency for ports to use/adapt their historic pavement designs on new container
terminal developments. Container terminal pavements are one of the largest single cost
items in a container port development budget which sometimes leads to overenthusiastic
value engineering resulting in high maintenance or failed pavements. This can lead to the
pavement design engineer attempting to make precise judgments in an area of endeavour
whose state-of-the-art has not yet evolved to justify such precision. The designer must deal
with the trade-offs between initial cost, long-term maintenance costs and service life. For
example, if a flexible pavement system such as asphalt concrete is chosen over in situ
concrete, initial pavement cost may be halved but the maintenance spending over the
service life can exceed the savings, even when discounted cash flow calculation methods
are adopted.

Owing to the design related pressures to economise, provide for service life and meet
technical challenges, it is important that the owner understands the risks associated with
container terminal pavements. Designers expect the owner to clearly identify the criteria
against which the pavement design exercise should proceed. As well as producing the
pavement design information, the designer should also include a forecast of the levels of
maintenance which will be required. A failure to carry out such an exercise can lead to the
clients expectations regarding the in-service performance of the pavement being
overoptimistic. The designer may need to point out to the client that the design solution does
not meet all of the terms of the Employers Requirements, in which case discussions should
take place between client and designer to establish the global optimal pavement solution.

Because pavement slopes need to be almost flat to accommodate container handling and
stacking, 1 % falls are commonly introduced into the pavement surface. Settlements of the
underlying fill and subgrade materials can lead to reverse falls and therefore ponding. This
can be resolved either by resetting the level of the surface periodically and/or by
retrospectively including additional drainage paths.

Rigid pavements perform well under channelised heavy wheel loading. However, they
require adequate foundation and subgrade materials, correctly thought out joint detailing and
an accurate assessment of the loading regimes. If excessive loading is introduced, significant
un-repairable damage to the pavement can result. The implications of repairing concrete
pavements are frequently significantly more onerous than would be the case for flexible
pavements which offer many options for repair and, in effect, constitute staged construction.
However, the initial cost of concrete pavements is high but it is frequently the case that the
decision between rigid and flexible pavement is a close call when life-cycle costs are taken
into account.

In relation to construction materials and workmanship quality, there should be a suite of

formal quality control documents that may need to be more onerous than those developed
for other parts of the project. It is important to produce a rigorous Quality Assurance/Quality
Control (QA/QC) regime in order to ensure that the contractor builds all of the designers
assumptions into the pavement. This is especially important when Design & Construct
contractors are selected on the basis of the lowest bid and the design has higher quality
requirements than typical public works and highway pavement projects. It is crucial that all
parties take ownership of the QA/QC system and understand that the future success of the
pavement will depend upon how diligently it is implemented.

All parties should recognise that QA/QC is not just a record keeping exercise. It is an
information system which should be regularly consulted by the parties to ensure that the
work proceeds as the designer intended. The records should be reviewed regularly, not just
by glancing through test results sheets, but by taking the trouble to construct charts
illustrating how the results are progressing in terms of trends and variability. This will allow
any gradual loss of quality to be quickly identified and corrected. In this regard, a rigorous
system for identifying and reporting defects should be implemented and a procedure should
be in place for correcting the defects and signing them off as having been dealt with
satisfactorily. The QA procedure should require that the defect signing off procedure includes
a statement as to how that particular defect will be prevented from recurring as the
construction phase proceeds.

Container terminal pavements require significant involvement of the designer to review

QA/QC procedures by the contractor, including frequent site visits and response to Requests
for Information (RFIs) during construction. Without proper involvement during construction,
the designer will be unable to take responsibility for problems that may subsequently occur.
In this case, the stage would be set for a major construction related dispute, something which
every container terminal owner will hope and expect to avoid.

For all of the above reasons, the Employers Requirements is a key document in the success
of the project. It is the document which spawns the design effort, the material specifications,
the quality documentation and the maintenance regime. It remains a valid and important
document throughout both the construction phase and the service life of the pavement and
sometimes beyond.

5 Container Terminal Usage and its Impact on Terminal

Container Terminal Operation Area

When designing a container terminal pavement, it is important for the pavement designer to
consider the various operational areas and anticipated types of traffic and wheel loads. This
will inform cost optimisation by providing appropriate pavement thickness for each category
of operational area. Identifying the limits of each operational area for current and future
operations requires the pavement designer to work closely with the container terminal

Container terminals include wharfs, container storage yards, intermodal rail yards, truck gate
facilities, equipment parking areas, buildings and automobile/car parking areas. These
operational areas are identified on a typical container terminal layout in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Typical container terminal layout

Container facility buildings include administration, maintenance and service facilities.

Intermodal rail facilities include areas for working tracks (loading and unloading of
containers), areas for storage tracks (storing loaded or empty rail cars), container storage
areas and sometimes separate truck gate facilities. An intermodal facility operational area is
shown on Figure 2.

Figure 2 Intermodal facility operational areas

Container terminal pavement designers need to work closely with container terminal and
intermodal facility planners to understand the start-up operational areas and future possible
changes within the operational areas. Since operational changes can be made by just
changing yard striping, the pavement designer needs to understand the possible changes
and how these changes will impact the pavements which he is designing so as to provide an
appropriate pavement section that will continue to perform well even in the case of future
changes in the mode of operation.

Wharf or Quay Area

The transfer of containers between ship and shore takes place on the wharf and the most
common method employed is the use of a quay crane that handles one or two 20 foot
containers or a single 40 foot container. Recently developed container terminals now use
container cranes that can lift four 20 foot or two 40 foot containers. These cranes are
available with different capacities, different lengths of outreach and backreach and different
leg spread (gauge). Most of the cranes in use today have a 100 ft leg spread, i.e. they run on
rails of gauge 100 ft. Some ports still operate the traditional 50 ft gauge quay cranes.

There are several methods of moving containers from their storage area to the quay/wharf
(exports) or from the quay/wharf to the storage area (imports). In conventional container
terminals, the most common methods are chassis with yard tractors and straddle carriers.
Many ports provide a ships hatch cover storage area on the landside of the crane rail; an
area known as the Backreach Area. Hatch covers range in length from 30 to 55 feet (10 m to
18 m). In fully automated container terminals, the movement of containers in the quay/wharf
area is carried out by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and/or Automated Straddle
Carriers (ASCs). A typical wharf area is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Typical wharf area

Container Storage Yard

A container storage yard is where containers are stored prior to leaving the terminal by ship,
river barge, rail or truck. In conventional container terminals containers within the storage
area are stored and moved by Rubber Tired Gantry Cranes (RTGs), Straddle Carriers, Top
Loaders, Reach Stackers and/or chassis with yard or road tractors. In smaller terminals, and
sometimes as a backup in larger terminals, top loader types of equipment, e.g. Reach
Stackers can be used to lift and transport containers. In automated container terminals, the
movement of containers within the storage area is carried out by ASCs. Mobile cranes are
also sometimes used in conjunction with smaller container handling vessels (Feeder
Vessels) and Reach Stackers, even in large container terminals.

Most terminals have designated import, export and empty container storage areas (the
abbreviation MT is commonly used indicate Empty Containers). In the US, where the chassis
are normally owned by the shipping/stevedore company, container terminals include
designated chassis storage areas. A typical container terminal storage yard is illustrated in
Figure 4. Refrigerated containers (Reefers), conventionally painted white, require a constant
power source when stored. Therefore, container terminals require a special storage zone
allowing the reefers to be powered.

Figure 4 Typical container terminal storage yard

Intermodal Rail Yard

An intermodal rail facility is used to store, load, and unload containers to/from the port.
Depending on the rail companys gauge, double or single stack trains are loaded and
unloaded by standard container handling equipment. A typical intermodal facility consists of
working tracks, storage tracks, arrival and departure tracks and a run around track. The
pavement designer needs to work with the terminal planner to identify the special issue of
tracks surrounded by pavement. This will involve carrying out design calculations to assess
the implications of the combination of loads applied by trains and by container handling
equipment in close proximity. In particular, trains may operate in close proximity to Top Picks,
Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes (RMGs), Rubber Tired Gantry Cranes (RTGs) and Reach
Stackers. Pavement designers will also need to identify areas designated for pre-staging
inbound and outbound containers. A typical container storage yard is illustrated in Figure 5.
RMGs are used commonly at Intermodal Rail Yards. RMG rails are normally installed
independently from the terminal pavement so the RMG loads do not need to concern the
container terminal pavement designer.

Figure 5 Typical container storage yard Intermodal rail yard

Truck Gate Facility

Container terminal and intermodal rail gate facilities have very similar functions. They are
used to obtain information on the incoming and outgoing container trucks for operational and
security purposes. Prior to implementation of automatic technologies, incoming trucks would
be stopped by security, followed by a transaction process via communication pedestals and
finally a physical inspection of container and chassis by mechanics. Some or all of these
processes have been automated and/or eliminated. However, even the most automated
gates require trucks to stop for processing and the pavement designer will need to take into
account the dynamic loads which are introduced at the stopping points. This can lead to a
switch from flexible to rigid pavement at the stopping points.

The pavement designer should assume that the gate will be operating seven days a week
with very limited opportunity for maintenance access during its operation. The stop and go
nature of the gate operation should also be considered in selecting the pavement material as
well as the overall pavement thickness. A typical gate facility is illustrated in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Typical gate facility

Most of the container handling equipment is located near the maintenance and repair facility
areas. The current and future types of equipment that would be stored in this area should be
identified prior to designing the pavement.

Buildings and Automobile Parking

Container terminals and intermodal rail facilities require administration buildings,

maintenance and repair facilities and other operational buildings that have designated
employee and visitors parking areas. Prior to the development of pavement sections, the
pavement designer should work closely with the terminal planner in identifying current and
possible future use of these areas.

Typical Load Repetition Analysis for Container Terminals and Intermodal

In the case of roadways an important function of container terminal pavements is to distribute
repetitive wheel patch loads into the underlying subgrade. Therefore, calculation of design
load and the number of design load repetitions (number of times that a given point in a
pavement is required to sustain a load) plays an important role in the container terminal
pavement design process. Different areas in container terminals may have different
categories of equipment and be subjected to different numbers of load repetitions. This
section presents formulae for typical load repetition calculation for different areas in a
container terminal.

Areas of a container terminal that can be converted to other use, such as changing from
wheeled parking to side-pick empty storage or from top-pick storage to RTG storage, need to
be designed for the more severe of the alternative loading conditions. In order to achieve the
maximum operational flexibility, some terminals use a uniform design for the majority of the
pavement but this has adverse construction phase cost implications.

Typically, there are two approaches in the assessment of numbers of load repetitions of
container handling equipment. One approach is to convert the various loads and repetitions
to an equivalent number of standard or equivalent loads. This is called the ESAL (Equivalent
Single Axle Loads) approach. The most common equivalent standard axle load used in
Europe, Australasia and in the US is 80 kN (18,000 lb). Whilst this method is useful in cases
where handling equipment axle loads are of a similar order of magnitude to axle loads
commonly encountered on public highways, it is less appropriate in cases where the
handling equipment axle loads exceed highway axle loads significantly, in which case the
design of the pavement should be either based upon the actual axle weights or on a Critical
Load which truly represents the combined effect of several heavy axles, sometimes
exceeding 100 tonne.

5.7.1 Entrance Gate

Obtain the estimated throughput capacity per year for the terminal in Twenty Foot Equivalent
Units (TEUs) and a conversion factor from lifts to TEUs from terminal planners. Also, obtain
the assumed percentage (%) of the total throughput using the gate (DT). If there is no on-
dock rail or river barge intermodal facility, 100 % of the throughput will use the gate. Use the
following equation to compute Equivalent Single Axle Loads (ESAL).


C4 = TEU/Lift (typical number of TEU per lift between 1.7 to 1.85)

C5 = Transactions/Lift (typical number of truck transaction per lift between 1.5 to 2)
DD = Directional split, 50 % in and 50 % out
DL = % of traffic in the preferred lane
DT = % of lifts moved by truck 100 % for no on-dock intermodal facility
TF = Estimated number of ESAL per transaction
YC = Total annual terminal capacity in TEUs
Design Lane ESALs = YC / C4 C5 DT DD DL TF

Formula 1 Design Lane ESALs

5.7.2 Wheeled Storage Area


PS = Estimated number of wheeled storage slots

C5 = Typical number of truck transaction per slot
TF = Estimated number of ESAL per transaction
SU = Estimated slot utilisation between 70 to 90 %
DW = Assumed average chassis/container dwell time

Design ESALs = PS SU 365 / DW C5 TF

Formula 2 Design ESALs

5.7.3 Side/Top Pick and Truck Operations

It is assumed that the containers will be delivered using truck and stacked using side or top-
picks. Assuming that the storage area has the configuration as shown in the Figure 7, the
calculations are as follows:

In the Side/Top Pick yard, the heaviest traffic will occur directly in front of the first row. At this
location, there are two types of traffic: Side/Top Pick and Truck traffic. The Side/Top Pick
traffic is limited to the number of containers stored in the first row, while the truck traffic is
defined by the size of the whole stack because all of the trucks visiting this stack process
along the length of the stack. For Side/Top Picks, the storage area can be accessible from
either one side or two sides. If Side/Top Picks and trucks can access both sides, the
repetitions will be decreased to half. In the calculation, the variable Number of accessible
sides (C7) is added for this purpose.


SU = Estimated slot utilisation between 70 to 90 %

DW = Assumed average container dwell time in days
C4 = TEUs per lift (typical number of TEU per lift between 1.7 to 1.85)
C5 = Trips per box (2 for Side/Top Pick area)
C6 = Moves per trip
C7 = Number of accessible sides (1 or 2)
L = Length of the stack in TEUs
W = Width of the stack in TEUs
H = Height of the stack in TEUs

Figure 7 Dimensions of a yard block

Truck Load Repetitions = C5 C6 (365 / DW) SU L H W / C4 / C7

Formula 3 Truck load repetitions

Side/Top Pick Load Repetitions = C5 C6 (365 / DW) SU H W / C7

Formula 4 Side/Top load repetitions

5.7.4 RTG and Truck Repetition

For truck operation in the RTG area, the same formula as used in the case of the side/top
pick area is used. Two scenarios need to be considered: RTG Gantrying and RTG Lifting.

Scenario 1: RTG Gantrying

Case I: RTG Retrieving Containers

Normally, RTGs run on specially designed reinforced concrete Runway Beams (Runways)
rather than on pavements. Ports which operate RTGs on pavements have experienced a
requirement for high levels of pavement maintenance. This is because of the channelised
movements of trains of typically four wheel patch loads each of approximately 25 tonne.
Onerous maintenance can be ameliorated to some degree by using specially designed 16-
wheel rather than the conventional 8-wheel RTGs. By so doing wheel patch loadings are
reduced to values normally associated with straddle carriers which are commonly operated
over container terminal pavements, albeit pavements whose lives are frequently extended by
introducing Aisle Rotation periodically. In order to compute the number of RTG wheel patch
repetitions, the number of times which the RTGs pass a point along a runway in a block must
be assessed. If a uniformly distributed storage block (i.e. all of the boxes in a block have
equal dwell times on average) is assumed, then the point at which the maximum number of
repetitions occurs is at the middle point along the runway. Normally runway usage follows a
parabolic distribution, diminishing equally towards each end.

The following argument is used to compute the number of RTG repetitions at the mid-point
when the RTG removes containers from a stack, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 Illustration of RTG repetitions

When removing a container from a stack, there is a chance that the RTG will cross the
middle point. This will happen only when the RTG and the container are at different sides of
the stack. The probability of this event is:

PG = Probability of RTG crossing the middle point

= Probability of RTG at the left and container at the right + Probability of RTG at the
right and container at the left = + = 0.5 (assuming of uniform distribution)

The number of times that an RTG crosses the mid-point is obtained by multiplying the above
probability by the number of operations per year. During peak/semi peak times, when there is
more than one truck waiting for a container, the operator may access the closest container
first, creating an efficiency factor (C8). This factor will always be less than one, but can be
adjusted according to a particular ports productivity. The busier the port, the more trucks are
waiting which means the potential for efficiency rises thereby causing the factor C8 to reduce.
Thus, the number of load repetition for RTG gantrying when receiving containers is given by:

= Efficiency factor Probability of RTG crossing the middle point Number of operations/

RTG gantrying load repetitions = C8 PG (365/DW) SU H W L / C4/C9

Formula 5 RTG gantrying load repetitions

Case II: RTG Placing Containers

When placing a container into a stack, there are fewer gantry repetitions than when removing
a container because the RTG Operator can place the container in the first available space.
Therefore, conservatively the above formula can be used in the case of placing containers.

Combining Case I and Case II, the Formula 6 and the Formula 7 are obtained:


SU = Estimated slot utilisation between 70 to 90 %

DW = Assumed average container dwell time in days
C4 = TEUs per lift (typical number of TEU per lift between 1.7 to 1.85)
C5 = Trips per box (2 for RTG area)
C7 = Number of sides (1 for a RTG setup)
C8 = Efficiency factor (1: inefficient, 0.5: efficient, 0.25: very efficient)
C9 = Number of RTG cranes working stack
L = Length of the stack in TEUs
W = Width of the stack in TEUs
H = Height of the stack in TEUs
PG = Probability that an RTG crosses the worst point along the run way (1/2 for a uniform
distributed storage block)

From which:
Truck Load Repetitions = C5 C6 (365/DW) SU L H W / C4

Formula 6 Truck load repetitions

RTG Retrieval Load Repetitions = C8 PG (365/DW) SU H W L / C4/C9

Formula 7 RTG retrieval load repetitions

RTG Storage Load Repetitions (receiving containers) = same as RTG Retrieval Load
Repetitions, above

Scenario 2: RTG Lifting

The number of RTG repetitions when lifting can be computed by assessing the number of
containers that will go into and out of a bay. For each container, there will be one lift in and
one lift out (C5 = 2).

RTG Lifting Repetitions = C5 C6 (365/DW) SU H W

Formula 8 RTG lifting repetitions

5.7.5 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) Load Repetition in Automated Container


Transfer Area

The Transfer Area is where the ASCs exchange containers with AGVs. For each container
on or off the vessel, there is one loaded vehicle travel in or out of the waterside transfer area.
Therefore, the total loaded vehicle number of repetitions at the entire transfer area will be
equal to the terminal throughput. These vehicle passes will be split among transfer areas for
each ASC block and traffic lane within each Transfer Area.

A Block Unbalance Factor (C10) and a Lane Unbalance Factor (C11) are used to increase the
average number of repetitions per transfer lane resulting from any unbalanced traffic
allocation amongst blocks and transfer lanes.


Y = Total annual terminal capacity in containers

n1 = Number of storage blocks
n2 = Number of transfer lanes per storage block
C10 = Storage blocks unbalanced factor
C11 = Lane unbalanced factor

Results in:
AGV Load Repetition = Y / (n1 n2) C10 C11

Formula 9 AGV load repetition

Traffic Area

At the waterside traffic area, vehicles are moving containers between Quay Cranes (QCs)
and ASC blocks. For each container on or off the vessel, there would be one loaded vehicle
travelling either from the vessel to a block or from a block to the vessel. Therefore, the
maximum possible loaded vehicle repetition passing any point in the area is equal to the
terminal throughput.

For each vehicle travelling between Quay Cranes and blocks/stacks, there is a portion of the
journey running parallel with the berth and there is a portion running normal to the berth.
Because the normal movements can take place in a much wider area than the parallel
movements, the number of repetitions over a given spot in the pavement generated by the
parallel movements will be much higher than those generated by the normal movements so
the parallel movements are the critical ones.

The number of vehicle movements running parallel with the berth at any point along the berth
depends on the relative locations of blocks and Quay Cranes when discharging and loading
the vessel. Typical vehicle travel paths are illustrated in Figure 9.

Block Block Block

N-1 N N+1

To Blocks Lower To Blocks Higher

Than N-1 Than N+1
N-1 N N+1

Berth Line

Lines with arrow illustrate vehicle paths

between quay cranes and blocks

Figure 9 Illustration of vehicle travel path between QCs and blocks

Since one container will incur one and only one loaded movement, the maximum number of
loaded movements passing any point per year will be equal to or less than the annual
terminal throughput. The relative location of Quay Cranes and blocks/stacks when
discharging and loading vessels dictates the number of wheel patch loads passing over any
given point. For example, for Block N, highlighted in yellow in Figure 9, the movements from
Quay Crane N - 1 and below to block N - 1 and below will not pass block N (the paths
represented as blue dashed lines). Similarly, the movements from Quay Crane N + 1 and
above to block N + 1 and above will not pass block N. These movements will need to be
excluded when calculating the number of loaded movements passing location N.

The number of movements and therefore the number of loaded wheel patch repetitions over
a given spot in the pavement should be determined by the distribution of Quay Cranes at
each location along the berth and the distribution of containers going to storage blocks for
each Quay Crane location.

When a vessel arrives at the container terminal, it will be allocated its berth at a location
based on availability and other factors, such as preference of vessel services. The Quay
Crane location when discharging and loading will be determined by the vessel location and
the hatch configuration of that vessel. Over the year, it can be assumed that all berth
locations will be almost equally utilised. Therefore, a uniform distribution for Quay Crane
locations along the berth is assumed. This assumption might not be true for all container
terminal layouts and has to be further investigated by the designer. For example, in the case
of the shipping channel comprising a cul-de-sac, the berths at the stop end of the cul-de-sac
are frequently used the least.

The container distribution among ASC blocks depends on the types of containers, sizes of
containers, vessel berth locations and most importantly, the allocation strategy of the
Terminal Operation System (TOS). The allocation of containers to container storage blocks
can be static, which implies dividing the container yard into different areas for different types
and sizes of vessels. For ASC blocks, the allocation of containers will be dynamic, which
means selecting where to place containers taking into account current equipment status and
container storage yard inventory. One general goal of allocation strategy for automated
container terminals is to balance the workload among ASCs and horizontal transport vehicles.
Therefore, a uniform distribution would normally be expected in an ASC terminal.

Part of the goal of the allocation strategy of containers is to minimise the travel distance of
the horizontal transport vehicles when moving containers between blocks and Quay Cranes
to reduce the requirement and the operating cost for transport vehicles. Therefore, one
strategy would be to send vehicles to blocks close to the current vessel berth location and
avoid sending the vehicle to blocks far from the vessel location. This strategy will confine the
vehicle movements to pavement directly behind the berth, thus reducing the longitudinal
travel distances of transport vehicles. However, sending the vehicles to blocks far from the
vessel berth location cannot be totally avoided owing to the requirement of balancing ASC

Based on the above, three types of distribution for allocating containers to ASC blocks can
be assumed:

Equal storage case: containers will be transported from/to each block with equal
Proportional storage case: containers will be transported from/to each block with
probabilities proportional to the capacity of storage in the blocks
Favoured storage case: containers will be transported from/to each block with higher
probabilities in the case of storage blocks close to the QC and lower probabilities for
blocks furthest from the QC.

Different parts of a container terminal pavement will serve different purposes and will sustain
different trafficking/loading regimes. Some parts may need to sustain particularly heavy loads
applied by handling equipment wheel patch loads or container corner casting loads. Reach
Stackers may impose very heavy axle loads exceeding 100 tonne an order of magnitude
greater than highway pavement loading. Straddle Carriers may run in a highly channelised
manner within container stacks and their high centre of gravity may lead to high dynamic
loads when cornering and braking. They typically impose a train of four wheel loads of
approximately 12 tonnes when in free-running mode. Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes may
impose a train of 25 tonne wheel loads and in many cases; it can be more cost-effective to
install reinforced concrete runway beams within the pavement along the sides of the
container stacks. The Backreach Area may need to sustain point loadings applied by the
storage of ships hatch covers and this may impact the choice of surfacing material. Whilst
the Quay Area may be wide, the port may elect to stripe this part of the pavement and so
create channelised loading. Likewise, wide roadways within storage blocks/stacks may
sustain channelized traffic if containers are stored at the edges of these roadways, so
reducing their width. Experience has shown that pavements often perform poorly in those
zones where handling equipment of all types turn, brake and stop to lift or place containers.
Terminal trailers carrying two 20-ft containers can overload both the trailer axles and the
pavement. Many categories of terminal trailers are unbraked which will need to be taken into
account when using design methods which include dynamic braking factors.

Because of these matters, the container terminal operator should confine the use of his
pavements to only those uses for which it was designed. In some terminals, surfacing of
different colours, materials or textures have been used to demark pavements of different
loading capabilities. As an example, pigmented concrete paving blocks have been used for
this purpose.

6 Pavement Loading by Containers, Handling Equipment & Trucks


The fundamental information the container terminal pavement designer must quantify is the
number of times loads of different magnitudes will traffic different parts of the container
terminal pavement. This process usually starts from a predicted or historic trade
volume. From this volume, operations staff should be able to assess the frequency of
trafficking for each part (zone) of a container terminal development. Although this process
leads to an estimate rather than a precise figure, it is nonetheless important to consider the
data carefully.

The following specific types of operation need particular care:

1) In the case of narrow aisles within container blocks trafficked by Straddle Carriers, an
assessment of the route likely to be taken by Straddle Carriers for imports and exports is
required for each container block. When travelling along the narrow aisles within the
container stacks, a Straddle Carrier normally carries out one braking manoeuvre and one
acceleration manoeuvre along part of the narrow aisle length. An estimate of the length
over which braking and accelerating takes place can be divided by the length of the
narrow aisle to assess the proportion of total movements which involve dynamic load
factors. Assuming dynamic factors for all of the passes within the narrow aisles leads to
over conservative design. Typically, a Straddle Carrier running along the narrow aisles
brakes/accelerates for approximately 10 % of the length of the narrow aisle. This can be
accounted for in design by applying braking/accelerating dynamic factors to 10 % of the

2) Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) normally run on dedicated reinforced concrete
Runway Beams (runways) rather than on pavements. Ports which operate RTGs on
pavements rather than runways have experienced a requirement for high levels of
pavement maintenance as a result of the channelised movements and 25 tonnes
individual wheel patch loads. In order to estimate the number of repetitions of travelling
RTGs, an estimation of the average distance which a given RTG travels between lifts is
required. In an efficient port, this would be typically 40 m or less. The total number of
repetitions over one spot can be obtained by multiplying the total number of container
moves by twice this distance and dividing by the total length of the RTG runway
beams. Usually, the use of the runway beams is more intense near the centre of the
length of the runway beams and falls away towards the ends of the beams. Therefore, an
adjustment should be made such that the average traffic figure may need to be multiplied
by up to three in the case of the central part of the length of the runway beam. Note that
RTGs travel without a container then stop whilst transferring a container between its slot
in the stack and a terminal trailer. This leads to stationary loads at the roadway side of
the RTG which exceed the running loads.

3) Container handling equipment usually travels parallel to the quay following prescribed
routes, usually obeying a one-way system behind the wharf. The pavement designer
needs to know how many parallel prescribed routes are to be used in order to estimate
the number of passes at any given spot. The backreach area (area behind the landside
container crane rail) may be used to store vessel hatch covers, which may intensify
trafficking of the remaining space. Although the backreach area may be wide, it is often
the case in confined terminals that this area will be striped and that container handling
equipment runs in prescribed roadways. In such cases, the pavement will need to be
designed on the basis of tightly channelised traffic.

4) In terminals operated by Straddle Carriers, the arterial roadways between the stacks are
usually wide so that a significant wandering factor can be applied. However, at times of
high container storage volume, Straddle Carriers sometimes temporarily stage containers
at the sides of the roadways, narrowing them and thereby increasing trafficking in central
parts of the roadway.

5) The longevity of asphalt Straddle Carrier container stacking areas can often be extended
by Aisle Rotation, whereby the container storage grid is shuffled by say 750 mm every
few years. This can be carried out on four occasions before the traffic then reverts to the
originally trafficked places. Rutting of up to 15 mm often develops in the narrow aisles
between containers where Straddle Carriers enter stacks and some operators regard this
figure as the limit of acceptability. This rutting is a result of densification and/or shoving.
The rutting can develop within a few months of the commencement of operations and
often stabilises once it has attained 10 mm to 15 mm. If it proves troublesome, Aisle
Rotation can be introduced so that Straddle Carriers run over previously un-trafficked
asphalt. Asphalt pavements in Straddle Carrier operations may require resurfacing on an
8-10 years cycle as a result of the combination of channelisation and the 12-tonne
Straddle Carrier wheel patch loads which usually occur in trains of four.

6) Reach Stackers and similar equipment have very heavy front axles and can wear out a
pavement very quickly if their lifting operations take place at the same spot
constantly. Furthermore, the magnitude of the wheel patch loads lead to significant
stresses at depth within the fill/subgrade material which leads to a need for greater
thicknesses of sub-base and capping materials than would be the case for lighter
handling equipment. The designer should liaise with operations staff to establish ways of
distributing the loads applied to the surface by Reach Stackers lifting/lowering containers.

7) Truck Exchange Grids where Straddle Carriers load/unload trailers can be a particularly
severely trafficked zone and are usually considered to be a special design case.

8) Special care is needed when Terminal Trailers are expected to carry two 20-ft
containers. This often leads to overloading of the rear axle of the tractor unit and the two
rear axles of the trailer. This is because 20-ft container weights are very similar to 40-ft
container weights. It may be necessary to impose container weight limits when two 20-ft
containers are being transported on one Terminal Trailer. Also, carrying just one 20-ft
heavy container at one end of a 40-ft flatbed can overload axles.

9) The designer should take into account False Moves, i.e. the unproductive movement of
containers. These are additional to the moves which are generated by trade. False
Moves may be a result of containers being repositioned in order to speed up ship
loading/unloading. Also, containers may be temporarily removed from their stack for
customs verification/inspection. Operations staff should be able to provide an estimate of
False Moves expressed as an additional percentage.

10) Materials handling equipment such as Wheeled Loaders may use an area which was not
designed to accommodate its wheel loads, either inadvertently or when an emergency
necessitates unusual or unplanned port activity. For this reason a pavement should be
able to accommodate a few repetitions of all of the equipment operating in the port.

11) Vessel berthing preference by Operations can lead to asymmetric trafficking of the
terminal. This can be expressed in many forms; for example: smaller feeder vessels
displaced to ends of the quay in favour of a larger vessel at the centre, or subdivision of a
terminal and quay between carriers with differing vessel capacities and/or markedly
different vessel cycles.

12) Container stacking areas have a wide range of pavement solutions, from gravel beds to
concrete beams/pads, asphalt or pavers. These options should be assessed
comparatively taking into account the possibility of Aisle Rotation.


6.2.1 Transfer Plant

Defined as an item of plant whose primary function is to transfer cargo from an item of
transport plant to a static position or to another transport plant.

Top-Pick Container Handler (Laden)

This type of plant is designed to lift a loaded container vertically from a horizontal transport
using an overhead telescoping spreader, allow the empty transport to depart and then move
to deposit the container onto either a stack or another mode of transport. The vertical lift
range and capacity are the classifying features, with most capable of 5 to 6-high stacking of
lighter containers. In some terminals they are used to transport loaded containers between
locations and/or consolidate stacks. Some items of plant have the ability to lift lightly loaded

Other names: front lift truck, loaded container handler

Wheel/axle patterns: dual wheel front drive axle, single wheel rear turning axle
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 30 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %
Major manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Hoist Liftruck, Hyster, Kalmar, Konecranes (SMV),
Linde, Taylor Machines, Terex (Fantuzzi, Demag).

Top-Pick Container Handler (Empty)

The operation of this category of plant is identical to the laden handler, except for the
container weight. The vertical lift range and capacity are the defining features, with most
capable of 5 to 8-high stacking of empty containers. Some models allow two containers (1
over 1) to be lifted at one time. In some terminals they are used to transport empty
containers between locations.

Wheel/axle patterns: dual wheel front drive axle, single wheel rear turning axle
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 30 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %
Major Manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Hoist Liftruck, Hyster, Kalmar, Konecranes (SMV),
Linde, Taylor Machines, Terex (Fantuzzi, Demag)

Forklift Trucks and Ro-Ro Forklifts

Container and cargo yard forklifts are generally much larger than the warehouse variety, and
can approach the size of laden top-picks. Movement of containers by forklifts may only be
done with empty containers and lifts with forks long enough to support the full width of the
container. General cargo forklifts can vary greatly in size and capacities up to 54,000 kg
(119,000 lb). It is not uncommon to see top-pick container handlers identified as forklifts, but
as they lack true forks and are equipped with a telescoping spreader bar they comprise a
different category of plant. Ro-Ro forklifts have been designed to operate within the narrow
and low confines of a vessel which prevent use of a traditional lifting mast.

Wheel/axle patterns: single or dual wheel front drive, single wheel rear turning axle

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 30 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %
Major Manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Hoist Liftruck, Hyster, Kalmar, Konecranes (SMV),
Linde, Manitex Liftking, Meclift, Taylor Machines, Terex (Fantuzzi, Demag)

Reach Stacker

Reach Stackers use a telescoping spreader bar attached to a luffing and telescoping boom
to lift and stack containers weighing up to 30-40 tonnes. The operation is identical to the
laden handler (see above) except that the booms range and reach allows the plant to reach
over a lower first/second column to pick/set a container from the third column. This capability
is particularly helpful in intermodal rail operations where the stacker can reach to the second
rail over a loaded first rail to pick/set. Some have below horizontal range to work barges.
Attachments can enable the stacker to rotate a container to its full long dimension and
thereby allow faster transit. These features make it the favoured handling plant in small to
medium container ports and intermodal container terminals. Large ports and terminals
usually invest in more expensive but faster gantry crane systems to increase container
stacking density. It is important to note that items of plant with heavier lift capacities are
commonly equipped with outriggers located in front of and between the forward axle. The
size of the outrigger supporting pad(s) varies between manufacturers.

Aisles between container blocks can also be kept narrower than with lift trucks, thus
improving space utilisation.
Minimum row width: 15.9 m [40 ft] / 12.7 m [20 ft] (varies by MFG and model)
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 30 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %, Channelisation 20 %
Major Manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Hoist Liftruck, Hyster, Kalmar, Konecranes (SMV),
Liebherr, Linde, Sany, Taylor Machines, Terex (Fantuzzi, Demag)

Rubber-Tired Gantry Cranes (RTG)

The RTG is a container handling portal frame with a bridge crane and hoist. Within the legs
of the portal is a high density stacking area and a vehicle travel lane which is close against
one leg. For operation the crane gantries to the desired stack, a loaded transport arrives, the
crane collects a container from a transport using a telescoping spreader then hoists clearing
the transport, then trollies to the designated location and lowers the spreader to deposits the
container. Capabilities are based on the speed and portal frame geometry (height and width),
but commonly are 1 container transported over 5 high stacking and 6 stacks plus travel lane.
Larger models are available but production rates tend to diminish as travel times increase
with higher storage densities. Gantry travel is perpendicular to the trolley direction within the
sack. A key feature of the RTG (compared to Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes RMGs) is its
ability to shift transversely to different stacks within a facility, which allows for dynamic
equipment deployment. RTGs have been commonly diesel powered but in recent years a
wide variety of shore power solutions have been developed with varying degrees of success.

Tire quantity can be 4, 8 or 16 wheel/axle patterns and is commonly 8

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 10 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %, Channelisation 20 %
Major Manufacturers: Doosan, Liebherr, Kalmar, Konecranes, TEREX, ZPMC

Mobile Harbour Crane (MHC) (Outriggers, transit)

This plant is a vessel-interface material handling crane with the luffing boom position high up
on a central mast. The plants slewing and machinery house is mounted over a multi-axle

multi-tired body to which is also attached four outriggers. The travel system permits the crane
to position itself relative to the vessel or task without the need of a fixed rail system. During
handling operations the outriggers engage large support pads and the axle system is lifted
preventing tire contact. The outriggers can be designed to meet the limitations of a particular
facility. Furthermore, for yards with weak pavements some models can be specified with
additional travel axles. Cargo is manoeuvred by the three crane functions: slewing, luffing
and hoisting. Unlike the other plant items, MHCs are often used to transfer dry bulk material
from vessel to shore, in addition to special project cargos and containers.

Wheel/axle patterns vary tremendously between manufacturers and operational demands

Probable dynamic factors fd: Acceleration 10 %, Scrubbing 30 %
Major Manufacturers: Liebherr, TEREX (Gottwald)

6.2.2 Transport Plant

Container Chassis/Bomb Carts/Terminal Trailers/Multi-Trailer/Multi-Container Flat

Trailer/Skeletal trailer

Second only to the ISO container, this equipment is one of the most common sights in a
container yard. This transport is divided into two classes: intra-terminal and over-the-road.
The over-the-road chassis are equipped with twist locks to secure the container(s) to the
chassis and are restricted by governing countries highway axle loading limits. Those chassis
are generally designed to carry a single loaded container of any ISO dimension or two empty
20-ft containers. Intra-terminal chassis are much more varied to suit the demands or
preference of the terminal. The bomb cart variety has no twist locks or confining corners
(allowing the easy removal/installation of twist locks) and is instead equipped with raised
sloped gathering guides. These guides aid in quick positioning the container but can be
heavily impacted in the process. Some terminals have developed bomb cart trains, where
two chassis are pulled by a single yard truck. Furthermore, a specialised double stacked
empty-container two chassis train can be employed to move higher volumes with fewer yard
trucks. There are more manufacturers of this equipment than any other yard equipment and
can be regionally unique or operator preference.

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 10 %, Cornering 30 %, Acceleration 10 %,

Scrubbing 20 %


These trailers are specifically designed to transport heavy or oversized cargoes in the low
ceiling height environment of a Ro-Ro vessel. This done by lowering the trailer deck with a
drop goose-neck nearer to the ground and replacing over-the-road wheels with smaller, solid
rubber tires. The goose-neck is commonly removable, staying with the yard truck, increasing
trailer density. The low profile on some vessels allows two containers to be stacked atop the
trailer. Trailer capacity can range from 20 to 140 ft. Lengths stratify to 20 ft, 30 ft, 40 ft, and
62 ft. Some are equipped with longitudinally adjustable axles.

Other names: cargo trailers, Mafi trailers

Wheel/axle patterns: 8 wheels, 4 axles arranged in two rows side by side
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 10 %, Cornering 30 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 20 %

A subset or evolution of the rolltrailer is the cassette system. The cassette is a loading
platform constructed as a steel pallet with a loading deck, which is carried by a hydraulic
lifting trailer. When not in transport, the cassette rests on taller portions of the longitudinal

frame. There as several benefits to the system, but the greatest is higher cargo density on
vessel compared to trailers. As the frame rests directly on the deck, traditional lashing is
largely eliminated, allowing cassettes to be placed transversely touching (block stowing). In
some cases this has been shown to increase cargo capacity by 20 %. Additionally, this
system begins to provide ro-ro operations some of the smaller equipment pool benefits
typically only seen in a container vessel operation. However, this system requires special lift
equipment to be available along the extent of the supply chain.

Wheel/axle patterns: 16 wheels, 8 axles arranged in four rows side by side

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 10 %, Cornering 30 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 20 %

Street Trucks

These are over-the-road trucks used to haul containers throughout the hinterland. These
trucks are covered extensively in highway pavement design.

Yard Trucks

Hustlers are generally a two axles, short wheel base and minimised versions of highway
trucks. They are classified as off-road trucks being equipped with low speed engine and may
not meet exhaust requirements of highway trucks. Typically a small cab is located directly
over the engine, with a single rotating seat, and a rear access door to allow quick connection
of the trailer brake hydraulics. The fifth-wheel commonly has a hydraulic lift to eliminate the
need to work with trailer lander gear. Special Ro-Ro versions have an adjustable elevation
yoke to aid in negotiating severe ramp grade changes.

Other names: Hustlers, Port Tractor, Shunters, Spotting Truck, Terminal Tractors,
Tugmasters, Yard Tractors
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 20 %, Cornering 30 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %
Major Manufacturers: Autocar, Capacity Trucks, CVS Ferrari, MAFI Transport Systeme
Gmbh, Kalmag, Kalmar Ottawa, Terberg Benschop

Straddle Carriers (1over 1, 2, or 3)

This is a unique plant which satisfies both the transport and transfer task. However, there are
some constraints to both duties. In operation Straddle Carriers drive over landed containers
picking them with a longitudinal telescoping spreader then lifts and transits to the desired
location. As the Straddle Carrier also functions as a handling plant it can be dispatched to:
stacking yard, intermodal rail yard, export chassis yard. A Straddle Carrier stacking yard is
constrained by the plants maximum lifting height and its wheel travel width. The containers
are placed end to end in a long row, but stacking height is restricted, usually to two or three
so that the carrier can travel over the stack with a container in spreader. These requirements
lead to lower stacking densities compared to other transfer plants. Another consideration is
that each operator must be more highly trained than a multiple yard truck drivers and a single
highly trained transfer plant operator.

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 50 %, Cornering 60 %, Acceleration 10 %,

Channelisation 20 % (general) 40 % (in stacks)
Major manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Kalmar, Konecranes, Liebherr, TEREX

Shuttle Carriers (1 Over 1)

The shuttle carrier is a subset of the Straddle Carrier that is limited to one container carried
over one landed container. This plant is commonly designed to travel faster and longer
distances than straddle carriers. In all other functions they are similar.

Other names: Automated Shuttle Carriers, Container Runners, Box Runner

Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 50 %, Cornering 60 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Channelisation 20 % (general) 40 % (in stacks)
Major manufacturers: CVS Ferrari, Kalmar, Konecranes, Liebherr, TEREX

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

At present, the term AGV most commonly applies to a fully automated slab-type chassis with
four steerable wheels. This type is further sub-divided by transports which have a fixed-load
carrying deck or those with lift decks. The adjustable elevation deck allows containers to be
deposited onto an elevated holding rack. The holding rack allows the AGV to depart without
waiting for a transfer plant to remove the container, thereby decreasing AGV dwell time.
These systems have been shown rapidly age conventionally designed terminal pavements
and current favoured hypotheses for this deterioration is linked to the AGVs severely
restricted travel path. As the systems are automated, each vehicle follows a rigidly defined
travel path effectively eliminating vehicle wander (see Lane Channelisation and Wander).
The Designer should also be aware that there are other types of AGVs including but not
limited to: automated straddle carriers (AutoStrad), automotive trailer mover (ATM),
automotive terminal trailers (ATT) and automotive intelligent vehicles (AIV). This technology
is at the forefront of modern terminal development and new systems are being regularly

Wheel/axle patterns: two axles each with two wheels, both axles have full steering and
drive power
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 30 %, Cornering 40 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Channelisation 50 %
Major manufacturers: Gaussin Manugistique, Kalmar, Terex (Gottwald), Toyota, VDL
Containersystemen, ZPMC

Side-Loaders (Side-Lift)

Side-loaders are unique in that they combine the functions of a lifting plant with that of a
transport, thereby eliminating the need for multiple plants, but typically they do not excel at
either function. Two types of plants fall within this description. One type is narrow body, flat-
bed truck with a corner mounted cab. The cab-side of the bed is equipped with lifting forks
which extend perpendicular, travel outward and draw cargo to the body setting it on the bed.
This type commonly carries long breakbulk materials. The second type is an over-wide flat-
bed truck and movable cab. The bed is equipped with a mast and spreader with functions
similar to a Reach Stacker and handles containers. Some types and manufacturers use an
outrigger system, with positions sizes and loadings varying considerably.

Wheel/axle patterns: single wheel drive and turning front axle and single wheel fixed rear
axle, but some units are three wheeled, capable of changing travel direction 90 without
swinging the load
Probable dynamic factors fd: Braking 20 %, Cornering 30 %, Acceleration 10 %,
Scrubbing 10 %
Manufacturers: Baumann, Boss, Bulmor, HUBTEX, Irion, Meclift

Swing Lift
The plant is mounted on a special trailer chassis and lifts containers by using collapsible
booms at both the front and rear of the trailer. The basic boom is capable of lifting a
container from ground to swing chassis. Some models have the ability to shift container from
swing chassis to an adjacent chassis or rail car. Others have the ability to lift twin-twenty
containers. All types use some type of outrigger system, with positions and sizes varying

Other names: Self-Loading Container Trailer, Swingthru, Swingloader, Sidelifter

Wheel/axle patterns are the same as a standard trailer
Probable dynamic factors fd: Repetition/Channelisation as outrigger placement will be in
same location with very little variation it is recommended that the number of repetitions
be increased by a factor of four to five
Manufacturers: Hammar Lift, STEELBRO, Swinglift

6.2.3 Miscellaneous Special Equipment

Special Cargo and Super-Heavy Cargo Movers

Many terminals will occasionally be asked to handle project cargoes which are very
oversized and/or very overweight. These are sometimes referred to as special cargos.
There are two common methods of transport, the first being multi-wheel, multi-axle
hydraulically controlled modular load tables which are used to support the load but distribute
the load more evenly to the ground. The second is an over-the-road load equalizer frame
arrangement where the number of axles, wheels, pivots, and even the number of lanes to be
used is dictated by the load. The most frequently observed is the lowboy/low loader/float or
drop-table type with a gooseneck construction used for transporting large construction
equipment over the road. All types are pulled/pushed by a robust prime mover which can be
ballasted to increase traction and as the project demands, connected in train fashion. Cargos
of this type should be discussed with the terminal operator as their dimensions and/or
weights may require the construction of a special travel route to and from the quay. One of
the most recognised heavy-haul companies in North America and Europe is Mammoet, but
there are many highly qualified regional movers. There are several unique issues with these
plants and cargoes that should be considered and discussed thoroughly with the terminal

1) When not fully equipped with steerable axles, significant scrubbing damage can occur to
flexible pavements at turn locations. The designer should encourage the terminal
operator to require the moving contractor to take extra measures (bearing plates,
laminated mats, etc.) to protect the pavement at those locations.
2) In high-temperature areas, asphalts can be prone to flush or bleed binders and seal coats
when subject to high loading. The designer should encourage the terminal operator to
restrict moves to cooler times of the day.
3) When under heavy-wheel-train loading, narrow roadways with soft or unsupported lateral
shoulders can exhibit settling of the roadway and heaving of the shoulder. If the transport
width is approximately the same as the soft-shouldered roadway, the damage can be
extensive. The designer should encourage the terminal operator to require the moving
contractor to take extra measures (bearing plates, laminated mats, etc.) to protect the
pavement at those locations.
4) High subsurface moisture caused by poor drainage or extensive rainfall prior to a move
can weaken the subgrade and potentially some base materials. A weakened pavement
structure will amplify any pre-existing pavement weaknesses and aid in the creation of
rutting and cracking.
5) In thin pavement sections, total pavement failure is not uncommon.

Truck Mounted Cranes Telescoping Hydraulic Lattice Boom

These cranes are uncommon in container terminals as they are unsuited to efficiently
handling containers. However, certain maintenance activities (i.e. high-mast lights, container
crane repairs) or special cargos (see above) necessitate the use of these cranes. The travel
wheel load is rarely of concern for this equipment, but the stabilising outrigger load(s) can be
tremendous, even after distributing over the propping pad and may require special limitations.
There are hundreds of varieties and configurations of these cranes and the designer is
encouraged to discuss with terminal operations historical or planned lifting operations. If
possible, the designer should speak with the rigging engineer for more detailed information.

Manufacturers: Grove, Liebherr, Link-belt, Manitex International, Manitowoc, Marchtti

Autogru, National, Tadano, TEREX (Demag)

Military/Construction/Agricultural Equipment Tracked and Wheeled

In terminals where Ro-Ro activities are part of the vessel traffic, it is not uncommon to see
heavy off-road equipment as part of the cargo mix. This equipment, generally operating in
the non-loaded (empty) state, can still cause damage to pavements. These plants are
designed to operate off-road over poor soils and for wheel equipment the tyres may be fitted
with lug/tread bars, reducing the tyres contact area, thereby increasing the contact stress
under the bars (see Tire Pressure and Contact Areas below for further discussion). The
limited available research on agricultural equipment indicates that damage due to lug tyres is
highly sensitive to pavement thickness. In thin sections a single pass could equal 800 passes
of a standard truck, but in thicker sections a single pass may equal 20 passes of a standard
truck. Steel tracked equipment can cause rapid damage due to narrow point loading and
turning by scrubbing. These plants require special attention to improve the resiliency of the
driving surface and pavement structure. It is not uncommon for transition areas from Ro-Ro
ramps and turning locations to incorporate steel plates, steel angles, or high dosages of steel
fibres. The designer is strongly encouraged to seek out additional design literature.

Wheel/Tyre Load Transfer Mechanics

Some pavement design programmes allow the direct input of a plants complete geometric
wheel loading pattern and therefore do not require this procedure. However, the pavement
designer is strongly advised to review how the design programme accounts for the plants
dynamic factors (see 6.4, as it is common for these effects to be incorrectly considered as
only surface horizontal stresses. Additionally, some design programmes have difficulty
accounting for the proximity effects of closely spaced axle groups.

6.3.1 Single Equivalent Wheel Load

Over the life of a pavement it will be subjected to a variety of wheel patterns, loadings and
quantity of each. Highway design methods commonly utilise a normalising of these loads to
one standard, known as a Standard Axle (SA), often 18,000 lb. or 8,000 kg. However, for
container terminal applications the very high axle loads, often an order of magnitude greater
than highway vehicle axle loads and the damaging influence of adjacent wheels have shown
it is more accurate to investigate individual wheel loads and then rationalise them to a Single
Equivalent Wheel Load (SEWL).

To identify the governing operational SEWL and its associated repetitions, it is necessary to
gather information about the pavements loading environment. Section 6.4 provides
information regarding the various movement factors, Section 6.5 presents discussions of
repetition influencers that historically have been overlooked. In addition to the current traffic,
attention needs to be given to possible future traffic changes, including the change in volume,
mass and composition during the design period. This is followed by a calculation to derive
the plants SEWL required for use with most design methods.

6.3.2 Tyre Pressures and Contact Areas

The tyre contact area for any handling plant tire is calculated by dividing the single wheel
load by the tyre inflation pressure. In the case of highway vehicles, the contact shape
(footprint) between a tyre and the driving surface has been found to comprise a 1.6 ellipse
(USACE S-77-1 Report), wherein the major axis is 1.6 times the minor axis. The calculation
to solve for the minor axis is 0.894 times the square root of the contact area. The major axis
runs parallel to the regular direction of travel and the minor axis is perpendicular to the major
axis. However, the utilisation of an ellipse is unnecessary complex for thickness design and a
circular contact shape has been adopted.

The tyre footprint of heavier container handling plant is closer to a rectangle with rounded
corners. Otherwise, the above paragraph applies.

Not all plants use common pneumatic road tires, nor are they suited for all facilities. Some
plants may be fitted with tyres designed to provide traction on soft ground and are fitted with
lug/tread bars, reducing the tyres contact area thereby increasing the contact stress under
the bars. This has little effect in the case of in situ concrete but may have an effect on the
stability of concrete block paving, HDM or DBM surfacing. Container handling equipment with
pneumatic tires commonly operates with a pressure of approximately 1.0 N/mm 2 (145 psi).
Some transfer trailers are equipped with solid rubber tyres. The solid tire contact stress
depends upon the trailer load, but a value of 1.7 N/mm2 (247 psi) is typical and the higher
pressure is dispersed satisfactorily through the pavement.

6.3.3 Critical Load

Where loading exceeds conventional highway levels, the usual reason is the handling of
containers by off-road plant such as Straddle Carriers or either Front Lift Trucks or Reach
Stackers. For these plants, their wheel loads are directly related to the weight of the
container or cargo being carried. Design should be based upon the Critical Load, which is
defined as the load whose value and number of repetitions leads to the most pavement
damage. Relatively few repetitions of a high load value may inflict less damage than a
higher number of lesser load values. The entire load regime should be expressed as a
number of passes of the critical load. Some pavement design programmes are capable of
analysing the effects of the full range of cargo weight distributions (load spectrum) and
therefore do not require identification of a critical load. The evaluation of the critical load and
the effective number of repetitions of that load is as follows.

Where the pavement is not designed for use by heavy transfer/transport plants, a
conventional highway vehicle equivalent wheel load of 70 kN (16.7 kips) may be used.

6.3.4 Cumulative Damage Factor

The damaging effect generated by a plant handling a container of a specific weight is

calculated using the Formula 10:

= (/12000)3.75 (/0.8)1.25

Formula 10 Cumulative damage factor


D = Damaging effect
W = Wheel load corresponding to specific container weight (kg)
P = Tyre pressure (N/mm2)
N = % figure from Table 3

The container weight (via W) and distribution frequency (N) generating the highest value of D
identifies the Critical Weight Container. For that plant all subsequent wheel load calculations
should be based upon that container weight. Experience in the UK has found the following
common critical weight containers:

Only 40 ft containers (100/0): 22,000 kg

Only 20 ft containers (0/100): 20,000 kg
Mixes of 40 ft and 20 ft (50/50): 21,000 kg

More recent Australian data indicates the critical weights in Australian container ports may be
as high as:

Only 40 ft containers (100/0): 27,000 kg

Only 20 ft containers (0/100): 25,000 kg
Mixes of 40 ft and 20 ft (50/50): 26,000 kg

These values may be used in preliminary design studies. The number of repetitions of the
SEWL to be used in design can be calculated accurately using a Load Value Weighted
System, i.e. use the above fourth power equation to transform the numbers of repetitions of
differing wheel patch loads to equivalent numbers of repetitions of the critical load. However,
if the total number of repetitions is determined from knowledge of operational data, the error
will normally be insignificant.

6.3.5 Wheel Proximity Factor

Since the limiting value is the horizontal tensile stress, which occurs at the underside of the
base, an isolated single wheel (using SEWL) develops a maximum horizontal tensile stress
under the centre of the wheel and reduces with distance from the wheel. The only exception
to maximum horizontal tension being at the underside of the base is for un-dowelled formed
concrete slabs in which case, horizontal tensile stress at the top of the slab is critical for
wheel patch loads applied at a slab corner. However, un-dowelled concrete pavements are
uncommon and are usually avoided in container terminal pavements. When two or more
wheels are close together, the stress under each wheel is increased owing to its proximity to
the other wheel(s).

Wheel loads are modified by the appropriate Proximity Factor from Table 1. This factor is
derived from the following rational and requires knowledge of the subgrades California
Bearing Ratio (CBR). In an isolated wheel, the relevant stresses would be the maximum
tensile stress, which is very nearly a radial stress, directly beneath the loaded wheel. If there
is a second wheel nearby, it generates tangential tensile stress directly below the first wheel.
This tangential stress is added to the radial stress contributed by the primary wheel. The
Wheel Proximity Factor is the ratio of the sum of the radial and tangential tensile stresses to
the radial tensile stress resulting from the primary wheel. Formula 11 and Formula 12 are
used to calculate the stresses:
3 2 1 2
= [= 5/2 ]
2 + . 1/2

Formula 11 Radial tensile stress

= [1 2] [ ]
2 3/2 +. 1/2

Formula 12 Tangential tensile stress


R = radial stress
T = tangential stress
W = load
r = horizontal distance between wheels
z = depth to position of stress calculations
v = Poissons ratio
= r2 + z2

When wheels are in close proximity, the radial stress beneath the critical wheel may have to
be increased to account for two or more tangential stress contributions. The following table
shows that the proximity factor depends on the wheel spacing and the effective depth of the
slab. When determining the wheel spacing the designer must consider both longitudinal and
transverse spacing. The effective depth can be approximated from Formula 13 and
represents the theoretical depth of the slab had it been constructed from subgrade material.

3 35,000
= 300

Formula 13 Effective depth

Where CBR = California Bearing Ratio of the subgrade.

Wheel Spacing Proximity Factor For Effective Depth Of:

(mm) (in) 1,000 mm (39.4 in) 2,000 mm (78.7 in) 3,000 mm (118.1 in)
300 11.81 1.82 1.95 1.98
600 23.62 1.47 1.82 1.91
900 35.43 1.19 1.65 1.82
1,200 47.24 1.02 1.47 1.71
1,800 70.87 1.00 1.19 1.47
2,400 94.49 1.00 1.02 1.27
3,600 141.73 1.00 1.00 1.02
4,800 188.98 1.00 1.00 1.00
Note: Linear interpolation for intermediate values is acceptable

Table 1 Proximity factor

Example: Consider a subgrade with a CBR of 10 % and a front axle with wheel spacings at
900 mm. The resulting effective depth is 2,114 mm. The interpolated proximity factor is 1.67,
meaning that the effect of the each adjacent wheel on the centre wheel is an additional 0.67
i.e. 1 + 0.67 + 0.67 = 2.34.

For narrow wheels, bolted together side by side, where the centres are less than 300 mm
apart, the entire load transmitted to the slab through one end of the axle can be considered
to represent the wheel load. An investigation of the actual equivalent wheel load indicates
that the actual equivalent wheel load is approximately 1.97 times one wheel load when there
are two wheels bolted together at an axle end.

6.3.6 Trailer Landing Gear Dolly Wheels and Shoes

There are often two pairs of small or dolly wheels on the trailers landing gear which are 88
mm wide x 225 mm in diameter. When the trailer is parked, the contact area of each wheel is
approximately 10 x 88 mm and stresses are 40 N/mm2 (5802 psi). Some trailers have pivot
plates (shoes) which measure 150 mm x 225 mm and produce contact stresses of 2.0
N/mm2 (290 psi), which is sufficiently low to cause no difficulties within the block paving

Operational Movement Dynamics Factors

The effects of dynamic loading induced by cornering, accelerating, braking and surface
unevenness are taken into account by the universal factor f d. Where a section of a pavement
is subjected to dynamic effects, the plants wheel loads are adjusted by the factors given with
the plants descriptions (see 6.2). Where two or three dynamic conditions apply
simultaneously, fd should take into account each effect by additive function. For example, in
the case of a front lift truck cornering and accelerating over uneven ground, the dynamic
factor is 40 % + 10 % + 20 % i.e. 70 %, so that the static wheel load is increased by 70 %.
The Australian design guide recommends that dynamic factors should be multiplied together
i.e. 1.4 * 1.1 * 1.2 = 1.85. In the case of braking, the dynamic factor is additive for the front
wheels and subtractive for rear wheels. In the case of plant with near centrally located
wheels (e.g. Straddle Carriers), braking and accelerating dynamic factors to be applied to the
near central wheels are reduced according to geometry.

These factors are not intended to be applied universally throughout a terminal but only in the
regions where their application is reasonable. For example, when entering a container stack
from a defined longitudinal travel lane, a straddle carrier can experience cornering, braking
and possibly uneven surface. That carrier once a short distance within the stack no longer
experiences cornering, but could brake to land its load anywhere along the stack length. High
speed automated container handling (AGV, ARTG) remains a relatively new technology, with
relatively few example installations and of those pavement performance has been less than
expected. As the technology continues to develop and advance, travel speeds are
anticipated to increase exacerbating the unique damaging characteristics of this plant;
therefore, it is recommended that all dynamic factors be increased by 50 % for such
operations, i.e. a value of 10 % should be increased to 15 % or a value of 60 % increased to
90 %.

Braking and Acceleration

Braking and acceleration effects are more difficult to visually identify in terminals. For trailer
transport operations, acceleration effects are more pronounced at entrances and exits to
container stacks (due to their restricted sightlines) and Ro-Ro ramp areas. Straddle Carriers,
with their higher driver visibility, can more easily distribute their accelerations along the row.
Braking damage can usually be found at intersections and ends of container stacks.


Cornering creates a lateral force in the plant which increases the loading on the outer wheel
set (the SEWL method is only concerned with the highest loaded wheel). In flexible
pavements, over time, this can cause a rutting or heaving of the pavement along the outer
wheel path. For design, when cornering is applicable either braking or acceleration should
also be applied (however the reverse is not true).

Channelisation and Wander

In container terminals, main thoroughfares are typically wider than a standard roadway travel
width. Some container terminals may have no lane organisation of any kind. As a result
plant/vehicle paths over a wide travel area do not exactly follow the same track as the
preceding vehicle, but wander from one side to the other. However, inside container staking
areas (particularly Straddle Carriers and RTG/RMG truck lanes) and loading bays, the path
markings and physical travel envelope are restricted to approximately the same width as the
plant/vehicle. In those confined conditions channelling becomes significant. As the lane width
increases relative to the width of the plant the channelization effect becomes less significant
and allows for an evening out occurring over the lanes width. It is noted that vehicle wander
is not normally considered in conventional highway vehicle road pavement design (with lower
wheel loads), owing to the narrow lane width restricting meaningful wander. For ports with
wider lanes, wander should be considered as it can have a significant impact on long-term
performance of the pavement structure and hence, pavement construction cost.

However, as with all roads when the lane is narrowly and/or physically restrained severe
rutting can occur. Where automated guided vehicles (AGV) are used wander has been
reduced to almost zero, far below the rate seen on conventional highways and has proven to
be highly damaging to port pavements. For highly confined channelisation or automated
plants it is recommended that the factors fd be increased by 50 % for such operations, i.e. a
value of 60 % increased to 90 %. Additionally in cases where there is no way to periodically
adjust the lane position it is recommended that the number of repetitions be increased by a
factor of four to five.


Impact is generally associated with sudden changes in load balance within a plant, and most
likely due to the dynamics of picking a load. As the plant first lifts the load, the pneumatic
tyres closest to the load flex momentarily before the plant rebalances, reaching equilibrium.
For some plants this load may be applied at an outrigger location. For a transport plant,
impact is likely due to the dropping of the container and spreader on the chassis, before
being released from the container and lifted away. Impact is not considered to occur during
long travel paths unless there are sudden changes in grade. The recommended value is
30 %.

Uneven Surfaces/Rough Surfaces

The surface topography of terminals includes a variety of interfaces along pavement system
and possibly between pavements systems. Pronounced changes in slope/grade, transitions
from unimproved yards to structural pavements and transitions from one pavement type to
another that tend to develop settlement differentials (concrete to asphalt) are just a few to
consider. As pavement systems age but remain in service, surface roughness can increase.
As material roughness increases so does rolling resistance at higher operational speeds.
Broken and patched pavement generates 20 % more resistance compared to smooth
pavement, behaving almost as packed gravel. When present, the minimum recommended
value is 10 % and can be applied to all plants.

Scuffing/Scrubbing and Scraping

Turning of cargo handling and transport plants can generate tremendous stresses in the
pavement. Some Straddle Carriers are equipped such that each axle can pivot independent
of the others to allow narrow plant turning radii. For RTGs to transition between transverse
stacks or to be serviced, they commonly rotate all axles 90 degrees while remaining
stationary. This action by heavy RTGs has proven to be so devastating it is recommended
that dedicated steel turning plates with concrete anchoring studs be installed at all such
locations. For roll trailers, stackers and lifters the main load bearing axle does not steer the
plant but must scrub (pivot) to realign. These scrubbing actions repeatedly occur at common
locations for each respective plant based on their operation (i.e. trailers entering stacks from
transverse travel lanes, trailers entering and exiting Ro-Ro ramps, stackers turning from
longitudinal travel to place or pick a container from a stack, etc.).

Weather Effects

Weather effects can be applied to all types of plants and a value of 10 % of static load is
sometimes assumed. Pavements at locations with high rainfall levels or frequent freeze thaw
cycles have shown poorer than anticipated performance. This is not the same as poor
performance of asphalt pavement binders in high temperature climates, as that is a material
selection issue.

Traffic Patterns

As a pavement is designed for a defined design life, it is critical to properly understand the
movement of plants through a facility and how those movements can change through the
course of the pavements life. The designer should thoroughly identify operational
assumptions and explain anticipated transitional events. As mentioned previously, Lane
Channelisation and Wander should also be considered to be a Traffic Pattern.


Identification of the quantity of plant passes is at the heart of pavement design but terminal
operators exercise a variety of yard management plans and of those, their application may
be inconsistent. This area of terminal design is rapidly advancing with the development of
progressively sophisticated utilisation algorithms. The most basic is an equal utilisation plan,
wherein the terminal is used evenly at the lowest density possible. A destination plan makes
use of separated import/export zones and the utilisation of each can vary wildly throughout
design life. An escalating utilisation plan makes high use of a relatively small area of the
terminal to limit the necessary quantity of handling plants, but as demand increases new
regions (blocks) are brought into service to manage the overflow, which can be short lived.
An escalation terminal has many different pavement types/thicknesses.

Short-Term Cargo Placement (Unforeseen Channelisation)

In some terminals there is a practice of temporarily landing cargos, in what would otherwise
be a travel lane. This practice can dramatically change the distribution of lane usage thereby
prematurely using up the design life (lifetime plant passes). There are many possible reasons
for this activity but two such situations are: inadequate transfer plants to meet storage
demands during vessel offloading, or preselecting cargos for rapid vessel loading.

Ro-Ro Zones

At these positions the vessel ramp is usually landed directly onto the pavement surface and
plants drive on and off. The change between a moderate ramp slope and horizontal or
counter sloping pavement can cause unanticipated impact zones which can cause rapid
deterioration. Unrelated to traffic patterns, it is important to note some Ro-Ro operational
concerns. The ramps foot may not have a uniform bearing surface or the ramp flap may not
lie properly if the pavement landing area has a pronounced slope. Vessel movements at
berth due to environmental conditions can cause scraping on the landing surface. For these
reasons selection of pavements at these locations, should involve careful consideration of

durability and/or ease of repair. Some facilities have opted to cover such locations with steel

Loading Docks and Wheeled Container Storage

In these areas containers are parked with trailer landing gear deployed (see 6.3 or swap-
body gear deployed. For warehouse loading areas using dock levellers these regions are
sometimes ramped to below grade. Also at warehouses, they are most commonly loaded by
forklifts which can impart an impact load to the pavement when entering and exiting the


As with all pavement design, the direction of travel is irrelevant, it is the number of passes
associated with a load that matters. Therefore, at intersections, the quantity of passes will be
significantly higher than that of any single lane.

Traffic Growth

The growth of traffic over a period of years or decades is difficult to accurately and
confidently predict. This variable is commonly provided to the pavement designer from the
owners economist or analyst. When reviewing this data, the pavement designer should
consider the effect of an incorrect forecast in both extremes. Should the growth fail to reach
expectations, the pavement has been effectively overdesigned requiring additional
unnecessary funding from the owner, but with the sweetener that the pavement will last
longer. This is because some pavement materials may have longer life, but that is not
necessarily of value given the capital could have been used for other beneficial activities.
However, should demand be underestimated the system will begin to fail earlier leading to
rehabilitation costs and out of service time. The pavement designer should consider the
relative costs should the growth estimates be off by 15 % and if warranted discuss possible
mitigation strategies with the owner.


6.6.1 General Types

Containers are generally classified by their dimensional characteristics and their cargo
capability (type). The most common type is the general purpose container, also known as
Dry Cargo Container, which is designed to keep cargoes dry during transport. Second in
frequency is the Refrigerated Container, commonly called a reefer, which is designed to
keep perishable cargoes at a constant temperature or at a specific atmosphere during transit.
To function, the reefer must be connected to a power source at all times, except during
transfer operations. Other types of containers include: dry bulk containers, open-top
containers (OT), open-side containers (OS), tank containers and platform containers. For this
document, the first three types listed can be treated as dry cargo containers and tanks are
very similar in handling requirements. The term platform containers covers a wide range of
platforms including: platforms with reinforced floors, flatracks with fixed post, flatracks with
fixed end walls (known as open-top-open-sided containers) and flatracks with flat-folding
stations or end walls. It is important to note that platform containers are frequently used to
transport oversized (over-wide, over-tall, over-long) cargoes and may require special
handling (lifting, hauling, placement, etc.).

6.6.2 Characteristics


A containers height, width, length, design and construction are each carefully regulated to
ensure proper stacking and securing between units. Container dimensions are commonly
known by their imperial units of feet and inches.

Height The majority of containers have an external height of 8 ft 6 in (2.591 m). There are
an increasing number of containers with and external height of 9 ft 6 in (2.895 m), known as
High Cube or Hi-Cube. Moreover, containers can have an external height of 4 ft 3 in (1.293
m), known as Half Height. Container height has little impact on pavement design but is an
important consideration for yard lighting and overhead crane plants, like RTGs and RMGs.

Width Container external widths are divided into two groups: the standard, which is 8 ft
(2.438 m), and special 2.50 m (8 ft 2 7/16 in) wide containers to service the European pallet

Length A containers length dimension represents the greatest difficulty for the yard
planner as there are several common sizes, but the frequency of each size can be vary
considerably between geographic regions or even adjacent terminals. Furthermore, the
frequency can change as a result of market demands which may not have existed at the time
of the container terminals inception. While there are other sizes, the most common
containers for long distance shipping are 20 ft (6.058 m), 40 ft (12.192 m), 45 ft (13.716 m),
48 ft (14.63 m) or 53 ft (16.154 m). Note that a 20-ft container is actually of length 19 ft 11
in (6.058 m).

Corner Castings

Containers are not designed to transmit load to the pavement via their underframe
throughout their footprint, but instead are slightly elevated 12.5 mm (0.49 in) by corner
castings measuring 178 mm x 162 mm (7 in x 6.38 in). When multiple containers a stacked
atop one another, this small contact area can generate high pavement surface stresses.

Asphalt surfaced pavements may perform poorly under this condition, resulting in the casting
depressing the pavement, which in wet freeze-thaw areas can accelerate pavement
deterioration. However, in flexible pavements, these depressions should not be considered to
be defects or failures because the pavements functionality has not necessarily been
compromised. When container casting depressions deepen to the point where the underside
of the container touches the pavement surface (known as off-carrier positions) damage to
the containers structural underframe may occur, because containers are not designed to be
stressed in this manner (the exception is when containers are stored over gravel beds).
When the indentations are so deep that containers rest on their underframes the asphalt
surfacing should be replaced. In some regions, asphalt suppliers have developed a Port
Mixture, which ameliorates the issue of indentation.

Corner Casting Loading

The design of travel pavements is based on the most frequent container weight (see 6.3;
stacking areas should be designed for a higher percentage of near fully laden containers.
However, as it is unlikely that all the containers in a given stack will be fully loaded, the
following weight reduction scheme was developed and has been used successfully on
numerous projects. For empty container stacking areas, heights commonly reach 8-high and
many rows deep. Empty loadings should be based on each 40 ft container with 3,800 kg
(8,377 lb) and each 20 ft container with 2,500 kg (5,512 lb), both without reductions.
However, in cases where a specific container terminal has local knowledge of the weights of
their containers, those values can be used in design.

Load on Pavement For Each Stacking

Reduction Contact Stress Arrangement
In Gross
Height Singly Rows Blocks
2 2
(N/mm ) (lb./in ) (kN) (kips) (kN) (kips) (kN) (kips)
1 0 2.6 375.7 76.2 17.1 152.4 34.3 304.8 68.5
2 10 % 4.7 677.3 137.2 30.8 274.3 61.7 548.6 123.3
3 20 % 6.2 903.6 182.9 41.1 365.7 82.2 731.5 164.4
4 30 % 7.3 1,054.4 213.4 48.0 426.7 95.9 853.4 191.9
5 40 % 7.8 1,128.4 228.6 51.4 457.2 102.8 914.4 205.6
6 40 % 9.3 1,353.2 274.3 61.7 548.6 123.3 1,097.2 246.7
7 40 % 10.9 1,580.9 320.0 71.9 640.1 143.9 1,280.1 287.8
8 40 % 12.5 1,813.0 365.7 82.2 731.5 164.4 1,463.0 328.9
Note: Using 31,080 kg (68,520 lb.) container with equal distribution

Table 2 Container load

Fork Channels

Some containers are equipped with one or more pairs of forklift pockets. The pockets are
continuous across the transvers width of the container in order to allow forks to support the
full width of the container. Forks without sufficient length to support both sides of the
container should not be used, as the container floor/underframe would become overstressed.
The allowable container load that can be lifted by means of the forklift pockets is not
standardised with many only permitting empty container lifting. If a container terminal
pavement is being designed with container forklift as the primary mode of transport/transfer,
these limitations should be thoroughly investigated and discussed with the terminal owner.

Swap Bodies

Swap Bodies are similar to containers, in that they are locked to the carrying vehicles using
twist locks. However, they do not have ISO corner casings on their top to facilitate lifting but
instead they have gripping pockets recessed along their bottom longitudinal rails. The
gripping pockets allow direct pick-up of the box with the load suspension arms of a specially
equipped handlers. Many swap bodies are equipped with four collapsible parking legs,
allowing the truck-body below to drive away and be swapped. The shape, position and
footprint of these legs are not standardised. Swap bodies are not normally designed to be


Weight (max, full load probability in stack)

Through the course of its travels a container will typically begin and end its journey placed on
a chassis, which must meet the requirements of those countries highway loading limits. The
regulatory agencies of virtually all countries and states have established maximum axle loads
and gross vehicle weight limits. For example, the maximum legal axle load on a UK highway
is 11,500 kg (25,353 lb); in the US the national limit for a single axle is 20,000 lb (9,080 kg)
and for tandem axle pair is 34,000 lb (15,422 kg), but the gross vehicle weight is limited to
80,000 lb (36,287 kg). Note that some territories and states within a country may have higher
or lower limits than that countrys national limits. Additionally, not all terminals are designed
as start or end points for cargoes. Transhipment facilities are used to transfer cargoes from
one vessel to another and therefore may have heavier containers than would normally be
allowed over public roads in that particular area. Also, where containers arrive/depart by rail,
containers may be heavier.

An empty 40-ft container weighs approximately 3,700 kg (8,157 lb) and is restricted to a
maximum gross weight of 30,480 kg (67,200 lb) [ISO 668]. An empty 20 ft container weighs
approximately 2,270 kg (5,000 lb) and is restricted to a maximum gross weight of 24,000 kg
(52,910 lb) [ISO 668]. Note there is a special heavy tested 20-ft container type for shipping
machinery and these have a maximum gross weight of 30,500 kg (67,000 lb). Those limits
are not related to road limits, but the containers structural capacity.

For container terminal pavement design, the heaviest container may not necessarily govern
as they are typically less frequent than lighter containers (see 10.3.3 Critical Load). The
following table is the percentage distribution of containers of different weights for five
different combinations of 40-ft to 20-ft containers derived from statistics provided by UK ports
in the 1970s. Data collected from some major Australian ports in 2007 showed the average
to be 4-5 tonnes higher than shown below. Newer information is not readily available, but
there is no evidence to suggest these figures are inaccurate. However, if the designer has
figures specific to their site which are higher than this table then the site specific figures
should be used.

Proportion of 40ft to 20ft Containers
Weight (kg)
100/0 60/40 50/50 40/60 0/100
0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1,000 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
2,000 0.00 0.18 0.23 0.28 0.46
3,000 0.00 0.60 0.74 0.89 1.49
4,000 0.18 1.29 1.57 1.84 2.95
5,000 0.53 1.90 2.25 2.59 3.96
6,000 0.98 2.17 2.46 2.76 3.94
7,000 1.37 2.41 2.67 2.93 3.97
8,000 2.60 3.05 3.16 3.27 3.72
9,000 2.82 3.05 3.11 3.17 3.41
10,000 3.30 3.44 3.48 3.52 3.66
11,000 4.43 4.28 4.24 4.20 4.04
12,000 5.73 5.24 5.12 4.99 4.50
13,000 5.12 4.83 4.76 4.69 4.41
14,000 5.85 5.38 5.26 5.14 4.67
15,000 4.78 5.12 5.21 5.29 5.63
16,000 5.22 5.58 5.67 5.76 6.13
17,000 5.45 5.75 5.83 5.91 6.21
18,000 5.55 5.91 6.00 6.10 6.46
19,000 6.08 6.68 6.83 6.98 7.58
20,000 7.67 8.28 8.43 8.58 9.19
21,000 10.40 8.93 8.56 8.18 6.72
22,000 9.95 7.60 7.02 6.43 4.08
23,000 5.53 4.31 4.00 3.69 2.47
24,000 2.75 1.75 1.50 1.25 0.24
25,000 0.95 0.63 0.55 0.47 0.15
26,000 0.67 0.40 0.33 0.27 0.00
27,000 0.72 0.43 0.36 0.29 0.00
28,000 0.53 0.32 0.27 0.21 0.00
29,000 0.43 0.26 0.22 0.17 0.00
30,000 0.28 0.17 0.14 0.11 0.00
31,000 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.00
32,000 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.00
33,000 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
34,000 0.05 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.00

Table 3 Container weight

Overweight Containers

Overweight containers and miss-declared weights are a growing and serious problem. It is
estimated that as many as 20 % of containers are overweight or miss-declared. As
containers are stacked higher, to keep up with the growth of world trade, overweight and
miss-declared weights can:

Lead to vessels being improperly stowed, which can adversely affect vessel stability and
possible loss of containers overboard
Cause damage to chassis and terminal handling equipment
Possibly cause injuries to workers when the containers are handled
Contribute to citations or accidents on highways and railways
Premature degradation of pavement system
7 Container Storage Areas

Conventional Container Terminals

Several alternatives pavement types (e.g. Asphalt Concrete, Portland Cement Concrete,
etc.) need to be evaluated based on initial construction cost, life cycle cost analysis, future
development of the terminal and expected performance of the pavement. The pavement
design and evaluations of each operational area should be based on critical container
handling equipment wheel load and the expected number of load repetitions.

Usually, rigid (concrete) pavement systems have higher initial construction cost compared to
flexible systems often as much as twice the cost. However, maintenance and rehabilitation
costs of flexible pavement are higher than those for rigid pavements, which could result in a
higher life cycle cost and more inconvenient operational interruptions. A factor to be borne in
mind in this regard is the likelihood that repairs will be required during busy periods which
might prove particularly disruptive for the operator.

In the selection and design of the pavement, future development of the terminal during the
design life of the pavement must be considered. Increasing the capacity of the terminal,
probability of changing the functionality of an operational area, use of heavier equipment and
the possibility of a greater number of load repetitions are some of the factors that should be
considered in the alternative pavement comparison analysis.

Pressure exerted by container corner castings should be considered in designing the

pavement for container storage area. While pavement damage resulting from container
corner castings is usually superficial, it could result in a bumpy and uneven pavement
surface which could reduce the operational efficiency of the terminal and increase dynamic
loading and thereby shorten the residual pavement life. Maintenance of flexible pavements,
i.e. pavements comprising asphalt, concrete block paving and/or crushed rock are less
disruptive and less expensive than maintaining rigid in situ concrete pavements.

Automated Container Terminals

As the largest, and one of the most important areas within automated terminals, the
container storage area has a critical role in the efficiency of operation.

Since there is no vehicular access (except occasional maintenance trucks) to the container
storage area in automated terminals, selection and design of the pavement for this area
depends more on the expected terminal operation efficiencies than the container corner
casting loads. Container corner castings can seat either directly on the pavement surface or
on concrete beams.

1) Container corner castings seated on concrete beams designed as concrete slab on

grade: this option has the risk of differential settlement of the beams and may require
frequent maintenance. The construction cost of this option is high when compared with
the pavement option; however, if designed properly, this option could have lower
maintenance cost and operational interruptions than the pavement option and can
improve the efficiency of the Automated Stacking Cranes (ASC).

2) Container corner castings seated on surface of Asphalt Concrete (AC) pavement

surface: the advantage of this alternative, other than its initial cost, is that any damage to
the pavement or settlement can be repaired simply by overlaying the pavement in that
particular area. In other words, the damage will not be catastrophic, the repair is localised

with minimum interruption to operations and the repair time is minimal. The construction
cost of this option is less than the first option.

3) Container corner castings seat on top of concrete pavement surface: this option is
not suitable for areas that are subjected to differential soil settlements. In general,
because of its initial and maintenance cost and the long time required for maintenance,
selection of this item is not recommended for automated storage areas.

4) Containers resting on gravel bed: this comprises a low initial cost solution but requires
the gravel bed to be graded level from time to time. The possibility of gravel particles
becoming wedged in corner castings has to be considered. See the next Section for more
information on Gravel Beds for Container Storage.

7.2.1 Coordination between Pavement System and Other Infrastructure Elements in

Automated Stacking Areas

Container Supporting System and Drainage System

The choice of the container supporting system can affect the drainage system design. If the
containers corner castings seat over concrete beams, the area between the container
beams will not experience any load from containers. This makes a permeable pavement
system a viable option as explained in the next Section.

ASC Rail Foundation and Container Supporting System

The choice of the ASC rail foundation and container supporting system has to be made in
relation to each other and based on site-specific conditions, operational requirements, and
expectations. The following should be taken into account:

Operational Tolerances: ASCs requires tight tolerances to operate efficiently. These

tolerances are not only related to the location and allowable deformation of the crane rails,
but also depend on the straightness of container stacks. This means that even if the
crane rail support is very rigid and reliable, like concrete beam on piles, frequent
maintenance of stacking areas may still be necessary if the container supporting system
is not as strong and rigid as the ASC rail foundation and vice versa.
Terminal Operation after a Seismic Event: If the terminal is in a seismic prone region,
it might be desirable for the operator and owner to be able to continue operations after
seismic events. In order to do so, all aspects of the terminal, i.e. wharf, pavement system,
ASC rail, rail foundation system, etc., have to be designed for seismic events. However,
the terminal still may not to be able to operate because of the damages to access roads
to the terminal. Figure 10 shows photos of various damages to container stacking areas
following the Kobe earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter Scale.

(Image credit from left to right: University of Bristol, University of Washington, KOJI

Figure 10 Port damage in Japan due to 1995 Kobe earthquake

8 Container Terminal Pavement Drainage


Container terminal pavement drainage is required to quickly clear rainfall from the pavement
surface so that operations can continue safely during and following on from rain storms. This
includes collecting water from the pavement surface and moving it to a location where it can
be safely discharged away from the terminal. There are five drainage elements of container
terminal pavement drainage. These are:

1) the rainfall runoff from the surface as affected by gradient and texture
2) the collection of rainfall with inlets or channels
3) the collection of sub-surface water from pavement infiltration and from the ground
4) the removal of collected water in pipes, culverts and ditches
5) the treatment of surface water to remove pollutants, suspensions, etc.

This chapter provides a broad outline of these elements with greater detail on the first three.
Much of the current drainage design methodology has been developed for highway and
airport pavements. Whilst these methodologies are generally applicable to container terminal
pavements there are additional considerations such as the greater lengths of surface water
flow across trafficked surfaces. Pavement loading applied to drainage infrastructure can be
significantly more damaging. The designer therefore needs to consider appropriate adaption
of highway/aircraft pavement drainage recommendations to suit a container terminal

The presence of excess water on the pavement surface can lead to safety and operational
issues. Its presence in the various pavement courses or in the underlying subgrade can lead
to reduced serviceability and premature failure. As such, the design of the drainage system
should include for the expedient removal of both surface water and sub-surface water.

Surface Water Drainage Rainfall and Run-Off

8.2.1 Rainfall

The amount of rainwater falling on the pavement is dependent on the rainfall intensity, the
duration of the rainfall event and the frequency or return period of specific rainfall event. Most
regional drainage design guides will include data on these factors, which are often presented
on an Intensity, Duration, and Frequency graph (IDF graph). Design requirements will vary
dependent on jurisdiction, but it is common for regulatory requirements to require pavements
to cope with rainfall events of return periods of 20, 50 or 100 years. Greatest rainfall
intensities occur for short periods and as the length of the storm increases, the average
rainfall intensity typically reduces. Storms with longer return periods have higher rainfall
intensities than storms with shorter return periods for the same duration.

The design rainfall intensity is determined for the rain storm having the specified design
return period and duration equal to the Time of Concentration for the container terminal. The
time of concentration for a terminal is the time taken for the run-off from the farthest part of
the terminal to reach the outfall. It will be the sum of the time of flow across the pavement
surface and the time of flow underground through the inlets, pipes and culverts.

The peak flow in the various parts of the drainage system can be determined from this
information. The system has to be designed to accommodate all of the storm water flowing
through it so that it does not backup and cause flooding on the pavement or in other parts of
the terminal. Ponding may be allowed on the pavement surface around the inlets for short

periods during the most intensive downpours, but this can cause increased infiltration
through the pavement, damage to cargo and create a hazard to container handling
operations. The latter occurs as the ponding reduces skid resistance, affects equipment
operations, inhibits visibility and conceals pavement damage or obstructions. Ponding in
terminals that experience freezing conditions can result in icy surfaces that can be very

Figure 11 Ponding on pavement

Figure 12 Ponding on storage area

8.2.2 Surface Flow

The primary source of surface water is precipitation as rain or snow, but some areas may
have a significant contribution from process water from cleaning operations. Surface water
runoff from the pavement occurs in several stages. Initially, the rain wets the pavement
surface and fills the low points of the surface texture. As the rainfall increases, water begins
to form a film of water that will flow down the pavement surface towards the drainage inlets.
The film of water will increase in depth the further it travels across the surface and also as
the rainfall intensity increases. Some of the water will infiltrate into the pavement through
joints and cracks in the pavement surface and through the surface materials that are slightly
porous. Some water will pond in surface depressions until these have filled and flow is re-
established. When the rain event is completed, the flow will cease with water remaining in
the surface texture and puddles until it has infiltrated the pavement or has evaporated.

Surface water will clear from a pavement more quickly as the gradient increases. However,
steeper gradients are undesirable in container terminals as they affect he stability/efficiency
of equipment and the stability/accessibility of stacked containers. Typically, gradients are no
more than 2 %, and in many cases maximum allowable falls of 1 % are included in the
Employers Requirements. The latter is particularly the case for high container stacking areas
or when taller Straddle Carriers and RTGs are operating. Surface falls should not be less
than 0.5 % as this can lead to ponding of water, even as a result of construction tolerances.

On older terminals, surface profiles often comprise a series of area drains laid out in a grid,
with surface falls towards the inlets in all four directions. This type of profile has fallen out of
favour owing to the large number of grade changes experienced as equipment operates in
any direction. This arrangement should not be used for new projects.

Figure 13 Area drains plan

Most new and recent container terminals use drainage channels and planar drainage profiles,
which provide far fewer grade changes. In some cases this is achieved by a series of ridges
and troughs running parallel to the wharf and with a drainage channel along each trough. In
some container terminals, the number of ridges/troughs is reduced and drainage channels
are placed across the slope as well as at the troughs. The alignment of ridge lines and drains
should be coordinated with the terminal layout, particularly that of the container stacking

Figure 14 Cross section

Grade breaks at ridges and troughs are generally constructed without complex vertical
curves in container terminal pavements. This can create some issues with containers
grounding on their bottom frames on ridge lines separating steeper slopes and other
operational issues. It can create dynamic effects in handling equipment at drainage inlets
resulting in enhanced loading onto those drainage inlets. To reduce these effects, a strip of
pavement with shallower slopes may be used on either side of a ridge or channel. The top of
the ridge line should not be level.

Figure 15 Adapted pavement cross section

Many container terminals are constructed over ground that will settle to some degree in
response to the additional weight of fill materials and storage loads. This can result in
reversal of surface falls in some locations, particularly when the original fall is minimal. Some
degree of settlement prediction will have been undertaken as part of the geotechnical
investigation and the designer should familiarize themselves with these predictions when
reviewing the drainage layout.

Texture and irregularities in the pavement surface such as joints, cracks, depressions and
potholes can reduce the rate of run-off and the time of concentration. The resistance to
surface flow is characterised by a coefficient known as Mannings Roughness Coefficient.
For pavement surfaces in good condition, the following Mannings Roughness Coefficient
values can be used for sheet flow conditions:

0.013-0.020 for asphalt

0.016-0.025 for concrete
0.020-0.030 for pavers

The kinematic wave equation below (Formula 14) can be used to estimate the Time of
Concentration (TC in minutes) for pavement sheet flow:

6.92 0.6
= ( )

Formula 14 Time of concentration


I= Rainfall intensity rate (mm/hr)

n= Mannings Roughness Coefficient for pavement surfaces
L= distance to the inlet (m)
S= Slope of the pavement (m/m)

Area Drains, Channel Drains and Slot Drains

The layout of drainage systems using area drains and channels has been discussed above.
The location of drain inlets should avoid conflicts with container corner castings and trailer
support legs. There are a number of other considerations that relate to the design of these
drainage features. They include inlet flow capacity, point load capacity and adjacent

Area drains typically consist of a grating and frame on top of a chamber that extends down to
the drainage pipes or culverts. The covers consist of steel or cast iron gratings that are
designed to accommodate the loading from container handling equipment and other point
loads. The bar size, shape and spacing are designed so that they can be safe to pedestrian
use, while providing maximum inflow of rainwater. The covers are removable for cleaning,
but may be too heavy to manhandle.

Figure 16 Area drains

Channel (or trench) drains typically consist of a frame and grating on top of a preformed
channel that is surrounded in concrete. Larger channels may be cast in place. The covers
consist of steel gratings that are designed to support the loading from container handling
equipment and other point loads. In many cases, the cover forms part of the structure of the
channel. The bar size and spacing is usually smaller and closer than that of area drains as
the spans are much less and the surface area is greater. The covers are removable for
cleaning and usually require some form of locking to the channel base. Some of the
preformed channels have rounded or specially shaped bottoms to encourage self-cleaning,
but most cast in place channels have a square bottom. The channels may vary in depth so
that they can accommodate more water flow as they near their connection point with the
drainage system.

Figure 17 Channel drain

Slot drains are similar to channel dains except that they do not have removable covers. A
relatively narrow slot is formed in a concrete surround that has an inbuilt pipe. The width of
the slot needs to expand with depth to avoid clogging. Slot drains have a lower inflow
capacity than channel drains, and as such need to be constructed at a closer spacing.

Figure 18 Slot drain

Surface Water System Design Method

The area of most container terminals is less than 200 hectares. The Rational Method of
drainage design is suitable for facilities up to this size. This method determines the run-off for
a given area (Q in litres per second) as the product of the surface characteristics of the
pavement (run-off coefficient C), rainfall intensity (I in mm per hour) and the drainage area
(An in hectares), as represented by the Formula 15:


Formula 15 Run-off for a given area

Typical run-off coefficients for different pavement surfaces are as follows:

Asphalt: 0.70-0.95
Concrete: 0.80-0.95
Pavers: 0.70-0.85

Further details on the Rational Method of drainage design are beyond the scope of this
publication. The reader should consult appropriate drainage design references for further
details when undertaking the design of a container terminal drainage system.

Water Quality and Best Management Practices

Most container terminals drain into the river, estuary or bay on which the port is located.
Older ports often drained directly into the berth, but recently developed terminals are
designed with greater concern related to pollution and the environment. National and local
regulations govern water quality issues to protect public health, aquatic life and recreational

The first flush of water in a rain storm will usually wash much of the pollutants such as oil and
sediment from the pavement surface. Many authorities require that this first flush is captured
in advance of the outfall. This is typically achieved by diverting the initial discharge into an
attenuation facility, which will be bypassed by the later storm water. Attenuation of water is
typically achieved using detention ponds. These can be dry, retaining water for only a day or
two, or they can be wet where there is always some stored water, but with sufficient
freeboard to accommodate the required additional volume.

Process water from cleaning and other polluting activities is required to pass through an
interceptor system to separate the pollutants from the water before it enters the drainage
system. These are collected separately and disposed of safely. Spill containment
arrangement may adopt a similar system where hazardous cargos are stored.

Sub-Surface Drainage

The design of container terminal pavements has generally been undertaken with the intent of
keeping water out of the pavement structure by providing a relatively impermeable surface.
As many of the strength tests on base, sub-base and subgrade materials are undertaken on
soaked samples, it is often assumed that the effects of moisture in the pavement are
therefore considered in the design. Usually, during the design process, the strength and
durability of these materials has been based upon their density at optimum moisture contents.
Dense base and sub-base courses do not adequately drain or transmit water, which does not
lead to good pavement drainage. Drainability of the pavement layers had not been
considered an important issue for container terminal pavements until recent years.

8.6.1 Sources of Sub-Surface Water

Surface water infiltration of pavements will occur at an early age in those areas where the
surfacing material has a degree of vertical permeability. Infiltration increases as the
pavements age. Wheel load repetitions and environmental cycles can fatigue materials,
causing joints to open and cracks to occur and propagate. Asphalt in pavement surfacing
and joints will oxidize: sealants can fail so that construction joints and cracks can open
sufficiently to channel water below the surface. In poorly maintained pavements, infiltration
may be as high as a half to two thirds of the rainfall rate for concrete pavements and a third
to a half for asphalt pavements.

As well as surface infiltration, sub-surface water can also comprise groundwater. This may
be the result of a high water table, which can fluctuate on a seasonal basis possibly
modulated by tidal action. Moisture may also be present as a result of capillary action in the
subgrade or from water vapour transmission. Capillary action can induce significant moisture
in the subgrade even though the water table is much deeper. Water vapour will usually rise
until it reaches a relatively impervious layer.

Water may be present in the pavement materials as free water, capillary water, or water
vapour. The latter two can collect as free water in voids, cracks and layer interfaces. Free
water can be removed by draining vertically downwards into permeable subgrades or
laterally through a drainage layer to a collection system, which is in turn connected to the
surface water drainage system. A drainage layer should extend over the entire pavement

8.6.2 Issues

Water can have a particularly deleterious effect on pavement performance. It can saturate
the pavement and subgrade materials and cause them to weaken, or it can cause erosion by
movement of free water. The base, sub-base and subgrade in flexible pavements can all
loose strength when saturated with water. Container handling equipment wheel patch loads
accentuate this problem and can lead to moisture induced premature pavement distress.
Under dynamic loading, the pore water pressure in fully and even partly saturated materials
increases, reducing the internal friction between particles and the materials resistance to

shear stresses thereby diminishing stability and causing failure. In fact, this phenomenon has
led to several container terminal pavement failures.

Movement of water can also cause stripping of the binder from the aggregates in asphalt,
leading to a loss of strength and disaggregation. In rigid pavements, free water trapped
between the concrete and the base can jet along this interface under pressure propelled by
wheel loadings and cause pumping and erosion of the base. The resulting voids cause
overstressing of the concrete, leading to cracking and consequential pavement failure.

Some soils exhibit high volume change when water is added, causing differential heaving
and weakening of the pavement structure. In frost areas, sub-surface water can lead to frost
heave and loss of subgrade strength during thawing. Ice formation in porous areas of asphalt
can rapidly lead to potholes and general pavement failure.

When a subgrade is not properly profiled or shaped, water may collect in low spots beneath
the pavement layers and cause the subgrade to lose strength and thereby to reduce the
support it provides to the overlying pavement. Pervious layers of the pavement structure may
offer the easiest path for the water to flow downhill within the pavement structure until it
collects in a low area, causing saturation and weaken of the subgrade, resulting in pavement

8.6.3 Drainage Layers

A drainage layer can be provided directly below a pavement to conduct away any water
which attains the level of the underside of the pavement. It can deal with water which
permeates vertically downwards through the pavement, from water travelling horizontally
through the ground and from a rise in water table to a level coinciding with the underside of
the pavement.

A drainage layer should be designed so that it is capable of accommodating all of the water
that attains it. The design infiltration rate is often based upon the maximum rainfall occurring
in one hour with an average frequency of once per year. The thickness of the drainage layer
can be determined using Darcys Law (Q = kiA where Q is the quantity of water, k is the
coefficient of permeability of the drainage material, i is the hydraulic gradient and A is the
cross sectional area of the drainage layer).

A subsurface drainage system includes an open graded drainage layer, a filter or choke layer
and collector drains. The drainage layer will consist of clean crushed aggregate with a
Particle Size Distribution (PSD or gradation) that is limited to a narrow range of particle sizes.
Such materials have high interconnected void space to achieve high permeability. The filter
layer can be graded aggregate that is finer than the drainage material so that it chokes the
voids and prevents infiltration of subgrade materials from underneath or piping of fines from
overlying pavement layers.

The location of the drainage layer will depend on the type of pavement structure. In rigid
pavements, such as poured in place and roller compacted concrete, the drainage layer
should be placed directly beneath the concrete. This will enable the drainage layer to collect
water entering through cracks and joints and prevent a local build-up of water that could
cause pumping. It will also protect the sub-base and subgrade from infiltrated water by
rapidly draining the water away. In flexible pavements such as asphalt on aggregate base,
the drainage layer should be placed beneath the aggregate base. This will provide drainage
to the aggregate base, create a capillary break and keep the stresses in the drainage layer to
an acceptable level. It will also protect the sub-base and subgrade from infiltrated water.

8.6.4 Materials

The material for a drainage layer should be a hard, durable crushed aggregate. It should not
break down under construction traffic or subsequently under in-service traffic. It should be
capable of providing a CBR value of at least 80 % and have a Los Angeles Abrasion value
loss not greater than 40. Most drainage materials are open graded having a narrow range of
particle sizes with maximum sizes of 12.5 mm, 19 mm or 25 mm, depending on layer
thickness. When compacted they will have a void content of 25-35 %. Sometimes materials
with a wider range of particle sizes are preferable for stability and these can function
satisfactorily when they have a void content of 20-25 %, albeit in thicker layers. They are
frequently referred to as rapid draining materials.

The drainage layer aggregate will typically have a PSD or gradation such that the 85 percent
passing sieve size is no more than four times the 15 percent passing sieve size, and less
than 2 percent is finer than a 2.5 mm (US No.8) sieve. These criteria can be represented as
follows, where DX is the sieve size that X percent of the aggregate passes:

D85 < 4D15 and D2 > 2.5 mm

Typically, drainage layers of between 100 mm to 200 mm thickness are used. The coefficient
of permeability (k) of the drainage material can be determined through testing using
Constant Head or Falling Head permeameters. Typical values for k range between 0.004
and 0.02 m/s for uniformly graded aggregates and between 0.02 and 0.4m/s for rapid
draining materials.

Drainage layers may also be constructed with asphalt or cement as a binder. Bound
drainage layers have slightly lower coefficients of permeability as the binder occupies part of
the void structure. However, constructing successive pavement layers on top of a bound
drainage layer is often simpler than when the aggregates remain unbound.

Asphalt can be used to produce a bound drainage layer when mixed at about 2 to 3 percent
by weight with the aggregate. There should be just enough asphalt (i.e. bitumen) to coat the
aggregate particles, without filling the voids with excess bitumen. The same grade of bitumen
that would be used in a base course should be used. Alternatively, cement can be used to
bind the aggregate particles creating a permeable Hydraulically Bound Material. A low
cement content of around 180 kg/m3 is typical depending on the aggregate gradation. The
water/cement ratio should be sufficient to achieve a paste that will completely coat the
aggregates without draining into the voids.

A filter or choke layer may be required on top of or below the drainage layer to prevent the
piping of fine material into the drainage layer. It will have a PSD/gradation finer than that of
the drainage layer, but coarser than the subgrade. The relationship between the
PSD/gradations of each layer is as follows:

D15 drainage layer / D85 filter layer < 5

D50 drainage layer / D50 filter layer < 25

Typical values for k range between 0.04 and 0.0004 m/s (4 x 10-2 and 4 x 10-4) for well
graded aggregates without fines, and between 7 x 10-4 and 7 x 10-6 m/s for clean sands.

Similar PSD/gradation ratios relate to the particle sizes requirements of the subgrade and the
filter layer. It may be necessary to use two filter layers over fine subgrade soils when a
coarse drainage layer is used. Alternatively, a geotextile can be used to perform the
functions of separation and filtering between the drainage layer and the subgrade.

8.6.5 Construction of the Drainage Layer

Open graded drainage layers can be difficult to construct if they do not have adequate
stability to support the construction equipment working on them or on subsequent layers.
Special precautions may be necessary when handling the aggregates to avoid segregation.
Although drainage layers can be installed using dump trucks and graders, the use of asphalt
pavers can simplify the process. Drainage layers should be constructed in thin lifts, typically
limited to a depth of 150-200 mm per lift.

The density controls used to monitor the compaction of graded aggregate base are not
appropriate to drainage layer material. As such, most specifications adopt a method
requirement such as a number of passes of a vibratory roller followed by a number of passes
by a static roller. Roller weights of 10 tonnes are typically used, with 3-4 vibratory passes
followed by 2-4 static passes. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the aggregate is not
fracturing or crushing under the roller. If this occurs thinner lifts and a lighter roller may be

To prevent displacement of the drainage layer material under subsequent construction traffic
it may be necessary to use a choke layer over the top of the completed drainage course.
This should be relatively thin so that it fills the surface voids and stabilizes the aggregate
particles. It also prevents the loss of fine aggregate and grout when overlaying with poured-
in-place concrete. Alternatively, a geotextile can be used, however, one should be selected
that will not clog when local flows occur through cracks or joints. When an aggregate base
course is placed over a drainage layer, care should be taken to detect any areas that appear
unstable under the compaction equipment.

Sub-Surface Collector Drains

Where drainage layers are used in a container terminal pavement, it is likely that water flows
will be sufficient to require that collector drains are included. Collector drains should be
provided at the bottom, or slightly below the drainage layer. If it is intended that these drains
also reduce the natural water table level then they will need to be deeper. They may also
need to be deeper if there is the potential that they will freeze.

Collector drains will be arranged so that they are transverse or diagonal to the pavement
gradient. A slight fall will be required to enable water to flow to the connection to the storm-
water drainage system. The collector pipes should connect to manholes or pipe runs at the
highest possible level to prevent inundation from the flow in the pipes. The size and fall can
be calculated using standard pipe design methods. For best performance and ease of
maintenance, flushing points should be provided. This will enable occasional high-pressure
water jetting to loosen and remove any sediment that has built up in the pipes.

Collector drains can take several forms including trenches filled with open graded aggregate,
perforated pipes and geocomposites such as fin drains, although for larger pavements they
will normally include a pipe. The collector pipe should be flexible double wall corrugated
polyethylene or rigid single wall polyvinyl chloride pipe, suitable for the applied loading
conditions. These pipes will be surrounded by drainage aggregate material up to the bottom
of the drainage layer.

8.7.1 Gravel Beds

The ultimate use of drainage layers is in container stacking areas where there is no moving
wheel load, typically under gantry cranes where the drainage layer is at the pavement
surface and becomes a gravel bed. In these situations, the gravel is designed to accept

100 % of the rainfall falling directly on it plus any that is channelled into the gravel bed from
surrounding impermeable/less permeable pavements. In older applications where the
container stacks were only two or three high it was common practice to stack the containers
directly on the surface of the gravel bed. However, more recently, as container stacking
heights have increased, the containers are stacked on concrete ground beams that are
located within the gravel bed to coincide with the containers corner castings.

Figure 19 A gravel bed

Gantry crane rails can also be founded on gravel beds. This allows for easy re-levelling
adjustment to compensate for any settlement.

Figure 20 Gantry crane rails on gravel bed

Collector pipes in a gravel bed may be large owing to the amount of water collected in the

Figure 21 Collector pipes in gravel bed

9 Geotechnical Engineering


The impact of geotechnical engineering on the performance of container terminal pavements

is critical and while this section comprises a basic level of information relating to the
interpretation of essential geotechnical information for the design of container terminal
pavements it should be used to supplement the work of an experienced team of geotechnical
engineers with experience of the application of geotechnical concepts and methodologies to
pavement engineering. Successful pavement design requires a thorough understanding of
the engineering properties of subgrade soils, fill materials including reclamation dredged
materials and both bound and unbound pavement foundation materials as well as other
components of the pavement system.

Geotechnical Investigation

A geotechnical investigation may cost between 0.1 % and 2 % of the total pavement
construction cost. Constraints imposed by the client, such as limits on the cost, timing and
available area for the site investigation exercise and agreed resources may diminish the
quality of the geotechnical data. Information acquired for a non-pavement purpose, e.g. a
quay wall, may require to be supplemented when the pavement is being considered. For
example, pavement engineers usually take a significant interest in the California Bearing
Ratio of the subgrade and foundation materials which would be of little interest to the quay
wall designer. Table 4 below shows recommended reasonable cost estimates for the amount
to be allocated to a container terminal pavement geotechnical investigation.

Percentage of pavement
Project Stage Geotechnical Key Phase construction cost required for
geotechnical investigation
Feasibility & Planning Study
Desktop Study 0.00 % to 0.05 %
Concept Design
FEED Design Minor Site Investigation 0.05 % to 0.10 %
Preliminary Design Preliminary Site investigation 0.20 % to 0.40 %
Detailed Design Detailed Site Investigation 0.40 % to 0.80 %
Construction Stage Tests/Inspection/Monitoring 0.80 % to 2.00 %
Maintenance Stage Inspection/Monitoring less than 0.5 %

Table 4 Geotechnical involvement and cost estimations throughout all phases of a pavement project

9.2.1 Investigation and Planning

This section introduces the usual scope of field tests related to different stages of new
pavement projects. Note that these recommendations have been defined for pavement
purposes only and do not include investigations further than 4 m in depth.

Geotechnical Key Main Contents Comments
Feasibility and Concept Design are
generally not driven by detailed
geotechnical conditions of a specific
Review of Historical Data and previous location. It should bring together existing, or
Desktop Study experience with pavements in the project researched information, and identify
area potential areas of information conflict or
deficiency. It should provide the basis upon
which to design and plan further site

FEED Design: clients should develop in-

house minor site investigation capability to
One plate bearing test every 10,000 m 2.
decrease the level of allocated contingency
One test pit every 2,500 m2.
in pavements that bidders usually apply in
Laboratory testing is recommended. This
Minor Site their proposals. Information obtained from
includes, but is not limited to: soil type,
Investigation borehole data and laboratory testing should
USCS classification, Atterberg limits,
be included in tender documents in a
particle description, moisture condition,
Conceptual Geotechnical Interpretative
compaction (Proctor) and strength
Report to allow pavement designers to
appreciate the behaviour of the underlying

One plate bearing test every 5,000 m 2

One test pit every 1,500 m2. Preliminary Engineering. A Preliminary
Laboratory testing is mandatory to Geotechnical Interpretative Report should
Preliminary Site determine basic engineering parameters. be developed to state basic design
Investigation Dynamic testing (Dynamic Cone parameters and inform pavement solutions.
Penetrometer method or similar) is Pavement thickness should be addressed
recommended to evaluate the at this stage.
homogeneity of the subgrade.

One plate bearing test every 2,000 m 2 Detailed design. A Detailed Geotechnical
One test pit every 750 m2. Interpretative Report must be developed to
Detailed Site Laboratory testing is mandatory to state detailed design parameters and
Investigation determine basic engineering parameters. inform detailed design drawings which
Dynamic testing is recommended to should include detailed pavement solutions
evaluate the homogeneity of the including course thicknesses, joints strategy
subgrade. and pavements for special areas.

Apply full-scale loads in the trial area.

Check the suitability of the design in an
Loads and pavement materials should be
Trial Area early stage of the works by a trial area.
specified in the detailed design. Prepare a
All pavement elements should be
report Description of and Conclusions from
included in the trial area.
Pavement Trial Area.

Owners and Designers are recommended

Develop a Pavement Maintenance to develop Maintenance Manuals to make
Inspection & Manual which includes the performance clear statements of the anticipated
Maintenance of the pavement through its design life, performance of their pavement. Inspection
the methods of ongoing inspection, and and maintenance costs should be
maintenance recommendations. estimated before the commencement of the
service phase of the terminal.

Table 5 Recommended scope of works for geotechnical investigations throughout all phases of the
pavement project

Figure 22 Doweled joint in a pavement trial area
(Source: SENER Ingeniera y Sistemas S.A.)

The main concerns for pavements in areas of fill will be the settlements resulting from either
compaction/compression of the fill material or consolidation of soft subgrade materials below
that fill. The investigation of the fill and underlying subgrade materials should include
compiling and examining the stratigraphic information from the field investigation (i.e. existing
information, geophysical results, in situ tests and borehole logs (contemporaneous and
historic) and the generation of a final intrusive investigation including additional final boring
logs. The final stratification logs should be developed using classification tests to establish
stratigraphy in relation to the design parameters. Soil profiles and plan views over the
container terminal and its allied areas can then be created to determine design testing
requirements for each influential soil strata encountered. General geotechnical investigation
standards and references should be consulted to assess the scope of a geotechnical field

If a container terminal pavement has to be extended or repaved, Ground Penetrating Radar

(GPR) comprises a valuable tool which provides information on existing pavement
components, layer thickness and defects. It can also significantly enhance the information
obtained from other survey methods such as deflectograph measurements and Falling
Weight Deflectometer (FWD) testing by joining up the dots. The frequency of those tests
should be similar to the plate bearing tests defined in the Table 5.

If field testing show engineering properties to be inferior to those assumed in pavement

design or if the field testing reveals other circumstances that could adversely impact the
performance of the pavement, further no-standard sampling and testing may be required to
resolve the issue(s).

Geotechnical Design Criteria

Geotechnical codes usually allow some degree of interpretation and allow multiple methods
to deal with engineering situations. In this context, the aim of this section is to provide the
fundamental guidance to allow an initial selection of parameters related to the structural
design of pavements.

This section provides guidance on the geotechnical parameter selection in order to inform
the structural pavement design process. Geotechnical failures are not expected to occur
within the design life of the pavement; however, fatigue in improved base materials (i.e.
cement treated materials) may control pavement longevity in terms of the number of wheel
patch loads to failure.

9.3.1 General Design Criteria

Experience demonstrates that pavement long-term performance correlates strongly with the
degree of consolidation of the fill and the existence of weak materials such as highly organic
materials, such as peat. For this reason, professional judgment is required when settlements
of any nature are expected to occur and less sensitive pavement types should be selected
prior to the detailed pavement design. Where this has been the case in some parts of Europe,
concrete block paving has been selected as the pavement surfacing material. Engineers may
consider the possibility of designing temporary or staged pavements with a design life of 10
years or fewer with the anticipation of resurfacing operations periodically.

Figure 23 Granular sub-base and base installation

(Source: SENER Ingeniera y Sistemas S.A.)

Design situations and parameter selection for ultimate and serviceability limit states are
generally defined in each applicable code and specified on a project basis. The following
tables provide recommended lower and upper bound engineering properties of commonly
specified/encountered materials for preliminary design purposes for bases, subgrades and
foundations (sub-bases and capping materials) including those comprising soil-cement and
soil-lime mixtures.

k (Westergaard)-
Base and Subgrades (USCS classification) CBR values
CBR k k
CBR (%)
Natural Soils (%) (N/mm3) (N/mm3)
Peat, Hummus and Others (Pt) 0.1 0.5 0.001 0.004
Organic Clays (OH) 0.2 1.00 0.002 0.006
High Plasticity Clays (CH) 0.5 2.0 0.004 0.011
Miscellaneous Clays (MH) 1.0 2.0 0.006 0.011
Organic Silts or Lean Organic Clays (OL) 2.0 4.0 0.011 0.019
Silts, Sandy Silts, Lean Clays and Gravelly Silts (ML, CL) 3.0 6.0 0.015 0.026
Clayey Sand or Clayey Gravely Sand (SC) 6.0 20.0 0.026 0.066
Sand or Gravelly Sand Poorly Graded (SU) 10.0 25.0 0.038 0.078
Fine or Slightly Compacted Poorly Graded Sand (SP) 15.0 25.0 0.053 0.078
Silty Sand or Gravelly Sands (SM) 15.0 35.0 0.053 0.102
Well-Compacted and Well-Graded Sand (SW) 20.0 40.0 0.066 0.113
Silty Gravel or Silty Sandy Gravel (GM) 20.0 40.0 0.066 0.113
Crushed Stone with Sand (GU) and Clayey Gravels (GC) 25.0 50.0 0.078 0.134
Coarse Crushed Stone (GP) 35.0 60.0 0.102 0.155
Well-Compacted Crushed Stone (GW) 60.0 100.0 0.155 0.230

Table 6 Recommended base and subgrade parameters for natural soils

(Source: WG 165 based on AC 150/5320-6E)

Base and Subgrades (USCS Classification)

CBR values k (Westergaard)-values
with an Addition of Cement
CBR (%) CBR (%) k (N/mm3) k (N/mm3)
Soil-Cement Mixtures
GW, GP, GM, GC and SW 600.0 1,000.0 0.930 1.385
SM and SC 200.0 600.0 0.395 0.930
SP, ML and CL 100.0 200.0 0.230 0.395
ML, CL, MH and VH 50.0 100.0 0.134 0.230
CH, OL, OH and Pt 1.0 50.0 0.006 0.134

Table 7 Recommended base and subgrade parameters for soil-cement mixtures

(Source: Ingles and Metclaf (1972): Values at 8-10 % cement addition)

Base and Subgrades (USCS Classification) CBR

k (Westergaard)-values
with an Addition of Lime values
CBR (%) CBR (%) k (N/mm3) k (N/mm3)
Soil-Lime Mixtures
GW, GP, GM, GC, SW and SP 50.0 75.0 0.134 0.184
SM and SC 25.0 50.0 0.078 0.134
ML, CL, MH and VH 15.0 30.0 0.053 0.090
CH 10.0 25.0 0.038 0.078
OL, OH and Pt 1.0 10.0 0.006 0.038

Table 8 Recommended base and subgrade parameters for soil-lime mixtures

(Source: Ingles and Metclaf (1972): Values shown are at the additive level optimum for the respective
soil types)

Young's Modulus Young's Modulus
Base and Subgrades (USCS Classification)
Dynamic Loads Static Loads
E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa)
Natural Soils
Peat, Hummus and Others (Pt) 0.5 5.0 0.5 4.1
Organic Clays (OH) 2.5 10.0 2.6 6.5
High Plasticity Clays (CH) 5.0 20.0 4.1 10.2
Miscellaneous Clays (MH) 10.0 20.0 6.5 10.2
Organic Silts or Lean Organic Clays (OL) 20.0 40.0 10.2 16.0
Silts, Sandy Silts, Lean Clays and Gravelly Silts (ML, CL) 30.0 60.0 13.3 20.8
Clayey Sand or Clayey Gravely Sand (SC) 60.0 200.0 20.8 45.6
Sand or Gravelly Sand Poorly Graded (SU) 100.0 250.0 29.0 52.7
Fine or Slightly Compacted Poorly Graded Sand (SP) 150.0 250.0 37.8 52.7
Silty Sand or Gravelly Sands (SM) 150.0 350.0 37.8 65.5
Well-Compacted and Well-Graded Sand (SW) 200.0 400.0 45.6 71.5
Silty Gravel or Silty Sandy Gravel (GM) 200.0 400.0 45.6 71.5
Crushed Stone with Sand (GU) and Clayey Gravels (GC) 250.0 500.0 52.7 82.7
Coarse Crushed Stone (GP) 350.0 600.0 65.5 93.0
Well-Compacted Crushed Stone (GW) 600.0 1,000.0 93.0 129.7

Table 9 Youngs Modulus (stiffness) recommended parameters for natural soils

(Source:WG 165 based on AC 150/5320-6E)

Base and Subgrades (USCS Classification) with an Young's Modulus Young's Modulus
Addition of Cement Dynamic Loads Static Loads
E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa)
Soil Cement Mixtures
GW, GP, GM, GC and SW 6,000.0 10,000.0 415.6 579.3
SM and SC 2,000.0 6,000.0 203.5 415.6
SP, ML and CL 1,000.0 2,000.0 129.7 203.5
ML, CL, MH and VH 500.0 1,000.0 82.7 129.7
CH, OL, OH and Pt 10.0 500.0 6.5 82.7

Table 10 Youngs Modulus (stiffness) recommended parameters for soil-cement mixtures

(Source: WG 165 based on Ingles and Metclaf (1972): Values at 8-10 % cement addition)

Base and Subgrades (USCS Classification) with an Young's Modulus Young's Modulus
Addition of Lime Dynamic Loads Static Loads
E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa) E (MPa)
Soil Cement Mixtures
GW, GP, GM, GC, SW and SP 500.0 750.0 82.7 107.6
SM and SC 250.0 500.0 52.7 82.7
ML, CL, MH and VH 150.0 300.0 37.8 59.3
CH 100.0 250.0 29.0 52.7
OL, OH and Pt 10.0 100.0 6.5 29.0

Table 11 Youngs Modulus (stiffness) recommended parameters for soil-lime mixtures

(Source: WG 165 based on Ingles and Metclaf (1972): Values shown are at the additive level
optimum for the respective soil types)

The following figure evaluates the impact on the slab thickness when underestimating the k-
value for rigid pavements. Ground conditions definitely have an important impact on rigid
slab performance.

Figure 24 Effect of errors in estimating the k-value in pavement design

Geotechnical Risks Related to Pavement Design

Table 12 comprises a design checklist for the risks and suggested recommended actions
related to geotechnical issues in container terminal pavement design.

Risk Recommended Action

Soil stabilisation or removal of the sensitive layer is recommended.
Damage from
Select a type of pavement which can be easily repaired (flexible or block
active clays
Stabilisation of moisture-sensitive natural foundation soils is always recommended.
Native subgrades of collapsible soils should be soaked with water prior to
construction and rolled with heavy compaction equipment.
Damage from
Other special remedial measures may be required to prevent large-scale cracking
collapsible soils
and differential settlement.
Stabilisation of moisture-sensitive natural foundation soils is always recommended.
The examination of the source rock by geotechnical engineers is essential to
Availability of ensure the granular materials will exhibit adequate durability in the project
source materials conditions.
Promote the use of local materials and construction techniques.
Samples and laboratory testing are required to determine the suitability of imported
Imported materials materials to be used as fill and to evaluate suitable borrow sources for additional
fill, as required and for base and sub-base materials of the pavement section.
Increase the intensity of field investigations to reduce the uncertainty.
Non-homogenous Select a less sensitive type of pavement (rigid/concrete).
subgrade Apply a general improvement of the subgrade conditions.
conditions Attention must be given to transition zones because of the potential for non-uniform
pavement support.
Sea level rise or Select subgrades with a low susceptibility to change in engineering properties as
unexpected rise of moisture content changes (preference to granular materials).
the groundwater Use a geotextile to separate multi-layered systems to avoid fine material intruding
head into coarser materials.
Risk Recommended Action
Joint sealing prevents moisture ingress which can lead to softening of pavement
foundation or even pumping of fines to the surface.
Drainage potential
Subsurface drainage systems need to be considered to prevent water from
of the foundation
saturating the pavement layers and foundation.
Edge drains are also recommended to remove surface infiltration water.
Potential Frost Road fatigue related to subgrade frost-action should be carefully evaluated and
Action excavation requirements and materials should be defined accordingly.
Liquefaction Select less sensitive pavement types/materials which are relatively easy to repair
potential risks (block pavement or flexible asphalt pavements).
Compaction works may induce local liquefaction of fine sand layers. Top existing
layers should be replaced by granular materials. The use of geotextiles between
Sand Volcanoes
the natural subgrade and the base and sub-base layers is recommended in this
case (filter function is required).
If significant settlements resulting from compression of the fill material or resulting
Settlements in fill from consolidation of soft subgrade materials beneath the fill are expected, ground
sections improvement techniques may be required, such as wick drains, stone columns or
surcharge methods.

Table 12 Geotechnical risks and recommended actions in pavement design

Figure 25 Pavement damage resulting from active clays

(Source: SENER Ingeniera y Sistemas S.A.)

Figure 26 Pavement damage resulting from liquefaction of the fill

(Source: Informe de Situacin del Terminal Martimo General San Martn in Pisco after 2007

Figure 27 Sand volcano in a container terminal esplanade
(Source: SENER Ingeniera y Sistemas S.A.)

Geotechnical Construction Engineering

Geotechnical construction engineering is in constant evolution and usually one step ahead of
existing codes or traditional practices. Innovative technologies/materials should be
incorporated, or at least investigated, in the context of project initial design alternatives. The
following list defines the state-of-the-art practices that geotechnical engineers should
consider when facing container terminal projects:

Evaluate the execution of soil bitumen/lime/cement stabilisation to improve the natural

subgrade conditions. The thickness of a soil-cement base depends upon subgrade
strength, pavement design period, traffic and loading conditions and thickness of the
wearing surface.
Consider the use of geotextiles and geo-membranes in the base and/or sub-base under
specific heavy loading and poor soil conditions. The improvement comes from the
separation and reinforcing functions, and can be assessed in terms of either an improved
system performance or reduced aggregate thickness requirements.
Consider the use of temporary pavements for the first 5 to 10 years of operation under
certain capital costs limitations, geotechnical uncertainties or high risk of liquefaction.
When a water table is located near the surface a subsurface drainage system is
recommended as part of the design strategy. Water may significantly weaken aggregate
base layers and the subgrade soil.

Figure 28 Pavement slabs under construction
(Source: SENER Ingeniera y Sistemas S.A.)

Once the geotechnical investigations have been completed, the pavement foundation, i.e.
the sub-base and capping layers can be selected and proportioned. Appendix 5 includes the
foundation design method described in the BPA manual.

10 Container Terminal Pavement Materials
It can be helpful to consider a container terminal pavement to comprise three conceptual

a) The surface layer

b) The structural layer
c) The foundation layer

Each of those layers may comprise one or more physical courses and in some cases two of
the layers may be installed as one physical course. The following materials have been found
to perform satisfactorily.

Surface Layer Materials

Asphalt surfacing materials of high stability

Open graded asphalt with the voids filled with hydraulic cement grout
In situ concrete
Concrete block paving

Structural Layer Materials

Asphalt base course materials of high stability

Plain and reinforced concrete
Roller Compacted Concrete
Low cement content and low water content concrete
High quality crushed rock

Foundation Layer Materials

Crushed rock
Cement treated crushed rock
Recycled construction materials
Cement stabilised subgrade material

Geotextiles and geogrids are sometimes included at the layer interfaces to maintain
separation and to stiffen/strengthen the pavements.

This report includes references to materials which are specific to a country or region. The
Table 13 shows the correspondence between terminology in French and English for many of
the materials commonly referred to in this report.

French Nomenclature English Nomenclature MEF
Sable ciment T2 CBGM C1.5/2 1.74
Sable ciment T3 CBGM C3/4 1.38
Grave ciment T3 CBGM C5/6 1.16
Grave ciment T4 CBGM C8/10 1
Bton compact T5 CBGM C20/25 0.74
Bton maigre BC2 C20/25 0.74
Bton maigre BC3 C25/30 0.65
Bton roulement BC4 C28/32 0.62
Bton roulement BC5 C32/40 0.6
GNT (500 MPa) Unbound material 3
Grave bitume GB2 (9000 MPa at 15C 10
HDM 50 0.82
Grave mulsion (5000 MPa at 15C 10 Hz) DBM 125 1
BB surface (7000 MPa at 15C 10 Hz) HRA 50 1.25

Table 13 French and English materials nomenclature comparison

Common Pavement Sections used in Container Terminal Pavements

The following pavement types have been commonly used and have proved successful:

Concrete Block Paving on Cement Bound Base

80 mm thickness concrete paving blocks (some operators prefer 100 mm thick pavers for
very heavily loaded pavements)
30 mm thickness laying course sand
Cement bound base C8/10 (1450 psi) or C12/15 (2,180 psi)
Unbound crushed rock or cement bound subbase

In situ Jointed Concrete Pavement

Plain or reinforced in situ concrete slab C32/40 (5,800 psi) or C40/50 (7,250 psi)
Unbound crushed rock or cement bound sub-base

Asphalt Pavement

Design hot mix asphalt manufactured with modified bitumen binder

Cement bound or unbound crushed rock base and sub-base

In situ Concrete Runway Beams for RTG operation

Reinforced in situ concrete beam

Unbound crushed rock or cement bound/wet lean concrete sub-base

In situ Concrete Plinths for Container Stacking with gravel infill

Reinforced in situ concrete plinths

Cement bound/wet lean concrete sub-base C8/10 (1,450 psi)

Roller Compacted Concrete

Paver laid roller compacted concrete

Cement bound granular sub-base C8/10 (1,450 psi)
Unbound crushed rock sub-base

Concrete Block Paving (CBP)

Concrete Block Paving is a preferred container terminal surfacing material in many regions
because it combines the benefits of the durability of concrete with the flexibility of asphalt. It
was first used on a major container terminal at Europort, Rotterdam at the ECT Terminal in
1971. The driving factor was the anticipated settlements and the ability to remove and relay
areas of pavers from time to time to maintain the required terminal surface level. The pavers
and their laying course material are frequently installed over a dry lean concrete which
includes a bitumen bond coat to prevent the intrusion of bedding sand into the cracks which
sometimes develop in lean concretes. Rectangular pavers of plan dimensions 200 mm x 100
mm and thickness 80 mm have been found to be particularly suitable. Pavers of proprietary
shapes have been installed at some container terminals.

The dominance of pavers in UK container terminals has led to the British Ports Association
port pavement design manual (BPA manual) focusing on this type of solution. The UK port
pavement designer first designs a concrete block pavement then should he prefer to use an
alternative surfacing material, uses Material Equivalence Factors (MEFs) to transform the
concrete block pavement solution to one using alternative materials. The following table is
taken from the BPA manual and provides MEF values for commonly specified container
terminal pavement construction materials. The lower the materials MEF, the more effective
is that material within a pavement.

The performance of concrete block paving is dependent on the performance of the

underlying pavement base. In particular, the underlying base material must be hard, durable
and of sufficient strength to withstand the pressures and loads of container handling
equipment. An hydraulically bound cement bound granular mixture, CBGM C8/10 (1,450 psi)
or a C12/15 (2,180 psi) concrete will provide a suitable base for concrete block paving. The
BPA manual allows the use of a range of base materials from granular to strong concretes.
Note that Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBMs) with compressive strengths lower than C8/10
(1,450 psi) and softer asphalts would not normally be considered suitable for use as a base
beneath concrete block paving. Lower strength materials may be used at lower levels in the
pavement structure and/or foundation.

During the early service life paver jointing sand may need to be replenished. Within a few
months detritus from container handling equipment will be pressed into the joints thereby
eliminating this need. Individual pavers which have become dislodged, cracked or broken are
easily replaced. Block paving has many advantages, including resistance to high contact
pressures, resistance to oil spillage, ability to accommodate differential settlements and
relative simplicity of patch repairs in the case of pavement surface damage.

If the pavement base deforms as a result of settlement the block paving will mirror the profile
of the deformed base. The longevity of concrete block paving can be enhanced by ensuring
that the laying course material comprises naturally occurring silica sand with a minimum of
material passing a 75 micron sieve (No 200 sieve), say no more than 0.5 %. Using material
whose particles comprise weathered naturally occurring silica crystals further improves the
performance of the pavers. Joints can be stabilised by the introduction of a water-based
polymer stabiliser, often incorrectly referred to as a paver sealer.

Block paving deforms under highly channelised heavy wheel loads, particularly under 8-
wheeled RTGs whose individual wheel loads are approximately 25 tonne. It is common
practice to operate 8-wheeled RTGs on reinforced concrete runway beams rather than on

Material Grouping Preferred Pavement Base Construction Material Equivalence
Factor (MEF)
C1.5/2.0 to BS EN 14227-1 1.74
C3/4 to BS EN 14227-1 1.38
C5/6 to BS EN 14227-1 1.16
C8/10 to BS EN 14227-1 1.00
C12/15 to BS EN 14227-1 0.87
C16/20 to BS EN 14227-1 0.79
C20/25 to BS EN 14227-1 0.74
Hydraulically C1.5/2.0 to BS EN 14227-2&3 1.74
Bound C3/4 to BS EN 14227-2&3 1.38
Mixtures C6/8 to BS EN 14227-2&3 1.10
C9/12 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.95
C12/16 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.85
C15/20 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.79
C18/24 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.76
C21/28 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.72
C24/32 to BSEN 14227-2&3 0.68
C27/36 to BS EN 14227-2&3 0.63
C8/10 to BS8500-1 1.00
C12/15 to BS8500-1 0.87
C16/20 to BS8500-1 0.79
C20/25 to BS8500-1 0.74
C25/30 to BS8500-1 0.65
C25/30 to BS8500-1 including 20 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.60
C25/30 to BS8500-1 including 30 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.55
C25/30 to BS8500-1 including 40 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.50
C28/35 to BS8500-1 0.62
C32/40 to BS8500-1 0.60
C32/40 to BS8500-1 including 20 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.55
C32/40 to BS8500-1 including 30 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.50
C32/40 to BS8500-1 including 40 kg/m3 steel fibre 0.45
C35/45 to BS8500-1 0.58
CBM1 to SHW (4.5 N/mm2 minimum 7-days compressive cube strength) 1.60
CBM2 to SHW (7.0 N/mm2 minimum 7-days compressive cube strength) 1.20
CBM3 to SHW (10.0 N/mm2 minimum 7-days compressive cube strength) 1.00
Cement Bound
CBM4 to SHW (15.0 N/mm2 minimum 7-days compressive cube strength) 0.80
CBM5 to SHW (20.0 N/mm2 minimum 7-days compressive cube strength) 0.70
No-fines Lean Concrete for Permeable Paving 1.00
HDM as defined by SHW 0.82
Bitumen Bound
Materials DBM as defined by SHW 1.00
HRA as defined by SHW 1.25
Crushed Rock sub-base material of CBR 80 % 3.00
Concrete Concrete Block Paving as a surfacing
Block Paving (80 mm blocks and 30 mm laying course)

Table 14 BPA Material Equivalence Factors relating C 8/10 CBGM to other materials

Note that the thicknesses derived from the Design Charts need to be multiplied by the factors in this
table to obtain thicknesses for materials other than C 8/10 .
Note that those materials in italic would not normally be specified as a pavement base but may be
used as part of the pavement foundation (see Foundation Design).
Notes: Concrete referred to as C16/20 means concrete with a 28-days characteristic compressive
cube strength of 20N/mm2. Where two subscripts follow C, the first is characteristic compressive
cylinder strength and the second is characteristic compressive cube strength.

HDM = Heavy Duty Macadam

DBM = Dense Bitumen Macadam
HRA = Hot Rolled Asphalt

SHW = UK Highways Agency Specification for Highway Works

Concrete Block Paving to be used as surfacing only.
Crushed rock to be used as foundation only.
Bitumen bound materials (HDM, DBM and HRA) may deform under static loading.
Only those steel fibres specifically proven to enhance the strength of concrete to be specified.
In the case of CBM1 to CBM5, the minimum compressive cube strength is the averaged minimum
value (as opposed to the minimum measured on any one cube) which is close to characteristic
strength. Note that CBM1 to CBM5 are no longer specified in the UK but may be encountered in
pavement assessment relating to overlay design.

Portland Cement Concrete (PCC)

Portland Cement Concrete is regarded as a high initial cost low maintenance container
terminal pavement solution and is often used in parts of a pavement where the loading is
onerous. PCC pavements can use plain unreinforced concrete; structurally reinforced
concrete, concrete reinforced lightly by steel fabric or concrete reinforced using steel fibres.
In some regions, structural polypropylene reinforcement fibres are available. Usually, load
transfer is incorporated into PCC slabs by dowelled joints, tied joints or induced joints at
close spacings relying upon aggregate interlock.

The two material properties needed for thickness design of PCC pavements are the elastic
modulus and the 28-day modulus of rupture of the concrete. Typical values of 28-day
modulus of rupture for PCC are ranged between 600 to 750 psi. The economics of using
higher strength mixes should also be investigated. Depending on local material properties, a
higher strength mix may be feasible with little or no cost impact. Use of a higher strength mix
may reduce the thickness of the required PCC section. However, care should be exercised
when specifying high strength concrete which may be more susceptible to cracking than say
the traditional C25/30 PCC.

PCC pavements for container terminals often comprise in situ Jointed Steel Reinforced
Concrete or unjointed Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement.

In Situ Jointed Reinforced Concrete Pavements

Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) or Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC) comprises a high
initial cost low maintenance container terminal pavement solution and is often used in areas
where the loading/trafficking is onerous. Concrete pavements can be plain unreinforced,
structurally steel reinforced, reinforced with steel fabric near to the pavement surface or
reinforced with steel fibres at a dosage rate of 20 to 40 kg/m3.

Concrete pavements are generally designed to last for 40 years and are more costly to
construct than other types of pavement. Construction is labour intensive and time consuming
and the cost of pavement quality concrete and steel fabrication are high. The high initial
construction costs will be offset by low maintenance costs during the design period. In situ

concrete pavement provides a very durable and hard-wearing surface that can withstand
high surface contact stresses. A well-designed, well-constructed concrete pavement should
have an almost indefinite and trouble free life.

Concrete is a popular choice because of its resistance to deformation and surface abrasion.
Concrete pavements do not deform under concentrated loads and are generally resistant to
all of the factors which are commonly encountered at a container terminal.

Terminals are often constructed over reclamation fill material which consolidates under load
resulting in uniform and non-uniform settlements. Concrete pavements cannot accommodate
differential settlement without excessive cracking. The repair of broken concrete is both
disruptive and expensive.

Every two years joint seals will need to be repaired or replaced and possibly some minor
cracking in the concrete will need to be sealed or repaired from time to time. These repair
costs are low when compared to those of asphalt pavements which typically require a new
surface course after 10 years of service and a structural inlay including a new surface course
after 20 years of service.

The majority of the maintenance cost associated with concrete pavements is related to joints.
If the design life is to be achieved it is essential that concrete pavements are properly
maintained. Impact damage to concrete from heavy landing/dropping of containers occurs
from time to time, as does the development of cracks in the concrete bays. The development
of narrow cracks in the pavement surface is not unusual or detrimental to the performance of
the pavement structure. Steel reinforcement fabric near to the pavement surface should
restrict widening of the cracks. If wider cracks do develop they should be sealed with a
proprietary sealant.

The quality of surface finish will have a significant effect on its durability, in particular its
resistance to surface scuffing and fretting caused by slow manoeuvring heavy plant and
equipment. Impact damage to the concrete surface can be reduced by use of steel fibre

Typically, the compressive strength of pavement quality concrete is C32/40 (5,800 psi) with
air entrainment or C40/50 (7,250 psi) without air entrainment. Air entrainment is required in
the upper 50 mm of the pavement to prevent frost damage to the pavement surface.

Pavement thickness design is dependent on the flexural strength of concrete. Flexural

strength is approximately 10 % of compressive strength. This is an important factor since
concrete is often defined by its Compressive Strength but the container terminal pavement
designer uses its Flexural Strength. Therefore, the relationship between compressive and
flexural strength of a proposed concrete mixture should be established during design. The
inclusion of steel fibres into the concrete mixture will increase flexural strength to some
degree but their main benefit is the ductility which they introduce.

Jointed concrete pavements are cast in bays with sawn/induced contraction joints formed at
regular intervals. Where the pavement is trafficked in all directions by free movements of
container handling equipment, the cast bays are normally square of dimensions 5 m x 5 m.
When used for roadways where traffic is directional and more channelised the bays are
elongated in the direction of traffic. The maximum length/width ratio of concrete bays should
not exceed 2:1 concrete has a propensity to turn itself into squares by cracking. The
distance between transverse joints will be dependent on:

a) the type of aggregates used in the concrete mix and their coefficient of expansion
b) the range of local ambient temperatures
c) the ambient temperature at the time of construction
d) the amount of reinforcement used

Load is transferred between neighbouring concrete bays by steel dowel bars. Standard
calculations are undertaken to establish the strength of the arrangement of dowel bars. In the
case of particularly heavily loaded container terminal pavements, two rows of dowel bars
may be needed. Wheel patch loads applied at the centre of slabs, along the edges of slab
and at the corners of slabs are considered during concrete pavement design.

Jointed concrete pavements will include the design and detailing of contraction joints,
construction joints, isolation joints and expansion joints. Care should be taken when
designing the joint layout of the pavement to ensure that the joints do not coincide with
handling equipment wheel paths.

All joints should be sealed. Often a groove is formed along the line of the joint; the grooves
width and depth are defined by the dimension of the joint seal, which often comprises a
preformed deformable material. The design of the joint seal should take into account the
predicted movements at the joint location. The dimension of the joint seal should take into
account the Movement Accommodation Factor (MAF) for the sealant.

To calculate the theoretical minimum joint width knowing the expected maximum working
movement of the joint:

W= M+M

Formula 16 Theoretical minimum joint

W = Joint width
M = Expected maximum working movement of joint
MAF = Movement Accommodation Factor of that sealant

A failed joint seal will allow detritus into the joint restricting its movement and creating high
stresses in the concrete which will cause the concrete to crack and spall at the joint location.
Water will also penetrate a failed joint and will enter the pavement structure where it might
soften the pavement foundation thereby reducing its capacity to support the pavement.
Pumping of trapped water caused by dynamic traffic loads will cause fine material to migrate
to the pavement surface and as a consequence introduce voids beneath the concrete
pavement. These matters are often the precursor to pavement failure.

Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement

Continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) will reduce the number of joints required
in the pavement at the expense of a significantly greater quantity of steel to absorb the
stresses in the concrete normally managed by the joints. The additional steel cost is offset by
the reduction in maintenance cost.

Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete (SFRC)

Steel fibre reinforced concrete is regarded similar as a Portland Cement Concrete pavement:
high initial cost, low maintenance. The addition of steel fibres leads to a significant increase
in durability and load bearing capacity which results in lower design thicknesses and/or an
extended life span. Unreinforced concrete is very brittle and after cracking, the pavement
loses its integrity, which will lead to rapid failure. Adding steel fibres to the concretes
pavement transform the concrete into a ductile material: after cracking, the internal forces will
be redistributed; the pavement maintains its integrity and the post-cracking load bearing
capacity can be increased as compared with the pre-cracked slab. Figure 29 illustrates the
effect of steel fibres on the bending moments within post-cracked slabs.

Figure 29 Pavement behaviour in unreinforced concrete and steel fibre reinforced concrete

Some of the existing container pavement design guides include a way of designing
pavements using SFRC. In particular the BPA manual Edition 4 2007 includes SFRC as a
standard pavement construction material. The BPA manual calculation method is based
upon an empirical model and proven by experience.

A wide range of different fibre types now exists which has led to the trend to treat SFRC
more and more as an orthodox construction material with its own engineering performance
indicators. In the same way that unreinforced concrete can be classified according to its
compressive strength, e.g. C25/30, C30/37, where the first number is the 28 days
compressive strength as measured by cylinders of length to diameter ratio 2:1 and the
second number is the same strength measured on cylinders of length to diameter ratio 1:1 or
on cubes. SFRC can be classified according to its residual strength after cracking (post-
cracking strength). Numerous international and national guidelines and codes already
include this material based on its performance e.g. Model Code 2010, DIN EN 1992-1-1/NA.

The residual strength of SFRC can be determined according to EN14651. The test method
comprises a 3-point bending test on a notched SFRC beam. A load is applied onto the beam
and the beam cracks. The load at the instant off cracking is known as the Modulus of
Rupture of the unreinforced concrete (fflm). The test is continued until a certain crack width is
reached. During the test, the crack opening and/or deflection of the beam is recorded. This
results in residual strength values (fR1m, fR2m, fR3m, fR4m) corresponding to different crack
widths. Usually, the fR1 and fR3 values are used in the design of pavements in the cases of
Service Limit State (Deflection) and Ultimate Limit State (Failure), respectively.

Pavements can also be designed using this performance based principle using various
design methods. The following design method starts from the unreinforced concrete
pavement solution which can be obtained by using one of the existing design guides/codes
and establishes a Height Reduction Factor and a Joint Spacing Increase Factor based
on the performance of the SFRC as defined by its residual strength fR1m and fR3m and flexural
strength fflm values.

10.6.1 Height Reduction Factor

The Height Reduction Factor is defined by reference to the additional residual strength as
shown by Yield Line Theory. This is based upon the fact that at a crack, the unbroken steel
fibres which cross that crack provide resistance to the free rotation of the concrete at each
side of the crack, in contradistinction to plain concrete whereby the two parts at each side of
the crack can be effortlessly rotated relative to each other. This provides the ductility across
the crack which is built into the equations defining the enhanced strength of SFRC. This
means that the elastic moment is redistributed owing to the enhanced SFRC post crack
performance and the additional strength so imparted can be derived from fR3m [N/mm] and
fflm [N/mm] as follows.

(Equilibrium of internal forces between unreinforced concrete slab and SFRC slab with reduced

Formula 17 Height reduction factor


Melas: the bending moment from the elastic calculation [Nm]

Mred: the bending moment in ultimate limit state after redistribution of internal forces using
Welas: the section modulus of the unreinforced concrete pavement ( 2 6) [mm]
Whred: the section modulus of the SFRC pavement with reduced height ( 2 6) [mm]

The bending moment of the SFRC pavement is increased from m to , where is the
additional moment of resistance consequent upon the introduction of steel fibres.

+ = (1 + )

Formula 18 SFRC bending moment increase

where RP is the Relative Post Crack Performance and is given by:


Formula 19 Relative post crack performance

Including the material safety factors and (commonly 1.2 and 1.5 respectively),
this results in:


slab height reduction factor = ( 1 )
[ + ]

Formula 20 Slab height reduction factor

For a C30/37 and a C32/40 concrete, this results in following height reduction factors
depending on the fR3m.

Figure 30 Height reduction factor

10.6.2 Joint Spacing Increase Factor

Joints are required to deal with bending moments resulting from thermal and moisture related
shrinkage gradient changes. The residual strength of SFRC increases the bending moment
capacity of the slab. This means that a larger joint spacing can be used with SFRC in
comparison to unreinforced plain concrete. A maximum field size of 12 m should although
not be exceeded.

The joint spacing increase factor =

Formula 21 Joint spacing increase factor

Figure 31 Joint spacing increase factor

Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC)

Roller Compacted Concrete provides the strength of PCC combined with the economy of
laying by paver rather than using complex slip-forming or assembling formwork to allow PCC
to be poured in individual bays. RCC grew in prominence initially for the rapid construction of
secondary roads such as forest roads particularly in Canada during the 1970s and has
become a standard pavement material during the last few years.

The two material parameters needed for thickness design of RCC pavements are the elastic
modulus and the 28-day modulus of rupture of the concrete. Typical value of 28-day modulus
of rupture for PCC is ranged between 600 to 650 psi. The economics of using higher strength
mixes should also be investigated. Depending on local material properties, a higher strength
mix may be feasible with little or no cost impact. Use of a higher strength mix may reduce the
thickness of the required RCC section.

Roller Compacted Concrete comprises an engineered mixture of dense graded aggregates,

cement and water. It should be placed by a paver with the capability of placing the material at
a minimum 88 % of the target wet density when laying over a bound base. For container
terminal pavements RCC is normally constructed over a bound base/sub-base. A good
quality stiff foundation is required to achieve maximum compaction of the RCC.

Laying should be carried out in such a way that avoids segregation and rapid drying of the
surface. To ensure adequate bond between layers in multi-lift pavements, continuous misting
of the layer to be covered should be undertaken. A fully bonded multi-lift pavement should
perform as would a monolithic layer. A good bond between lifts is an important factor in
achieving full pavement stiffness and durability.

The need to induce or saw transverse and longitudinal contraction joints in RCC should be
determined by the design requirements. The designer should establish the required spacing
of contraction joints and also whether the joints are to be sealed. Sawn 3 mm wide joints may
not require sealing. If sealing is specified a sealing groove of 10 to 15 mm is required. In
general, contraction joints installed on a 3.5 m to 4.5 m orthogonal grid have performed
satisfactorily. It is important to maintain aggregate interlock across the joints.

As in conventional concrete pavements isolation joints are necessary to separate the

pavement from rigid structures such as lighting columns, crane rails and trench drains. The
designer should consider the inclusion of expansion joints particularly if the RCC constructed
in colder weather.

RCC pavements are unreinforced. Load transfer at joints is achieved through aggregate
interlock. There is no facility to transfer load at expansion/full movement joints. The location
of expansion/full movement joints should be planned to avoid coinciding with the paths of
heavy wheel patch loads. Localised thickening or strengthening of the foundation at the joint
location may be considered if loading the joint is unavoidable.

RCC mixtures may be classified by compressive strength Rc, (for example C32/40) or a
combination tensile strength Rt and Elastic Modulus E.

Flexural strengths as measured by three point beam testing should be reported at 7, 28 and
90 days. A correlation between compressive and flexural strength should be determined. The
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of the mixture and strength after immersion in water
should be determined. The immediate bearing index should be measured in cases where
early trafficking is required.

The full depth of the constructed layer should be compacted to an average wet density of not
less than 95 % of the target with no individual test result below 92 %. The optimum moisture
content and maximum density of the mixture should be determined using a vibrating hammer
method such as the one detailed in BS EN 13286-4.

The correct selection of aggregates and Particle Size Distribution (PSD) is a key element of
high performance RCC. RCC should comprise a well graded crushed rock which provides a
mixture that can be readily compacted and which remains stable during roller compaction.
Admixtures used in conventional concretes can also be used in RCC.

The Britpave Guide to Roller Compacted Pavements 1st Edition 2013 provides guidance for
the design, manufacture and construction of RCC pavements. The Guide recommends two
PSD envelope options, 0/14 mm and 0/20 mm which are reproduced below. The PSD
envelopes are for the aggregate grading only and do not include the binder (cement).

Percentage passing by mass

Sieve (mm) 0/14mm Aggregate 0/20mm Aggregate
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
31.5 ---- ---- 100 100
20 100 100 90 100
14 86 100 78 94
10 72 95 62 86
8 68 90 56 80
4 52 74 38 59
2 41 61 28 48
1 30 50 19 39
0.5 20 37 15 31
0.25 11 26 9 23
0.125 6 15 6 15
0.063 2 10 2 10

Table 15 PSD envelopes of aggregate of RCC

Hydraulically Bound Mixtures (HBM)

Hydraulically Bound Mixtures for a container terminal pavements base layer comprise an
engineered mixture of dense graded aggregates, cement and water. Five types of HBM are
described in European Norm EN 14227: 2013.

The European Standard for HBM was introduced in 2013 in five parts:

EN 14227-1 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 1. Cement bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-2 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 2. Slag bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-3 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 3. Fly ash bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-4 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 4. Fly ash for hydraulically bound
EN 14227-5 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 5. Hydraulic road binder bound
granular mixtures

Because of the particular relevance of these materials in container terminal pavements, Parts
1 to 4 of EN 14227: 2013 are described in Appendix 7.

10.8.1 C10 Lean Concrete

A mixture of coarse and fine stones, cement and water similar to common concrete but with

approximately 40 % as much cement and water as normal concrete. It has a characteristic
compressive cube strength of 10 N/mm2. Characteristic strength is a technical term and is
the strength below which only one in 20 test samples is allowed to fall. This means the
average compressive strength needs to exceed 10 N/mm2. The actual average compressive
strength depends upon the variability of the material. C10 Lean concrete was the Standard
material in the Third Edition of the British Ports Association port pavement design manual
and has now been replaced with C8/10 Cement Bound Granular Mixture (CBGM).

10.8.2 Cement Bound Material 3 (CBM3)

Similar to C10 Lean Concrete but with an average compressive cube strength of 10 N/mm2
and a minimum compressive cube strength of 6.5 N/mm2 i.e. it is weaker than C10 Lean
Concrete and therefore weaker than C8/10 CBGM. Cement Bound Material 3 is important
because it is commonly used in road design. It was formerly known as lean concrete.

10.8.3 Cement Bound Material 4 (CBM4)

Similar to Cement Bound Material 3 but with an average compressive strength of 15 N /mm2
and a minimum compressive strength of 10 N/mm2.

10.8.4 No-Fines Lean Concrete

Material used as the base in the case of permeable heavy duty pavements. Comprises 20
mm to 5 mm Coarse Graded Aggregate stabilized with sufficient cement to achieve the
properties of C8/10 CBGM.

Hot Mix Asphalt

A mixture of stones and fine material bound with bitumen, including polymer modified
bitumen. The materials strength is derived principally from the Particle Size Distribution,
particle shape and origin of the stones and fine material as well as the engineering properties
of the bitumen.

Selection of the mixture for Hot Mix Asphalt layers must be carried out on the basis that
handling equipment in container terminals has a very different effect on asphalt layers than
highway vehicles or aircraft. Many Hot Mix Asphalt surfaces have performed poorly in
container terminals as a result of the designer simply adopting a mixture which had
previously performed well in highway pavements of aircraft pavements. The designer must
take into account the following factors:

1) In the case of channelised trafficking such as straddle carriers running through container
blocks, post-construction densification of the asphalt can lead to rutting. This will occur
early in the life of the pavement and will be alarming to the owner. Furthermore, in places
where the handling equipment stops to drop/lift containers, isolated depressions can
develop, often developing into a string of pearls which many operators will deem to be a
failure condition.

2) Shoving failure can develop in the asphalt, i.e. the lateral deformation of the material, as
a result of high contact pressures between the tyre footprint and the asphalt coupled with
slow moving loads and often exacerbated by high ambient temperatures. The selection of
the aggregate Particle Size Distribution and the properties of the bitumen are important
matters in avoiding this. A high stability asphalt is required.

3) Field compaction is critical and it is important to implement a rigorous air voids testing
regime as part of the projects quality assurance procedures. It is important that those
involved in executing the testing understand the importance of ensuring that the asphalt
has a sufficiently high air voids at refusal and comes close to that level of air voids after
field compaction. It is crucial that all those involved in the asphalt specification process
are familiar with the concept of air voids at refusal and field air voids. At the very
minimum, the asphalt mixture should have been selected on the basis of a laboratory
testing regime in line with the traditional Marshall asphalt or the more recently introduced
Superpave procedures.

4) It is important that the designer understands that choosing an asphalt mixture is a

compromise between durability and strength. The Marshall/Superpave procedures are
based upon establishing properties of asphalt at several bitumen contents and based
upon graphs depicting the way in which these properties vary with bitumen content,
selecting the bitumen content which provides the best strength/durability compromise.

5) Before Marshall/Superpave testing is carried out, an aggregate source must be selected

and the Particle Size Distribution must be designed for that material. This usually involves
ensuring that the particle sizes deviate from the Fuller Curve sufficiently to ensure that at
full compaction, air voids remain in the material. Asphalt which can be compacted to
achieve virtually zero voids, i.e. asphalt with a Fuller Curve Particle Size Distribution is
unacceptable because the particles have failed to lock together after compaction and the
asphalt will be unstable. Usually, the mixture designer will provide a Particle Size
Distribution envelope which will include a Restricted Zone which the selected Particle
Size Distribution will pass beneath.

6) In the case of asphalt pavements comprising more than one layer, it is important that
bond is developed at each interface. Absence of bond can compromise longevity

To summarise the above, container terminal asphalt requires special consideration. Mixtures
which have performed well in non-port pavements may be unsuited to container terminal
pavements. Some asphalt suppliers have developed their own Port Mixtures, but even in
such circumstances, the pavement designer should carry out his own evaluation of the
proposed material taking into account the operational requirements of the port, which should
be embedded in the Employers Requirements.

The following properties of asphalt also need to be taken into account. The modulus of
asphalt concrete varies with temperature. For relatively thick pavements, this is handled in
layered elastic design by dividing the year into appropriate seasons, estimating an AC
modulus for each season and calculating critical strains using these material properties. For
the subgrade-rutting criterion, the design pavement temperature should be estimated using
the average of the average daily mean and the average daily maximum of the design air
temperature. For the fatigue criterion, the design pavement temperature should be estimated
using the average daily mean of the design air temperature.

The following mix design parameters should be determined by design and controlled during
production. A 75 blow Marshall design is generally used for container terminal pavements.

Voids in Mineral Aggregate (VMA) the requirements for VMA are necessary to ensure
that there are sufficient voids in the aggregate to allow enough asphalt cement to be added
to provide a durable mix and air voids to maintain stability. The Superpave mix design
requires a selected number of control points on the aggregate gradation. VMA is the total
volume of voids within the mass of compacted aggregate and will vary according to
aggregate size and grading.
Voids Filled with Asphalt (VFA) or Voids Filled with Bitumen (VFB) the percent of the
volume of VMA that is filled with asphalt cement (US)/bitumen (Europe) and is generally in
the range 70 to 85.

Voids in the Total Mix (VTM) - Volume of air voids in the mixture generally expressed as a
percentage. Volume of air voids is generally in the range 3 to 5 %.

Resistance to Permanent Deformation: the mix should not readily deform under the design
traffic load. The resistance to permanent deformation becomes critical at elevated
temperatures when the viscosity of asphalt binder/bitumen is low and deformation resistance
is primarily carried by the aggregate skeleton.

Fatigue Resistance and Resistance to Low Temperature Cracking: asphalt should not
crack when subjected to repeated loads. Repeated load tests can be carried out at different
temperatures to assess the number of cycles to failure.

Durability: the mix must contain sufficient asphalt cement/bitumen to minimise premature
aging during production and in service. High air voids will increase permeability and
accelerate the aging process.

Resistance to Moisture Induced Damage: some asphalt mixtures when subjected to

moisture or water lose adhesion between the aggregate and the asphalt binder. Stripping of
the binder can be the result of poor affinity between aggregate and binder. Some harder
unmodified binders are particularly susceptible to stripping especially in lean mixes.

Workability: the mix must be capable of being spread and compacted with reasonable effort
to enable key parameters such as air voids in the field to be readily achieved.

Marshall Stability: defined as the maximum load carried by a compacted specimen tested
at 60C. Marshall stability and field stability may not necessarily be related. If a stability
problem in the field, work should be carried out to determine which mixture characteristic
appears to be causing the problem.

Flow: the flow is measured at the same time as the Marshall stability during the Marshall
mixture design process. The flow is equal to the vertical deformation of the samples
(measured from the start of loading to point at which stability begins to decrease) in 0.001
inch or 0.1 mm. High flow material (greater than 5 or 7 mm) generally indicates a plastic mix
with poor resistance to deformation.

Monthly air temperature data should be converted to design pavement temperatures using
the Formula 22.
(Ref. 1 Huang Y. H., Pavement Analysis and Design, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1993):

1 34
Z 4 Z 4

Formula 22 Mean monthly pavement temperature


MMPT = Mean Monthly Pavement Temperature, F

MMAT = Mean Monthly Air Temperature, F
Z = Depth below pavement surface, inches
Asphalt Concrete moduli for each of the design pavement temperatures may be estimated
using the Witczak dynamic modulus predictive equation and typical material properties for
AC mixtures. Formula 23 presents the most recent version of the Witczak dynamic modulus

log E * 1.249937 0.029232 200 0.001767( 200 ) 2 0.002841 4 0.058097V a

Vbeff 3.871977 0.0021 4 0.003958 38 0.000017( 38 ) 2 0.005470 34
V V 1 e ( 0.603313 0.313351log( f ) 0.393532log( ))
beff a

Formula 23 Witczak dynamic modulus equation


E* = dynamic modulus, 105 psi

V = bitumen viscosity, 106 Poise obtained from:

log log A VTS log TR


TR= temperature in degrees Rankine

A = regression intercept
VTS = regression slope of viscosity temperature susceptibility
= bitumen viscosity, cP
f = loading frequency, Hz
Va = air void content, %
Vbeff = effective bitumen content, % by volume
34 = cumulative % retained on 19 mm (3/4 inch) sieve
38 = cumulative % retained on 9.5 mm (3/8 inch) sieve
4 = cumulative % retained on 4.75 mm (No. 4) sieve
200 = % passing 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve
Poissons ratios for asphalt materials can be estimated from the following equation using the
moduli from above:
0.15 ( 1.63 3.84 x10 6 E *
1 e
Formula 24 Poisson's ratio

= Poissons ratio
E* = dynamic modulus in psi

Reinforced Concrete Runway Beams

RTGs travel in straight lines along the length of a container stack to reach the location of the
container to be moved. They do not normally transport containers along their length; rather
they transfer them laterally between trucks and the stack, both of which are located beneath
the gantry. Even when running longitudinally, 8-wheel RTGs normally apply a load of 25
tonnes through each of their eight wheels. There is very little wander of the vehicle wheels
leading to extreme channelisation. Reinforced concrete runway beams are ideal for this type
of traffic loading. Concrete is not prone to rutting under these conditions, whereas asphalt
and to some degree concrete block paving would be.

The advantage of using runway beams is that alternative lower cost paving solutions can be
chosen for other areas of operation, for example, concrete block paving is frequently used in
the stacking yard beneath the RTG gantry, and asphalt is used for the RTG truck loading
lane, by-pass lanes and other truck routes. Whilst this usage-specific mixing of different
pavement types and materials can be particularly cost effective for a container terminal, it
may restrict flexibility of future operations.

Grouted Asphalt Surface Course

Grouted asphalt consists of open-graded asphalt with an air void content of 25 % to 30 %.

This asphalt is laid using conventional paving methods and when cooled to ambient
temperature the voids are filled with a cementious grout. The grout is sufficiently fluid to flow
into the voids producing a zero void mixture. The resulting surface course layer resists
permanent deformation and is suitable for high stress locations.

The void content of the asphalt must be sufficiently high to enable the grout to easily flow
through the aggregate skeleton. It is recommended that a grout of compressive strength 80
to 100 MPa is installed to achieve the required long-term durability.

A thin layer of grouted asphalt surface course is relatively brittle and may crack under heavy
container handling equipment loads when constructed over a flexible base. Grouted asphalt
will provide a durable, rut resistant and scuff resistant wearing surface provided it is
constructed over a stiff bound base.

Crushed Rock Sub-Base Material

Either Type 1 or Type 2 sub-base material as defined in Clauses 803 and 804 respectively of
Highways Agencys Specification for Highway Works which is available at:


Capping is sometimes defined as low cost material of CBR 15 % or more capable of being
compacted to form a working platform and providing sufficient reaction to allow overlying
materials to be compacted. Crushed concrete or selected hardcore are frequently used as

Treatment of soils

The following European standards specify soil treated by cement, lime, slag, hydraulic road
binder or fly ash for the pavement layers of roads, airfields and other trafficked areas and
specifies the requirements for its constituents, composition and laboratory performance
classification. It provides for the use of aggregates with grading curves, which are not
constrained by the limits defined in EN 14227-1 for cement bound granular mixtures.

EN 14227-10 2006: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 10. Soil treated by cement
EN 14227-11 2006: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 11. Soil treated by lime
EN 14227-12 2006: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 12. Soil treated by slag
EN 14227-13 2006: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 13. Soil treated by hydraulic road
EN 14227-14 2006: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 14. Soil treated by fly ash

In general, these are methods/materials used for the improvement of soils in the upper layers
of natural ground or fill. Improved soil strengths will provide better support for the pavement
foundation and reduce the need to excavate, remove materials from site and to import new
materials to fill the void. A stiffer soil structure will strengthen the pavement foundation and
as a result the designer may be able to provide economies in the pavement structure.

Natural soils inevitably vary in properties from area to area and the in situ mixing process is
less well controlled than a plant-mixed material. Many soils include chemicals which are
potentially detrimental to the long-term performance of the stabilised mixture. An extensive
programme of laboratory testing must be undertaken to ensure a competent treatment
design is achieved. It is critical that the long-term strength/stiffness and durability of the
treated soil is determined; poor performance will result in early life failure of the pavement
structure. There have been instances where catastrophic failure of the pavement has
occurred within a few months of operation.

Factors Influencing Pavement Material Selection

10.15.1 Pavement Performance Factors

In addition to direct economic considerations, there are other non-quantifiable engineering

considerations that must be evaluated in the selection of a pavement section. Several of
these important differences are described in the following sections.

10.15.2 Ease of Localised Repairs and Maintenance

Localised pavement repairs are an unavoidable problem that will occur regardless of the type
of pavement courses selected. These localised repairs can result from the need to repair
damaged utilities, localised pavement failures, and other events common to day-to-day
container terminal operations. Pavement repair may cause part of the area to be out of
operational use for the repair period. This could have a significant impact on the day-to-day
operation of the container terminal and could result in a significant capacity reduction of the
terminal. For this reason, ease of pavement repair should be considered in the evaluation of
the design pavement section.

Asphalt pavements are easier to repair than concrete or cement treated materials, but
repairs rarely match the quality of the original pavement. Asphalt mixes suitable for port
applications tend to be stiff and angular, making them difficult to properly place in narrow
trenches. It is common for asphalt trench repairs to settle and rut shortly after completion.
Settlement is generally a result of poor subgrade and/or base compaction and can happen
with any type of pavement repair. Rutting results from poor compaction in the narrow trench
footprint and is often unavoidable. Roller-compacted Concrete (RCC) sections are typically
repaired by restoring the subgrade and base, pouring concrete to the bottom of the wearing
surface layer (asphalt) and then replacing the wearing surface after the concrete has cured.
Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) pavements are the most difficult to repair properly. PCC
must either be removed to the nearest joint or reinforcing must be drilled and grouted (or
lapped with exposed bars) prior to placing the new concrete.

10.15.3 Resistance to Fuel and Oil Spills

Given the high level of vehicle movement across a marine terminal, spillage and leakage of
fuel, oil and lubricants will undoubtedly occur. Resistance to such events is better for
concrete than an asphalt surface.

10.15.4 Resistance to Channelised Traffic

In selecting an asphalt pavement as opposed to a rigid pavement (i.e. PCC or RCC), certain
trade-offs and limitations must be recognised. Although a bituminous concrete can be

designed to accommodate container handling equipment, it is susceptible to deformations
from channelised traffic, particularly where Straddle Carriers run through container stacks.
This type of damage is typically the result of shoving of the pavement surface or
densification of the asphalt. This situation is exacerbated during hot weather. Over time,
these surface deformations can pond water and allow infiltration into the subgrade, thereby
leading to premature pavement failure. Although there have been advances in the
development of rut-resistant pavement mixes and modifiers, asphalt does not have the
surface resistance of concrete. Maintenance will likely be required in the form of an overlay
once or more within the design life and repairs may be required in isolated areas within the
first year or two.

Ruts of depth up to 15 mm can occur within a few months of operation in the narrow aisles
within container stacks accessed by Straddle Carriers as a result of shoving/densification of
the asphalt. Usually, the rut does not develop to a greater depth. If it does, the pavement life
can be extended by Aisle Rotation. Providing this type of rutting is of uniform depth, it has
little impact upon operations: the Straddle Carriers simply run 15 mm lower than intended. It
can become troublesome if isolated depressions develop reflecting the positions of the
Straddle Carrier wheels where they stop to lift/place containers. In this type of operation,
resurfacing may be required at intervals of 8-10 years, possibly longer if Aisle Rotation is

10.15.5 Resistance to Static Point Loads

Static point loads from container corner castings create concentrated vertical stresses at the
pavement surface. The rigidity of concrete provides greater resistance to this type of stress.
Localised surface indentation will occur in asphaltic surfaces. Damage to pavement surface
from static point loads is typically aesthetic and not structural.

10.15.6 Shearing Resistance to Tyre Rotation

In port vehicular operations, tire rotation may occur while the vehicle is at or near a stopped
condition. This tyre movement (i.e. locked wheel turning) may cause significant horizontal
shear stresses in the pavement surface. The rigidity of concrete provides greater resistance
to this type of stress than an asphalt surface.

10.15.7 Excessive Wear on Equipment Tyres

Rough pavement surfaces may result in excessive tyre abrasion for terminal operating
equipment that requires repeated tyre rotation. Without a wearing surface, Roller-compacted
Concrete (RCC) typically has a rough finished surface that would result in excessive wear for
terminal equipment.

10.15.8 Subgrade Settlement or Heave

Soils at the terminal are anticipated to produce differential settlement due to terminal
operating equipment and seismic events. Rigid concrete surfaces tend to form abrupt faults
when subjected to settlement or heave, while flexible pavement deformations are less
pronounced. Repairs to rigid pavements typically consist of complete removal and
replacement of affected areas. Flexible pavement repairs are generally localised and are
often corrected by milling and the application of variable depth overlays.

10.15.9 Thin Pavement Courses

The designer is cautioned regarding the reliability of the analysis for thin layers particularly

asphalt wearing surfaces. In the design models it is assumed that the layers are
homogeneous, the tyre contact stress is uniform and normal to the surface. In practice, it is
difficult to compact thin asphalt layers so their properties will be different from similar
materials placed to greater thicknesses. Tyre stress is far from uniform and often has a
considerable shear force component resulting from the tyres construction, geometric
properties and plant acceleration. It is suggested that the analysis of layers of thickness <
50 % of the model tyre contact radius be treated with caution. In highway conditions this
relates to layer thickness < 40 mm (1.57 in); in container terminal pavements, this could be
as much as 80 mm (3.15 in) for the heaviest wheel patch loads such as those applied by
Reach Stackers and RTGs.

10.15.10 Permeable Pavements

A growing trend in commercial and residential development comprises the use of Permeable
Pavements. These pavements typically consist of permeable concrete paving blocks bedded
on 6-mm single sized grit placed over Coarse Graded Aggregate (CGA). During a rainfall
event, water infiltrates the pavement surface via the 6-mm wide joints between individual
pavers and enters or flows through the CGA, filtering surface pollutants to some degree. In a
Detention Permeable Pavement, the surface water is stored temporarily in the voids of the
CGA from where it then drains out at a controlled rate of flow so as to prevent overloading of
downstream sewerage infrastructure. In an Infiltrating Permeable Pavement, the surface
water percolates downwards from the CGA into the underlying subgrade/fill material. In
some projects, the permeable pavement includes a degree of detention and infiltration.

The design of a permeable pavement is based upon both structural criteria and drainage
criteria. It may, for example, be the case that the thickness of the CGA required for structural
reasons is increased to provide sufficient detention storage. Design guidance is provided in
the BPA manual and in the UK Interpave publication Guide to the Design, Construction and
Maintenance of Concrete Block Permeable Pavements Edition 5 (2008), which can be
downloaded at paving.org.uk. The first permeable container terminal pavement was installed
at the Port of Santos, Brazil in 1998.

Permeable pavements can be cost effective as a result in the elimination of the cost of
conventional drainage infrastructure. Also, they can be installed without falls which is of
benefit to container storage and handling. They have the advantage that settlement of the
pavement surface does not lead to ponding at the pavement surface.

A particular application of permeable pavement technology is sometimes installed in the

stacking areas of Automatic Container Terminals where the containers are handled by Rail
Mounted Gantry Cranes (RMGs). Often a plinth pavement is installed which provides the
opportunity to infill between the plinths with a combination of CGA and void forming
structures for use as a detention/infiltration drainage system to create a sustainable drainage
arrangement. This allows surface water run-off from the surrounding pavements as well as
that falling directly onto the plinth pavement to infiltrate down through the CGA layers
between the plinths into the sustainable drainage system. In comparison to a pipe and gulley
system, a CGA based system is often cost effective both from a construction and
maintenance perspective as compared with a conventional pipe and surface water gully
system. This option is usually more cost-effective than in situ concrete pavement, but can be
more expensive than concrete block paving.

10.15.11 Construction Considerations

Satisfactory pavement performance is highly dependent on the workmanship of the

contractor and quality of the materials placed. It is critical that a thorough QA/QC program be
developed and implemented during construction. After an approved mix design is developed,
field testing must verify that the installed materials are comparable to the laboratory mix
design. Testing should be most frequent at the start of each paving operation, but continuous
throughout the construction phase.

10.15.12 Earthquake Considerations

PCC pavements have experienced significant damage resulting from differential settlement
during a seismic event. Such failure in the rigid surface pavement may be catastrophic and
can take months to repair. During the repair, the area is not usable and a container terminal
may experience significant capacity reduction. In large expensive areas, a flexible pavement
surface surfaced with asphalt or concrete block paving should be preferred. Although there
may be some damage in the pavement resulting from differential settlement of the subgrade
after a seismic event, this damage can often be repaired relatively quickly by either
overlaying the damaged area with asphalt, by adjusting the grade with RCC and overlaying it
with a wearing surface and by recovering and resetting concrete block paving.

Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages of Pavement Type and


10.16.1 Asphalt Pavement


Easy and quick to construct

Lower first cost
Low maintenance in the case of high stability mixtures
Easy and quick to repair and maintain where necessary reducing cost of disruption
Easy to resurface provided structurally sound
Will accommodate large settlements and easy to re-profile


High risk of rutting in heavy loading areas

Reduced performance at high temperatures
Some asphalt may be susceptible to oil drips, etc. Modified binders are generally
resistant to oil dropped from normal operations. Where there is likely to be a significant
presence of oil resistant binders may be specified.

10.16.2 Concrete Pavement


Rutting resistance
Resistant to high temperatures
Oil resistant
Scuff resistant
Suitable for all types of operation
Addition of steel fibres enhances impact resistance
Long period before resurfacing required
Long period before first structural maintenance provided adequately maintained
Possible to overlay with asphalt surface or block paving to enhance surface
Provides flexibility to operations

Long term cost effective pavement

High construction cost

Longer time to build including curing delay
Requires joint maintenance (generally 2-5 year intervals)
Cracks need to be sealed or repaired
Small repairs are time consuming and expensive
If fails, needs to be reconstructed

10.16.3 Block Paving


Oil resistant
Scuff resistant Suitable for heavy manoeuvring vehicles
Resistant to high temperatures
Long period before resurfacing required
Discrete areas can be repaired by replacing damaged blocks
Performs well over a designed bound base
Cost-effective pavement


Initial cost
Longer time to build than asphalt
Requires regular maintenance inspections
Requires regular re-sanding of joints during initial service life

10.16.4 Roller Compacted Concrete


Cheaper to construct than traditional concrete pavements

Easy and quick to construct
Resistant to high temperatures
Rut resistant
Oil resistant
Scuff resistant
Suitable for all types of operation
Long period before resurfacing required
Long period before first structural maintenance provided adequately maintained
Easy to overlay with asphalt surface or block paving to enhance surface
Provides flexibility to operations
Long-term cost-effective pavement


If joints are sealed they will require regular maintenance (generally 2-5 year intervals)
Cracks need to be sealed or repaired
Small repairs are time consuming and expensive
If fails, needs to be reconstructed
11 Existing Design Guides

The selection of the layer materials and thicknesses is a major part of the pavement design
process. There are already several authoritative design methods providing guidance on this
aspect of container terminal pavement design. This report describes the most commonly
used existing methods and does not seek to replace them. Reinforced concrete RTG
Runway Beams and rail supporting beams are excluded from this section since they are not
strictly categories of pavement; rather they comprise ground bearing beams embedded
within pavements. This section highlights the limitations and advantages of the existing
design guides so as to inform the designer in his selection of a method most appropriate to
his pavement. They each have different approaches to materials, loadings and subgrade

A calculation example is included in the case of container yards trafficked by Reach Stackers.

With the exception of the Spanish guide, all of the existing design guides are based upon
computing stresses and/or strains at critical locations within and directly below container
pavements, comparing those computed stresses/strains with values which the pavement
construction materials are known to be able to sustain successfully, sometimes referred to as
permissible stresses/strains and thereby providing pavements of sufficient structural capacity.
The permissible stresses/strains are established by using a Transfer Function which
comprises a relationship between the number of repetitions of a loading event and the
corresponding permissible stress/strain. Transfer Functions are entirely empirical
relationships which have been derived by observing the way in which pavements have
performed historically and are usually informed by scientific fatigue relationships.

Examples of Existing Guidance

11.2.1 British Port Association (BPA) Edition 4 2007

The BPA manual is based on initially producing a design for the following pavement
structure: 8 cm concrete paving blocks + 3 cm sand laying course + 20 cm minimum C8/10 +
15 cm sub-base crushed rock (Foundation Class 2 in BPA) + capping layer if CBR < 5 %.
The initial design can then be used as a basis for producing designs using many
combinations of materials using Material Equivalence Factors (MEFs). It uses design charts
which were produced by carrying out axi-symmetric Finite Element analysis of a wide range
of pavement types under different loadings.

The method can be used to design pavements subjected to up to 25 million wheel pass
repetitions. Capping layer and crushed rock gravel thicknesses can be selected dependent
on the CBR value of the underlying subgrade material. The C8/10 thickness depends on the
load and number of passes during the service life of the pavement and is obtained by using a
chart for dynamic loads applied by handling equipment and a separate chart for static loads
applied by container corner castings. Other material can be used by applying Material
Equivalence Factors (MEFs). The BPA method introduces factors to take into account the
dynamic loading effects introduced by braking, cornering, acceleration and running over an
uneven surface, lane channelisation and wheel proximity. It also gives statistical critical
containers loads which were derived from UK port statistics but which have been found to
apply more generally.

The BPA method is well-known and has been used on a worldwide basis since the late
1970s. No calculation software is needed. The BPA Manual includes a section on overlaying
in the case of both the rehabilitation of dilapidated pavements and the strengthening of
undamaged pavements using the concept of MEFs. That section deals with pavement
evaluation and explains how to assess the residual structural value of cracked/rutted
pavement layers.

11.2.2 French LCPC Method NF P 98-086 2011

This is a road pavement design method adapted to port pavements. It is finite element based
using proprietary ALIZE software which is based upon Burmisters classical solution of a
multi-layer elastic system.

A circular patch load representing handling equipment wheel loading is applied at the top
centre of the model adjusting the geometry to ensure that the external radius of the circle
matches that of the tyre contact patch (weight/wheel and pressure in the case of pneumatic
tyres equipment). An equivalent load representing a complete item of container handling
equipment is created based upon assessing the geometry and maximum load of each wheel
to calculate the deformation and strain in the container terminal pavement. The pavement
thickness, interfaces, modulus and Poissons ratio values are required for each layer. Traffic
data comprises the total number of load repetitions expected during the pavements service
life. It is possible to add different load cases applying Miner law: essentially, each amount of
pavement life consumed by each load value is expressed as a fraction and the sum of the
fractions has to be kept less than 1.

From the above, the maximum admissible deformation and strain are calculated from the
materials fatigue laws using a Transfer Function which relate stresses or strains to the
number of repetitions of loading. The notion of Transfer Functions is borrowed from highway
pavement engineering, although some of the parameters are adapted to container
pavements, e.g. modulus and stiffness of bituminous materials which varies with the rate of
application of load, risk value, wandering/channelisation and an adjustment coefficient,
which takes into account dynamic effects. Wheel proximity is not dealt with explicitly since it
has already been incorporated when assessing the equivalent patch load before the main
analysis starts.

Since this method requires knowledge of many parameters, it is not particularly user friendly.
However, it can be adapted to many different cases (material, subgrade, loads,
channelisation and so on) using the ALIZE v1.4 software which is now well adapted and
proven for port pavement calculation, although container specific parameters are still not
included as a default input. As a result of this omission, container loads need to be typed in

11.2.3 Spanish Method ROM 4.1-94 Proyecto y contruccin de pavimentos

portuarios/puertos del estado 1994

ROM 4.1-94 includes a catalogue comprising 15 structures for five categories of ports:
commercial, industrial, military, fishing and leisure. It embraces a wide range of port
pavement types, not just container terminal pavements. This method requires no software
and is based upon the determination of: subgrade class, usage class, type of area (for
commercial use the options are: operation, solid bulk storage, general merchandise storage,
container storage, trailer parking, other parking) and the traffic class. Traffic classification is
on the basis of intensity of load and pressure. In cases where the load exceeds 140 tonnes
and where pressure exceeds 2.6 MPa, the document recommends that a site specific study
should be carried out.

The pavement service life is normally considered to be either 25 years for permanent
pavements and 8 years for temporary ones or 15 years for permanent pavements and three
years for temporary ones. Since many changes can occur during the design life in relation to
traffic loading, the document recommends pessimism when inputting traffic/load data.

The different cross sections for definitive pavement comprise:

Surface layer (8 cm to 40 cm shown in tables according to the traffic class/material/type

and usage class): concrete (vibrated or compacted, with steel or steel fibre
reinforcement), concrete block paving, bituminous material or gravel.
Sub-base and base layer (if necessary, according to the subgrade class, thickness = 25
cm for both layers in the case of definitive pavements). These layers comprise granular

The catalogue is particularly user friendly but ROMs pavements cannot be confirmed
analytically because the inputs upon which the sections were based are not detailed in the
publication and this limits their applicability to only the materials for which they were initially
proposed. A consequence of this is that there is no way of including pavement materials
which post-date the publication of the document. By way of example the document pre-dates
the introduction of high stability and high stiffness asphalts so bituminous materials are
recommended only for pavements used for bulk storage and parking, whereas many ports
are now experiencing excellent performance from asphalt surfaced container terminal

11.2.4 Australian Heavy Duty Industrial Pavement Design Guide revision 1.035

This method addresses the design of heavy duty asphalt pavements only. The method is
similar to the French one and requires the HIPAVE software. The calculations are carried out
for an equivalent load which takes into account wheel proximity effects. Wandering or
channelisation can be accommodated.

The design life is taken to be between 15 and 25 years. The dynamic effects are taken from
the UK BPA manual. Container weights are 4 tonnes to 5 tonnes greater than those shown in
the BPA Manual and HIPAVE allows the designer to input several container weight values
rather than a single critical container weight. Material characteristics are adapted to the
Australian environment. For example, Poissons Ratio and Elastic Modulus values are based
upon high temperature and low speed, i.e. asphalts are shown to have lower stiffness values
than the Northern Hemisphere pavement guides recommend, although the guide does not
give the underlying fatigue laws and fatigue values at different temperature and frequencies.

11.2.5 Sector Standard of the Peoples Republic of China Code for Design and
Construction of Pavements Roads and Stockyards in Ports JTJ 296-96, 1997

This method is applicable to new roads and storage areas in port area, each of which is
divided into three classes. New roads are divided into arterial/secondary/ and storage areas
are divided into: cargo/ bulk cargo/container.

The pavement surface course comprises one of: bituminous material, concrete paving blocks,
concrete slabs or concrete rafts/large blocks.

The method includes guidance on construction details.

Six classes of port handling equipment are defined and each one is converted into an
equivalent rated load: there is no cumulative damage factor. The guide proposes formulae to
determine container loads and the characteristics of the frequency of loading. The pavement
section is obtained from design charts for an 8-cm concrete block paving surface course and
the base course thickness depends on loading and the stiffness modulus of the layer below
the base course. The pavement section can also be obtained by computer calculation for
each type of pavement surface, with special software taking into account the stiffness
modulus of the paver bedding and jointing sand.

11.2.6 Other Manuals

Other pavement design approaches which have been used to assist in the design of
container terminal pavements comprise the AASHTO (American Association of State
Highway Officials) method, the PCA method, the Dutch method, the Asphalt Institute method
and the simple use of Westergaard equations. However, it would be wrong to describe any of
them as container terminal pavement design methods; rather they comprise analytical tools
which can be adapted to port pavements.

Comparisons and Advantages/Limits

The salient features of the container terminal design methods are summarised in the Table 16.

11.3.1 Dynamic Loads

Traffic Load Repetitions Dynamic Factor, Channelisation or

Speed Wandering Width
British Single Equivalent Wheel Numbers of passes Dynamics factor fd is Number of
Load (0 to 1,100 kN) (0.25 to 25 million applied to the static repetitions enhanced
Pressure = 1 N/mm passes) wheel load: braking or by a factor of up to 5
Wheel proximity factor fp acceleration, cornering in extreme cases if
and uneven surface. channelisation
French Special load model Total number of Dynamic effects Can be modified
(weight/wheel, pressure repetition during the included in adjustment
and geometry) adapted to service life coefficient kc, modulus
constructor specifications: and fatigue values
circular patches for wheels adapted to engine
and pseudo rectangles for speed (frequency)
caterpillars, for example
Spanish 3 load classes (low, 3 intensity classes Included in the load Included in the load
medium, high) Qv and pv Reduced, medium or class class
(Qv = 120 kN or pv = 0.7 high 25 years for
MPa) permanent pavement,
8 years for temporary
Australian Special load model Total number of British Values Adopted Can be include in the
(weight/wheel, pressure repetition during the structure model
and geometry) adapted to service life (15-25
constructor specifications years)
Chinese Single axis single side Action time of rated Included in Kd factor Included in
wheel load or 6 rated load load during service life unbalance factor
classes (50 to 400 kN, (5 to 20 years) and reduction factor
contact area, pressure, R2
geometry), no wheel
proximity factor.

Table 16 Dynamic loads data comparison

11.3.2 Statics Loads (Containers)

In container storage areas the loading comprises static point loads applied through the
container corner castings. In the case of containers stacked by Straddle Carriers, there will
be nearby dynamic wheel patch loads of approximately 12 tonnes applied through the
Straddle Carrier wheels. The containers characteristics are described in Section 66.6.

In the BPA method, container storage loads are taken from Table 2, which shows values for
containers stored singly, in rows and in blocks up to eight high. The BPA Manual also
includes Table 3 showing a typical distribution of container loads for 40 ft containers, for 20 ft
containers and for mixtures of the two. These figures are used in assessing critical wheel
loads of container handling equipment.

In the French method, the calculations are explained in the article of Revue Gnrale des
Routes et de lAmnagement N 916. A container is modelled as a special load in ALIZE-lcpc
(pseudo-rectangle). For bituminous pavements: the vertical stress, z at the top of the
subgrade, has to be less than 0.2 to 2 MPa. The actual value depends on subgrade material
type and whether or not it is treated as well as its bearing capacity PF2 to PF4, with E =
1,000 MPa for bituminous material and 1,500 MPa in the case of asphalt concrete with
cement grout.

In the Spanish Catalogue, the traffic class (A to D) depends on the load (low, medium, high)
and the intensity of use (reduced, medium or high). For example, in the case of container
storage of medium loading, the load value, Qv, is between 100 kN and 1,200 kN and the
applied pavement surface pressure, pv is from 4 MPa to 10 MPa. There is also a distributed
load based on the assumption that the weight of containers comprises a uniformly distributed
load applied by the entire container footprint. The medium intensity uniformly distributed load
is 0.2 to 2 TEU/m.

Example: 304.8 kN x 3 = 914 kN/ (0.178 mx 0.162 mx 4) = 7.9 MPa > class B.

In the Australian method, the critical load is assumed to be 4 tonnes to 5 tonnes greater than
the values included in the BPA Manual, although there is no explanation of this. The
Australian method does not provide data for stacked containers.

In the Chinese method, the design procedure is based upon the assumption that the
allowable flexural tensile stress in the pavement base is the ultimate flexural tensile strength
of the material.

11.3.3 Subgrade

The subgrade characteristics have a direct bearing on the pavement behaviour and are
estimated from in situ tests such as California Bearing Ratio (CBR), Bearing Capacity,
Deflection or Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP). The elastic modulus of the subgrade
usually varies between 20 MPa and 200 MPa. In the case of the French and Spanish
methods, the elastic modulus value is derived from deflection or bearing capacity testing.

There are many relationships between CBR and elastic modulus such as E = 10 x CBR (BPA
Spain Australian) or E = 17.6 CBR0.64 (UK Highways Agencys DMRB from CBR 2 % to
12 %). Different relationships will imply different damage model.

Subgrade Level or class Transfer Function Capping layer thickness
British E= 10 x CBR - 90 cm (CBR = 1 %) to 25 cm (CBR =
4 %). Not required if CBR 5 %.
Unbound material (Class 1)
French PF2 = 50 MPa z adm = 16000 NE - See the technical guide for
PF23 = 80 MPa 1/4.5 def earthwork and capping layer (Guide
PF3 = 120 MPa technique de ralisation des
PF4 = 200 MPa remblais et couches de forme 1992)
Spanish E0 < 25 MPa (if temporary) - Not included in the design system
E1 = 25 MPa
E2 = 35 MPa
E3 = 55 MPa
With EV2/EV1 < 2
Australian E = 10 x CBR, max 150MPa z adm = 9300 NE - Not included in the design system
1/7 def

Chinese E0 depending on material type Not provided Not included in the design system

Table 17 Subgrade data comparison

11.3.4 Sub-Base

The different equations are described in Chapter 12.

Dynamic Load Sub-Base Base Software Calculation

British 15 cm unbound material Used of chart No (diagram and MEF Finite
(class 2 CBR > 80) Element method used to pre-
design solutions)
French Fatigue low (see Chapter 12) Yes (ALIZE-lcpc)
Spanish 25 cm natural unbound 25 cm good quality No (catalogue)
gravel on E1 gravel on E1 and E2
- none if E2 or E3 none if E3
Australian Fatigue low (see Chapter 12) Yes (HIPAVE)
Chinese Bituminous pavement = diagram 4.28 + allowable Yes (or diagram in case 8 cm
rebound deflection interlock block)
L = 1.1 x 1 2 Nm-0.2 (de/19.5)0.46
Granular base in interlocking block pavement =
rebound deflection < 2 mm + wheel tracking depth lc =
1.9e-0.11hc Nm 0.285 ly < 40 mm
Stabilised base in interlocking block pavement =
allowable fatigue flexural tensile stress = R2 = 3.0 s
Kd-1 Nm -0.1 (x 0.95 to 1.03 to be allowable)

Table 18 Sub-base data comparison

11.3.5 Surface Layer

The surface pavement materials are described in the Chapter 10.

Example Calculation

The following example gives the pavement sections from each of the methods reviewed in
order to show the differences in their results. See Chapter 10 where the French and English
nomenclature for materials used in this section are compared.

11.4.1 Subgrade/Sub-Base

In this example a value 55 MPa is assumed for the subgrade bearing capacity.
BPA: CBR = 55/10 = 5.5 > no capping; sub-base= 15 cm Class 2 foundation
French: E = 55 MPa and Poisson coefficient= 0.35
Spanish: class E3 (55 MPa) > no capping; no sub-base, no base
Australian: E = 55 MPa and Poisson coefficient= 0.3

11.4.2 Dynamic Load Data (Reachstacker Traffic)

Reach Stacker TFC 45 LX (2007 data): 87.2 t + 22 t container

Laden Container:
Front axle: 0.62 x (87.2+ 22) x 9.81 = 664 kN on 4 wheels (166 kN/wheel)
Rear axle: 0.38 x (87.2+ 36) x 9.81 = 407 kN on 2 wheels (203.5 kN/wheel)
Empty (MT):
Front axle: 40.6 t x 9.81 = 398 kN on 4 wheels (99.6 kN/wheel)
Rear axle: 46.6 t x 9.81 = 457 kN on 2 wheels (228.6 kN/wheel)

BPA Manual:
250,000 passes, 166 x 1.7 x 2.11 = 596 kN/single equivalent wheel (FD = 1.7, fp = 2.11)
only full containers
Spanish Guide:
Traffic Class A (high intensity > 3,000 t/m, high load: pv > 1.5 MPa and Qv > 700 kN),
Service life: 25 years - Commercial use in working area
French Guide:
250,000 passes (25 years, 0.8 % linear growth rate, 25 passes/day), 1 MPa pressure,
wandering 1.5 m, speed 20 km/h, risk 10 %, 15C (see Figure 32)
Australian Guide:
Idem French data, RF = 90 %,
Chinese Guide:
Nm = Ni x R2 x i
Ni = 250,000 x 1.5 = 375 000 (unbalance factor impact)
R2 = 0.5 (Reachstacker)
i = 1 front axle, 0.0082 rear axle (to confirm with other type of Reach Stacker)
Nm = 375,000 x 0.5 x 1.0082 = 189 037 axles
1 MPa pressure, 664/2 = 332 kN front axle (or 40 cm radius)


2.77 m 3.03m


Figure 32 Reachstacker load model in ALIZE Lcpc

11.4.3 Dynamic Load Structure Result

The dynamic loads calculation gives the following structures:

Structures British French Spanish (C4 : A/E3) Chinese

Concrete 42 cm C32/40 34 cm BC5g 32 cm HP40 See 6 in the
20 cm BC3 or roller compacted method
Steel Fibre- 32 cm C32/40 - 25 cm SFRC HP40 -
Reinforced Concrete (32 cm SFRC with with residual strength
(Empirical) residual strength fR1m fR1m = 3N/mm and
= 3N/mm and a fR3m a fR3m = 3N/mm
=3 N/mm)
Steel Fibre 32 cm C32/40 with 26 cm C32/40 25 cm C32/40 with -
Reinforced Concrete residual strength fR1m with residual residual strength
(Performance, Yield = 3N/mm and a fR3m strength fR1m = fR1m = 3N/mm and
Line Theory)1 = 3N/mm 3N/mm and a a fR3m = 3N/mm
fR3m = 3N/mm
Cement Treated 8 cm CBP 8 cm CBP 12 cm CBP 8 cm CBP
Material 3 cm sand 3 cm sand 3 cm sand bedding
54 cm C8/10 30 + 25 cm GC4 15 cm lean concrete 55 cm stabilised
15 cm granular Or (drawing
6 cm BBME
30 + 25 cm GC4
Unbound Material 210 cm Granular CBR 6 cm BBME - 8 cm CBP
> 80 80 cm GNT3 Bedding
60 cm crushed
gravel or 26 cm
Bituminous Material 52 cm HDM (including 6 cm BBME - -
wearing course) 27 cm EME
15 cm granular
Based upon calculation method, 8 Materials, Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Table 19 Pavement structures example (dynamic load)

British BPA Concrete Block C8/10 Unbound Subgrade C32/40 C32/40 + 40

Data Pavement (CBP) Sub-Base Concrete Kg/m3 Steel
E (MPa) 4,000 40,000 500 55 - -
Included sand bed
0.15 0.15 0.3 0.40 - -
MEF 1 1 3 - 0.60 0.45

Table 20 BPA detailed data

French Alize data EME2 BBME3 GC- GC- GNT BC5g BC3
Stiffness E 15C 10 14,000 11,000 25,000 25,000 (3En-1/25 cm) 35,000 24,000
Hz (MPa) 25 cm 165 MPa,
E 15C 2 10,744 8,441 25 cm 495 MPa,
Hz (MPa) maxi 600 MPa
E 10C 10 16,940 -
Hz (MPa)
Poisson 0.35 0.35 0.25 0.25 0.35 0.25 0.25
Coef. Kc ( > 200 1.3 - 2.2 2.2 - 2.4 2.4
Ks (PF2) 1/1.1 - 1/1.1 1/1.1 - 1 1/1.1
Kd - - 1/1.25 1/1.25 - 1/1.47 1
Risk Value r (5 % to 10 % - 10 % 10 % - 10 % 50 %
15 %)
Wandering 1.5 m - 1.5 m 1.5 m 1.5 m 1.5 m 1.5 m
Fatigue Law 6 10C 25 130 def - 1.2 MPa 1.2 MPa - 2.15 1.63 MPa
Hz / 6 MPa
SN 0.25 - 1 1 - 1 1
-1/b 5 - 15 15 - 16 15
Thickness Sh 2.5 cm ( > - 3 cm 3 cm - 1 cm 3 cm
Deviation 15 cm)
Agressivity CAM 1 - 1 1 1 1 1
t adm /t adm 206.7 - 1.615 MPa 1.615 - 3.154 3.901
def MPa MPa MPa
Damage with Wandering 0.87 - 0.92 0.963 - 0.59 0
(Full + Empty)
z adm 1013.4 def
Damage with Wandering 0.26 - 0.004 0.004 0.90 0.006
(Full + Empty)

Table 21 French detailed data

Chinese Data Concrete Block Pavement Stabilised Base Unbound Sub-Base Subgrade
E (MPa) 35,000 2,000 300 55
Xk= 20 MPa (joint shear stiffness)
Xc= 30 MPa (bedding)
0.15 0.25 0.30 to 0.35 0.35
Rc > 50MPa
Sr2 = 3 x 1 x 0.9 x 200,000-0.1= 0.80 MPa > 0.76 0.82 MPa allowable

Table 22 Chinese detailed data

11.4.4 Static Loads

Stacking arrangement: height of five containers, layout in block.

Corner casting measure: 178 mm x162 mm
Average weight: 156 kN/container, which means each container corner support is 156 x 5/4 =
195 kN

In BPA: single equivalent wheel load for container storage chart is 156 x 5 = 780 kN
In French method: special load model as shown on Figure 33:

Figure 33 Container load model in ALIZE-lcpc

In the Spanish catalogue: commercial use, Traffic Class A (high load: Qv > 1,200 kN and pv
> 10 MPa, high intensity: > 2 TEU/m)

11.4.5 Static Load Results

Structure Container Spanish French British Chinese

Storage Area (table C7 : A/E3)
Concrete 35 cm HP40 or RCC 23 cm BC5g 40 cm C32/40
Or 20 cm BC3 15 cm granular
28 cm steel fibre Or
reinforced concrete 30 cm C32/40 including
40 kg/m3 steel fibre
15 cm granular
Cement Treated 12 cm CBP 8 cm CBP 8 cm CBP 8 cm interlocking block
Material 3 cm bedding 3 cm bedding 3 cm bedding pavement
15 cm lean concrete 47 cm GC4 55 cm C8/10 3 cm bedding
Or 15 cm granular 38-40 cm stabilised
6 cm BBME
48 cm GC4
Bituminous Material - 6 cm BBME 54 cm HDM including
36 cm EME wearing course
15 cm granular
Unbound Gravel 40 cm - 213 cm unbound material

Table 23 Structures results example (static load)


Even with the same subgrade and traffic assumptions, the pavement section thicknesses
cannot be compared directly since the materials defined in the different guides do not have
similar characteristics or properties.

Some pavement design parameters are empirical and the methods have a part of uncertainty.
Moreover, the Spanish guide does not include all of the calculation details to allow a
comparison of all the assumptions with the French method for example.

Nonetheless, the material equivalent factors (MEFs) in the BPA guide in the case of
bituminous material and granular material are higher than those implied by the French
method reflecting the preference of Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) in the UK and
asphalt in France. The UKs HDM (Heavy Duty Macadam) MEF is representative of French
GB2 rather than EME which is used commonly in French container terminal pavements. It
seems that the Spanish guide leads to pavement sections which are significantly thinner than
their UK, French and Australian counterparts. The reason for this is that when the Spanish
document was being prepared, container terminal pavements were not afforded high priority.
Bearing in mind the fact that these guides were all prepared independently of each other,
with the exception of the Spanish document, they produce remarkably similar pavement
sections when all of the supervening factors are taken into account.

The dichotomy facing the container terminal pavement designer remains as it ever was. On
the one hand, the port wants a low spend during the construction phase. On the other hand,
that same port wants flexibility of future usage. These two requirements are essentially
irreconcilable. For this reason, the container terminal pavement designer will need to develop
the skill of managing expectations of all parties involved in the container pavement. There is
no guide available for that skill.

11.4.7 References

British Port Association (BPA) (Edition 4 2007)

NF P 98-086 Norme franaise de dimensionnement des chausses neuves (2011)

Revue Gnrale des Routes et de lAmnagement n 916 Dossier plateforme portuaire

(Novembre 2013)

Spanish Method ROM 4.1-94 Proyecto y construccin de pavimentos portuarios/puertos del

estado (1994)

Heavy Duty Industrial Pavement Design Guide revision 1.035 (2007) MINCAD

Sector Standard of the Peoples Republic of China Code for design and construction of
pavements roads and stockyards in ports JTJ 296-96 (1997)


Whereas the ROM is more adapted to preliminary design, other methods can be used for
detailed design. These methods are regularly modified to take into account equipment and
materials development, since the most important factors in pavement thickness results are
loads (equipment) and materials properties.

12 Methods of Analysis and Transfer Functions

This section deals with the fatigue analysis of a pavement. It is important to understand that
this is just a part of the whole pavement design procedure which includes structural analysis
depending on the type of pavement (flexible pavements with Hot Mixed Asphalt or Pavers,
rigid pavements with PCC or RCC).

For example, the analysis of a PCC pavement should include consideration of the following

Warping Stress Analysis

Temperature Steel Analysis
Dowel Bar Stress Analysis
PCC Slap load stress analysis
Fatigue Analysis
Unreinforced Thickness Requirements
Final Reinforced Slab Thickness Requirements

For Hot Mixed Asphalt, pavement design analysis may include the following distresses:

Fatigue cracking
Low-temperature cracking
Age-related cracking
Moisture damage

Most of Pavement Design Guidance is based on rational method for the evaluation of fatigue

The principle of such a method could be described as follows.

Firstly, stresses and strains developed in the different layers of the pavement under the port
equipment loads are calculated using different methods such as:

Empirical formula
Analytical models
Boussinesq model
Westergaard model (e.g. RCC-Pave Software from Portand Cement Association)
Burminster model (e.g. Alize software from LCPC used in French method)
Finite elements models (e.g. Sigma/w module of Geostudio used in BPA manual, Plaxis

Secondly, these stresses or strains are compared with the materials permissible stresses
and/or strains for the first loading and for the design traffic after taking into account fatigue
phenomena. Transfer functions are used to obtain permissible stresses or strain or
stress/strength ratio of a material.

These transfer functions are expressed as follows for concrete, cement bound granular
mixtures or asphalt concrete:

t or t or t/fr = f [N]

Permissible tensile stress or strain or Decreasing function of the number of

stress/strength ratio at the bottom of the repetition of a loading event
designed layer

The above two steps have to be followed in the case of a pavement designed using the
French, Australian or Portland Cement Association methods. It is built into the BPA manual.

There are many fatigue equation for concrete materials. Each fatigue line may give different
results for the same Transfer Function(s) and selection of the appropriate fatigue line can be
a matter of engineering judgement. The following example illustrates the effect of using
different Transfer Functions.

12.1.1 Concrete Transfer Function 1

The Formula 25 has been introduced for concrete pavement design in the UK Highways
Agency in their highway pavement design manual.

Formula 25 Concrete transfer function 1

S = flexural tensile stress ratio resulting from wheel patch load

N = number of load applications to failure

12.1.2 Concrete Transfer Function 2

The Formula 26, alternative concrete Transfer Function was derived from laboratory fatigue
testing of various concretes and Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBMs) (Ref: Principles of
Pavement Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nick Thom, 2008).

Formula 26 Concrete transfer function 2

S = flexural tensile stress ratio resulting from wheel patch load

N = number of load applications to failure

12.1.3 Concrete Transfer Function 3

The Formula 27 Transfer Function was developed by Darter in 1977 specifically for concrete

Formula 27 Concrete transfer function 3

S = flexural tensile stress ratio resulting from wheel patch load

N = number of load applications to failure

To illustrate the impact of these three different concrete Transfer Functions, pavement
residual life has been calculated for the edge loading condition, which is usually taken as the
critical condition in the case of concrete slabs using each Transfer Function. The equations
have been applied to the case of concrete having a Flexural Strength of 7 MPa and
sustaining a stress of 3 MPa.


0.57 86,098 61 million 44 million

Table 24 Concrete transfer functions impact

The BPA manual embodies the two stages of Transfer Function design into its Design Charts.

the results of step a) for different levels of loadings and different thicknesses of
pavement base comprising C8/10 concrete
the comparison of the values of tensile stress developed at the bottom of pavement
base layer with relationships between permissible tensile stress and traffic for known
highway pavement structures

As a result of this calibration the designer using Transfer Functions doesnt need to follow
steps a) and b) explicitly and the thickness of base layer comprising C8/10 concrete is read
from the design chart from a knowledge of the Single Equivalent Wheel Load (SEWL) and
the number of repetitions of the SEWL over a given spot in the pavement. Material
Equivalence Factors then allow the resulting C8/10 thickness to be replaced with an
alternative thickness of the actual base material selected by the designer.

A Transfer Function is often adjusted when used with a specific pavement analysis
programme. This calibration is based upon observations of real pavement behaviour.

For example, the Transfer Functions used in the French pavement design method were
adjusted to be used with the Burminster analytical technique and it would therefore be
inappropriate to used results from say Westergaard analysis or a finite element model with
these adjusted Transfer Functions.

The following calculation illustrates this information.

The following pavement is analysed using firstly the French Alize-lcpc Burminster model and
secondly the Plaxis axi-symmetric Finite Element idealisation used in the Sigma/w module of
Geostudio software.

80 mm CBP + 30 mm laying course

670 mm C8/10 CBGM
150 mm crushed rock sub-base material
600 mm capping
2 % CBR subgrade

Figure 34 BPA Pavement structure example

A Reach Stacker front wheel patch load of 180 kN is applied on the pavement producing the
following results whereby the tensile stress calculated by Alize-lcpc is higher than the one
obtained by Plaxis by approximately 19 %.

t max at the bottom of C8/10 layer

Applied loads
Alize Plaxis 2D

1 wheel (1 wheel of front axle): 180 kN 0.637 MPa 0.503 MPa

Table 25 Tensile stress results in the pavement

Summary of the Different Pavement Design Calculation Models

The following table compares and contrasts pavement analytical methods used commonly in
the design of highway pavements.

Examples of
Calculation Modelling Analytical Approach of
Proprietary Pavement Type
Models Methodology Proprietary Software
Explicit Westergaard
or Modified Rigid pavements :
Infinite plate in
Plate on springs Westergaard Portand Cement Association concrete pavements or
plan laid on
(ex.: Westergaard) equations method Roller Compacted
elastic springs
Concrete pavement
RCC-Pave Software

French LCPC method NF Flexible and semi-rigid

Infinite elastic P 98-086 2011
layers in plan laid Rigid but required a
Continuous layered
on vertical semi- complementary analysis
elastic model Hipave Australian method
infinite elastic with finite element
(ex: Burminster)
subgrade method to evaluate the
Asphalt Pavements for effects of edge and
SW-1 Heavy Wheel Loads (MS23) corner loadings
of Asphalt Institute
2-D-axisymetric or
3-D full Sigma/w module of
Finite elements modellisation of Geostudio
All pavements
models pavement layers
with elastic or not Plaxis
behaviour laws -

Table 26 Different design calculation models

Transfer Function Application to Container Terminal Pavements

Transfer Functions are entirely empirical relationships which have been derived by observing
the way in which pavements have performed historically and are usually informed by
scientific fatigue relationships such as Miners Rule. Miners Rule states that if there are k
different applied stress or strain values ( for example by k different wheel patch loads) and
the number of cycles required to cause failure for the ith stress level is Ni, then the amount of
life consumed by that stress level, C is given by Formula 28:

Formula 28 Miners rule

where ni is the number of cycles of the stress or strain applied at the ith stress or strain level.

Most of the transfer functions have been developed for highways area then in airport area.

Transfer function used to design heavy duty pavement for ports are often the ones used in
highways or airport areas with some slight modifications. Fatigue laws have been developed
for each type of material because of their difference of behaviour.

The following figure shows the position of critical strain or stress in each of four types of

Base / stress



Surface layer
/ stress


/ stress


Surface layer


(Source: UNCTAD (1996))

Figure 35 Position of critical strain or stress in each type of pavement

The following table contains examples of fatigue laws used worldwide to design heavy duty

Unbound pavement layers
In unbound pavement layers (subgrade, sub-base or base layers), permanent deformation can occur resulting from
load repetitions. The fatigue laws developed for unbound layers relate the allowable number of repetitions of the
design wheel load to the specific level of vertical compressive strain at the top of the unbound layer.
Method Transfer function Definitions of parameters used
v = 16,000 NE -1/4.5
Australian v = permissible vertical tensile strain (microstrain)
v = 9,300 NE -1/7
Method C or NE = Equivalent load repetitions
C = (0.004/v)8.1 when C < 12,100
C = (0.002428/v)14.21 when C > 12,100

Cement Bound Granular Mixtures

This type of materials is often used to build up sub-base or base pavement layer. Fatigue structural cracking occurs
at the bottom of the layer. The fatigue laws developed for CBGM relate the allowable number of repetitions of the
design wheel load to the specific level of horizontal tensile stress/strain at the bottom of the layer.
Method Transfer Function Definitions of parameters used
t,ad = permissible tensile stress (MPa)
6 = CBGM laboratory flexural strength for 106
repetitions of load (6 0.85 to 1 x Rt, Rt: design
tensile strength)
French -1/b = slope of the fatigue laboratory tests (10 to 16
Method according to the type of CBGM)
kc, kd, kr, ks = Coefficients of adjustments taking into
account the accurate behaviour of the pavement, the
local discontinuities of the layer, the risk factor and
the possible lack of sub-base bearing capacity


For a CBGM C8/10 :

BPA t = permissible tensile stress (MPa)

Method ff = permissible flexural stress

Corps of C = 9.11 0.0578 h

Engineers N = 10C h = horizontal tensile microstrain in cement treated
Method base

Asphalt Concrete
Structural cracking occurs at the bottom of the asphalt concrete layer. The fatigue laws developed for asphalt concrete
relate the allowable number of repetitions of the design wheel load to the specific level of horizontal tensile strain at the
underside of the layer.
Method Transfer function Definitions of parameters used
t,ad = permissible tensile strain
6 = Asphalt concrete laboratory strain strength for 106
repetitions of load (6 70 to 130 according to the type
of Asphalt concrete)
Method -1/b = slope of the fatigue laboratory tests (= 5)
kc, kr, ks = Coefficients of adjustments taking into
account the accurate behaviour of the pavement, the
risk factor, the possible lack of sub-base bearing


N = allowable load repetitions

log10 N = 2.68 5.0 log10 h 2.665 log10 E h =horizontal tensile strain
E = elastic modulus of asphalt concrete
Concrete pavement
Structural cracking occurs at the bottom of the concrete layer.
Method Transfer function Definitions of parameters used
Same as for CBGM
For Portland concrete pavement:

Portland Stress Strength ratio = t/fr

t = maximum tensile stress
Method fr = 28-day third point loading flexural strength

For Roller Compacted Pavement

Portland Stress Strength ratio = t/fr

t = maximum tensile stress
Method fr = 28-day third point loading flexural strength

Table 27 Fatigue law examples

13 Container Terminal Pavements for Developing Countries


Heavy duty pavements are designed and installed in many of locations which could be
described as developing countries. It is very common for projects in developing countries to
be financed partly or completely by international development banks, whose funds are put in
place by donor countries.

Donor countries frequently recommend involving local designers and contractors, which may
be international companies with a local in-country presence. But it is also common for the
work to be carried out by overseas companies with little local knowledge.

This section is directed towards informing designers of the factors which are likely to be
particularly important when providing container terminal pavements in developing countries.
It is particularly important to understand that depending on the local situation a flexible
approach may be required which can be at variance with typical international state-of-the-art.
A counter-intuitive factor is that the absence of container terminal experience may require a
more detailed approach to preliminary and detailed design. As an example, the designer may
be required to open a quarry, evaluate the stone won from that quarry, carry out a
programme of research to establish strong and durable asphalt or concrete mixtures, then
set up batching plants and quality assurance systems to ensure suitable paving materials. By
contrast, in many developed countries, all of that is replaced with a telephone call to an
established material supplier. Local partners can be very important in overseas projects
which start from a standstill.

The following comprises a brief overview of the issues which may be encountered. It is
important to understand that projects in developing countries can require a particularly high
standard of engineering expertise and experience.

Specifics of Developing Countries

The following items should be addressed with a high level of professional care.

Time will need to be set aside for obtaining basic information. This basic information, such as
soil data, climate conditions, availability of quarries, material and equipment is essential
before the design process can begin and, therefore, before the service life of the pavement
as set out in the Employers Requirements commences. Often the data acquisition phase
can take several years.

13.2.1 Clients

As is the case for heavy duty pavements in developed countries, the type of client may differ.
The decision making embedded within the Employers Requirements can be complex, with
major differences between private clients, non-government and government authorities and
this can lead to complicated Employers Requirements documentation which is sometimes a
mixture of normally encountered Employers Requirements and detailed specifications.

Clients who are planning independently without any donor country financing bank often
include a particular pavement solution in their Employers Requirements and can also specify
particular methods. It is often the case that these clients also know the exact equipment
which will traffic their container terminal pavements; such as reach stackers, forklifts,

Automatic Guided Vehicles as well as the required space for storage and traffic and
sometimes including detailed modifications in the future.

However, it is often the case that the client does not know his future business very well,
particularly if the client happens to be a financing bank such as World Bank (WB), European
Developing Bank (EDB), European Investment Bank (EIB). In this case the designer has to
undertake wide ranging and comprehensive consulting services in order to define and
accommodate the intended use of the container terminal and to create the infrastructure for a
successful operation and indeed a successful business.

There are also financing models whereby the donor and the local government agree to
privatise the port business, and award the franchise sometimes during the design process
and sometimes later. In such cases, the pavement has to be designed on the basis of as-yet
undefined loadings which lead to conservative design. There is always an adverse financial
impact for this type of project and this can be challenging for all parties to the development

13.2.2 Soil Data

As a first step the soil characteristics should be investigated for container handling traffic and
storage area. There are different standards and recommendations which specify the required
soil testing regime such as Standard Penetration Testing (SPT testing), plate bearing testing
and boreholes. In principle the distance between individual tests should be approximately 25
m and should not exceed 50 m. Whilst this is a useful rule of thumb, the exact location of
testing should be specified by an experienced geotechnical engineer with local knowledge.
Different procedures will be required depending upon whether the project comprises an
upgrade to existing pavements or new work. Sampling and testing regimes will differ
according to the nature of the ground; for example, a virgin nonconsolidated, cohesive soil
should be much more exhaustive sampled and tested than would be the case for a well-
known area with stable soil layers of well compacted sands or gravels.

The designer may need to research the types of tests which are available locally and may
need to ship samples overseas if local facilities are poor. This applies particularly to the
ability of the testing house to demonstrate a good quality assurance approach. Often simpler
testing, such as SPT may be more appropriate in developing countries where the skills
required are more likely to be available locally than would be the case with say Heavy Weight
Deflectometer testing, although there can be surprises. If, for example, there is a nearby
international airport, especially one serving US or European travellers, there is likely to be a
surprisingly high level of pavement evaluation competence.

Geotechnical evaluations have to be considered in relation to the following loading


13.2.3 Load Assumptions

The load assumptions are a major factor in designing the pavement. There are no
differences between developing or industrial countries in this regard.

Though the communication may be diverse depending on country, culture, client, etc., load
assumptions need to be clarified in detail, preferably including possible future changes.

13.2.4 Pavement Materials

In principle the pavement material should be selected, designed and detailed as set out in
Chapter 10.
However, with regard to the availability of material there may be a need for special
consideration. For example, long haul distances from quarries, mostly for delivering crushed
rock, stones and sand can be an important cost factor. It is not uncommon for pavement
construction materials to be hauled by truck or by train for hundreds of kilometres. This has
to be considered during the design phase in order to find the most economical solution.

Pre-design inspection of quarries and early pre-testing of the available material is advisable.
The composition of pavement layers may have to be modified as a consequence of material
availability. Clearly, the available material can lead to changes in the design.

As example on one project a national cement drought lead to a revised pavement design of a
multi-purpose container area. Since it was not possible to obtain sufficient cement from the
scheduled factories within a radius of 500 kilometres from the construction site, it was
decided to abandon the layers of cement bounded material and to replace them with
equivalent layers of crushed rock. In that particular instance, there were cost advantages
resulting from the opening of a nearby quarry and suspension of works was fortuitously

Concrete block paving has found favour as a surfacing material in many developing country
container terminals as a result of the preponderance of labour cost in their installation. Also,
there are many low technology concrete paver manufacturing plants in those developing
countries most likely to be supplying pavers for container terminals.

13.2.5 Testing of Pavement Material/Quality Assurance

In the case of pavements in non-developed territories, where no nearby laboratory facilities

are available, the contractor may need to provide his own well-equipped laboratory on site.
This can have a significant impact on project completion dates.

In this case the designer may need to not only arrange for the laboratory equipment to be
brought to site but may also need to involve himself in the recruitment of experienced
technical staff. A quality assurance programme is important and the staff will need to be
trained to operate it diligently and with integrity. The time consuming transfer of samples to
well-equipped laboratories has to be avoided owing to the fact that in the case of test failures
decisions have to be taken expeditiously.

The following tests are normally carried out and other tests may also be required depending
upon geotechnical conditions and types of material being imported: Sieve analysis,
Compaction, CBR, Marshall testing of asphalt, Proctor density for sand, stone and crushed
rock, macadam, asphalt or pavers (compressive strength, abrasion test, etc.)

13.2.6 Application of Pavement Material

It should be emphasised that weather conditions have a significant impact on both suitable
service life materials and also on construction.

Humidity, precipitation (many developing countries have a rainy season), temperature, wind
(tropical storms), water and ground water tables, waves, etc. have to be studied properly
during the design process and in the selection of the material composition and the installation

For example, the use of cement bound material can be a disadvantage in areas of intense
rainfall. For example, during tropical storms the working area can be flooded on a daily basis
and this can lead to significant delays and/or damage to the existing surfaces and layers.

The construction technique should be included in the specification in cases where it is
weather dependent. In order to avoid any claims by the contractor, the specification should
include material describing adverse weather conditions (e.g. last 10 years) where pavement
construction would be affected.

13.2.7 Maintenance

Maintenance costs can be higher in developing countries than in developed ones. The
reasons for this are a lack of local companies specialised in pavement repair works and also
the lack of availability of suitable repair plant in many locations.

For this reason a maintenance manual should be prepared and implemented. Inspection
cycles should be specified and implemented in order that actions can be taken if severe
damages are encountered. Donors may participate in the long-term maintenance regime and
may require that their own standards and methods be implemented.

In some cases the consultants tend to design conservatively in order to minimise

maintenance. However, this will lead to higher initial project costs and should not be

13.2.8 General Points

Container terminal pavements for developing countries should be designed with the same
level of care which would be afforded in the case of container terminal pavements for
industrial countries.

Sometimes, special knowledge is required for the evaluation of geotechnical data, for
assessing the impact of weather conditions and for obtaining information regarding the local
availability of pavement course construction materials. For example, cement may be an
imported material with intermittent availability in the quantities required.

The pavement designer should possess wide experience in order to choose the right
pavement structure based on local conditions, load assumptions, execution and testing
methods; it may be necessary to establish testing facilities.

Unless maintenance funding is procured during the construction phase whilst the external
funder remains actively engaged it is unlikely that the normal levels of maintenance will be
carried out throughout the pavement service life.


Pavements for developing countries should be designed with the same level of care and
diligence as those for industrial countries.

Although existing standards and recommendations should apply in the case of pavements for
developing countries, special knowledge may be required for interpreting the site
investigation data, weather conditions and the availability of pavement construction

The pavement designer should be experienced in the local circumstances with regard to
pavement loading. The pavement required life and a maintenance schedule should be
defined and the maintenance regime should be implemented immediately.

14 Appendices

Appendix 1 Terms of reference

1. Historical Background Definition of the Problem

Container terminals require special types of pavement to resist the heavy and continuous
loads of container handling equipment including straddle carriers, reach stackers, top picks,
Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) and Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV). Typically,
container terminals use either asphalt or concrete block pavement systems. The design of
these structures has been largely based on highway pavement technology.

Load repetitions associated with port pavement, however, can be much slower, much
heavier and more confined to single wheel paths than roadway conditions. Under such
conditions, port pavements can be subject to rutting and other distresses that require repair,
maintenance. In some cases, traditional asphalt/block pavements are not optimal for
container terminals. Designers do not always know how to design pavements properly.
Terminal operators do not always recognise the need for maintenance and do not plan for
same. This can give rise to problems.

The Working Group is to address:

Asphalt and Portland Cement Concrete pavement design procedures; concrete block
pavement design procedures; Roller Compacted Concrete pavement design procedures;
methods for quantifying equipment repetitions; differences in between port, highway and
airport pavement design; foundation design including the need for specialised treatment of
reclaimed material in order to limit pavement settlement; container terminal pavements for
inland ports and multimodal terminals (railway); detailed survey of port owners/operators to
quantify pavement experience throughout the world; among other factors, the survey will
address pavement dimensions, properties and design loads, typical timing/magnitude of
pavement distress, initial costs, maintenance costs and pavement lives.

The Working Group will comprise engineers, terminal designers, terminal operators and
construction experts.

2. Objective of the Working Group

The objective of the Working Group is to provide information regarding design procedures,
maintenance costs/procedures, construction oversight and impact of terminal operations on

Information regarding port pavement design, maintenance, construction and general

performance is scarce. It is hoped that the Working Group will provide information that
significantly improves the understanding of port pavements with a commensurate
improvement in performance.

3. Earlier Reports to be Reviewed

Presently, there are various references for port pavement:

1) Knapton, J. (2008): Heavy Duty Pavement Design Manual, Fourth Edition of the British
Ports Association.
2) The Asphalt Institute (1986): Thickness design: asphalt pavements for heavy wheel

loads, College Park: The Institute, 72 p. Manual series n. 23.
3) Meletiou, M. and Knapton, J. (1987-1990): Container terminal pavement management,
Geneva: UNCTAD, 2 vol. UNCTAD monographs on port management n.5.
4) ROM 4.1-94: Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Port Pavements, Puertos
del Estado, Spain.

While these reports offer a plethora of information, the Working Group will extend the state of
knowledge with new developments informed by recent experience of terminal operators,
designers, academics, construction management professionals and contractors.

4. Matters to be investigated

Geotechnical and structural design criteria for pavements, life cycle analysis for pavement
systems, manufacture of blocks for block paving, innovative alternative solutions for
Container Terminal Port Pavements.

5. Method of Approach

Review existing standards and recommendations regarding structural and geotechnical

design, bibliography, analysis of main geotechnical, structural and soil-structure interaction
problems involved, available technologies and analysis of case studies with a special focus
on design and construction criteria and final results achieved in several case studies.

6. Suggested Final Product

Recommendations in the form of a guide relevant for designing, maintaining, constructing

and testing container terminal pavements

7. Desirable Disciplines of the Members of the Working Group

The WG members are expected to comprise practicing/experienced engineers from: (1)

terminal operators, (2) port authorities, (3) consultants and (4) contractors. PIANC expects to
be able to attract a serving member from most PIANC participating countries. PIANC is
aware from literature and experience that numerous countries are likely to participate,
including Australia, Dubai, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, UK, US and others.

8. Relevance for Countries in Transition

Many of the new container ports being planned and constructed throughout the world are
slated for Countries in Transition. Accordingly, these countries will be the beneficiaries of
new technology and preferred design/construction methods. This Working Group will help
such countries to avoid any problems or misunderstandings from the past. Manufacture of
blocks for block paving will also be a topic of interest for countries in transition.

Appendix 2 Members of Working Group 165

MarCom Mentor : Chairman: Secretary:


Director of Port Engineering 85 Monkseaton Drive Global Segment Manager Dramix
Moffatt & Nichol Whitley Bay Readymix applications
3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 600 NE26 3DQ BEKAERT
Long Beach UK Bekaertstraat 2
California 90806 8550 Zwevegem
USA Tel.: (44) 191 252 8333 Belgium
Mob.: (44) 7940017880
Tel.: +562 426 9551 Website: www.john-knapton.com Tel.: +32 (0)56 76 72 95
Fax: +562 424 7489 E-mail: mail@john-knapton.com Fax: +32 (0)56 76 72 90
E-mail: edallen@moffattnichol.com Mob.: +32 (0)475 85 64 69
Website: www.moffatnichol.com E-mail: danny.lesage@bekaert.com

Member: Member: Member :


Department of Civil Engineering of the Civil and architecture section Egis
Civil Engineering College of the SENER Company Pavement and road asset management
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid C/Provena 392, 4A planta 40 Avenue de la Marne - BP 87
Avda. Ciudad de Barcelona 138, esc 08205 Barcelona 59442 Wasquehal Cedex
5, 5A. Madrid (28007) Spain France
Tel.: +34 932 276 411 Tel.: +33 3 20 69 24 51
Tel.: 656317390 Mob.: +971 26 659 404 Mob.: +33 6 34 59 64 47
E-mail: alberto.camarero1@gmail.com E-mail: xavier.ametller@sener.es Fax : +33 3 20 69 24 10
E-mail: camille.bourdon@egis.fr

Member : Member: Member:

Bekir CALIM Joaquin CANCHERO Ashebir JACOB

Port of Rotterdam N.V. MWH Argentina S.A., Moffatt & Nichol
World Port Centre Capital Federal, Argentina 3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Ste 750
Postbus 6622 Long Beach, CA 90806
3002 AP Rotterdam E-mail: USA
The Netherlands joaquincanchero@yahoo.com.ar
Tel.: +1 562. 590. 6500
Tel.: +31622380587 Fax: +1 562. 590. 6512
E-mail: b.calim@portofrotterdam.com E-mail: ajacob@moffattnichol.com

Member : Member : Member :


ARCADIS Mark Smallridge and Associates, Project manager
Ple Gnie Civil Souterrain et Portuaire Inc. INROS LACKNER AG
9, Avenue Raumur 3524 Cottonwood Springs Drive Lindenstr. 1A
92354 Le Plessis-Robinson cedex The Colony. TX 75056 28755 Bremen,
France USA Germany

Tel.: + 33 1 46 23 78 34 Tel.: +1 972 624 8817 Tel.: +49 (0)421 65 84 125

Mob.: + 33 6 70 08 89 92 E-mail: msaimark@cs.com E-mail: carl.stuppy@inros-lackner.de
Fax: + 33 1 46 01 35 80
E-mail: luc.moscone@arcadis-fr.com


227 London Road
Worcester WR5 2JG

Tel.: +44 (0) 1905 361276

E-Mail: David.Fanthorpe@ch2m.com

Appendix 3 Terminology & Acronyms: An ABC of Container
Terminal Pavements
Periodically relocating the locations of rows of stored containers laterally so that the wheels
of container handling equipment run over previously unused parts of the pavement. The term
is most commonly used in relation to container stacks through which Straddle Carriers run.

Asphalt Concrete See Hot Mix Asphalt

Asphalt whose aggregates were selected on the basis of providing high stiffness asphalt in
order to prevent deformation of the pavement when trafficked or loaded. In the UK, the term
Dense Bitumen Macadam was previously used for this type of asphalt.

Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV)

Driverless container handling equipment which is guided by one or more electronic systems
such as magnets embedded within the pavement, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or

Backreach Area

The area of pavement below the Backreach of the Quay Cranes. Sometimes, parts of the
Backreach Area are used to store ships hatch covers. The Backreach Area may be striped
to form roadways running parallel with the quay. It is trafficked by container handling
equipment running parallel with the quay whilst transporting containers which might need to
be stored in stacks behind the quay, which are often a significant distance from their point of
loading/unloading to/from their ship.

Bomb Cart

Terminal trailer used to transport containers and fitted with perimeter sloping upstands to
guide containers being lowered onto the trailer bed and to keep the containers secure
without the need to use corner castings.


An alternative name for a container.


Material installed over poor quality subgrade to provide a working platform over which the
pavement sub-base and base can be installed. The term capping defines both the name of
the layer and sometimes the material from which it is formed. Capping is necessary when the
subgrade is so weak that construction plant is unable to compact the pavement layers
directly over it, i.e. usually when the California Bearing ratio of the ground is less than 5 %.
Capping comprises low cost locally available compactable material or cement treated

Cement Bound Material (CBM)

A mixture of aggregate and cement with a low water/cement ratio which can be used as a
pavement base or sub-base. Its low water/cement ratio allows it to be installed by a paving
machine which both places and partly compacts the material, in contrast to conventional
concrete which has to be cast within formwork and from which excessive air is expelled by
applying vibration.

Channelised Loading

The way in which container handling equipment wheel patch loads are applied onto a
pavement when each pass of the equipment follows closely the path of the previous pass.
Occurs when Straddle Carriers run through container stacks.

Concrete Block Paving

Pavement surfacing comprising Concrete Block Paving installed over a layer of compacted
sand and with joints filled with usually finer sand. Concrete Block Paving comprises a
common way of surfacing container terminal pavements in many parts of the world. First
used as a container terminal surfacing at Europe Container Terminus (ECT), Port of
Rotterdam. It can be independent blocks (see picture below) or interlocked blocks (see
picture of Corner Casting).

Construction Phase

The time during which major construction work is being carried out and the area is in the
temporary possession of the constructor or contractor.

Container Terminal

A port or part of a port where all or most of the cargo comprises containers of standard
dimensions. The containers may be being imported, exported or stored temporarily during


The most well-established type of unitised cargo of standard size and including standard
Corner Castings to allow efficient handling, transport and storage. Sometimes referred to as
ISO (ISO = International Standards Organization) Containers, Sea Containers or Boxes. First
used in 1956 before the development of dedicated container terminals and container ships,
as shown below.

Container Stack

A zone within a port where containers are stored, often two or more high, whilst awaiting the
next phase of their journey.

Corner Casting

A standard steel casting at each of the eight corners of a container into which Twistlocks are
fixed to secure the container to its handling equipment or to the bed of a truck. They also
allow containers to be stored several high and are used to lash containers on board ships to
prevent them from becoming dislodged. Can lead to soft surfacing material becoming
indented as illustrated. This is because all of the weight of the container and each of the
containers stored above it is transmitted into the pavement through the four corner castings.

Critical Load

When a pavement is being trafficked by wheels of differing weights and frequencies, the
combination of weight and frequency which is the most damaging to a pavement.

Normally, it is close to but less than the maximum load. This is because the maximum load is
usually applied so infrequently that it inflicts little damage onto the pavement. Some design
methods transform a complex pattern of different loadings to a certain number of critical

Design Life

The number of load repetitions for which a Container Terminal Pavement is designed before
it fails in fatigue. If the frequency of loading is known with some accuracy, then design life
can also be expressed in terms of years.

Differential Settlement

The relative vertical movement of two or more places in the surface of a pavement.

It can be troublesome when two close together places settle by different amounts. It can lead
to pavement deterioration and to operational difficulties.

Dolly Wheels

Small steel wheels usually fixed near the front of a trailer. They are used as support props
when the trailer is parked without its tractor unit. They are retracted when the trailer is being
towed by a tractor unit.


The combination of falls or slopes built into the pavement surface and slot drains/trench
drains/gulleys/downstream drainage pipes and sewers which conduct precipitation away
from the container terminal pavement surface.


Dredging is often carried out to reduce and maintain the sea bed level along the quay in line
with the draft requirements of container vessels.

Dynamic Loading

The additional or diminished wheel patch loads applied to a container pavement surface as a
result of container handling equipment accelerating, braking, cornering or running over an
uneven surface.

Elastic Modulus

A measure of the stiffness of materials from which pavements are constructed. It is the
tensile pressure which would be needed to stretch a sample of material to twice its original
length or the compressive pressure which would be needed to halve the length of a sample
of the material.

Enrobe Module Eleve (EME)

A type of asphalt concrete specifically designed to have a very high Elastic Modulus. This is
achieved by using a very viscous (low penetration) bitumen and by selecting aggregates with
a Particle Size Distribution which causes the aggregates to interlock together.

Employers Requirements

A document prepared by the developer of a container terminal which sets out his operational
and functional needs. It is used by the pavement designer to develop design sections for
different parts of the terminal and to develop material specifications.


The slope of the surface of a container terminal pavement to ensure that precipitation runs to
drains. Usually, a value of 1 % is included in the Employers Requirements. Settlement during
the pavements service life may lead to the fall being reduced or reversed, in which case
ponding may occur.

False Moves

Relocating a container within a container terminal for operational reasons. For example, the
temporary removal then return of a container from a stacking block to a customs inspection
area. Also, the repositioning of a container to a slot in a stacking block closer to the ship
loading point and the removal of one or more containers from above a container trapped
below them which is required.


The progressive deterioration of container terminal pavement materials/layers as a result of

repetitive loading.

Fill Material

It is frequently necessary to raise the level of the container terminal surface above that of the
natural ground. Imported fill is placed to achieve this. Often the fill material is won by

Finite Element Analysis

A way of mathematically modelling the state of equilibrium within a container terminal

pavement and so producing patterns of stress/strain/deflection which the designer uses to
validate his design proposals. It is the basis of the British Ports Association container
terminal design guide.

Flexible Pavement

A pavement of which the construction materials are sufficiently flexible to be able to

accommodate expansion and contraction by the material adopting a slightly deformed shape,
in contradistinction to a rigid pavement which requires joints to do this. Asphalt concrete,
unbound materials and concrete block paving comprise examples of flexible pavement

Formation See Subgrade

The level of the natural ground or fill material over which a container terminal pavement is


A layer of plastic or glass fibre net-like material installed within the ground or within the
pavement in order to stiffen the ground or the pavement.

Geotechnical Engineering

The study of the properties and behaviour of the ground so far as it effects the performance
of structures or pavements installed above it.

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)

Asphalt concrete which is heated to a temperature of 160 C or more before being laid and
compacted. At such temperatures, the bitumen loses most of its viscosity so the material is
more easily compacted.


Measures which are needed during the service life of a container terminal pavement to
ensure that it remains serviceable throughout its design life. Usually comprises work carried
out to the surface course of a pavement such as dealing with cracking in asphalt surfacing.
Can also include repairs to cracks in concrete pavement.

Lean Concrete

Concrete containing less cement than normal concrete. Is normally laid by paving machine,
see below. Cracking is sometimes controlled by including induced joints. The second picture
shows an induced joint is being made in fresh lean concrete.

Material Equivalence Factor (MEF)

A means of defining the relative strength/stiffness of different pavement construction

materials. Has the benefit of allowing one pavement section design solution to be readily
converted to an alternative solution comprising a different material.

Mobile Harbour Crane (MHC)

A self-propelled crane which can be located on a quay and thereby load/unload containers
between ship and quay. A particularly flexible machine but is inefficient so is used only when
bespoke container handling equipment is unavailable.


Acronym used to describe an empty container.


A hardstanding over which container handling operations can take place. Comprises one or
more layers of materials which have been found to have sufficient strength and durability to
sustain these operations for the period set out in the employers requirements.

Permeable Pavement

A pavement which allows precipitation to drain through its surface where it is then managed
either within or below the pavement courses. For example, in some pavements, the water is
detained within the voids between particles comprising the pavement base from where it is
progressively discharged. This can prevent flash flooding of downstream drainage
infrastructure. Pavers with oversize spacers are frequently used as the surfacing material for
permeable pavements.

Portland Cement Concrete See Rigid Pavement

Concrete with a cement content of approximately 330 kg/m3 and a water/cement ratio of
approximately 0.45. As compared with structural concretes having higher cement contents
and higher water/cement ratios, is less likely to crack and can be laid to a surface fall. It is
sufficiently stiff that immediately following spreading and compaction its surface can be
textured to enhance skid resistance.

Quality Assurance

A management tool comprising a suite of documents defining procedures which ensure that
the completed construction work fulfils the expectations of the parties. Central to Quality
Assurance is a rigorous approach to materials testing and the accurate recording of the
results of that testing. It also includes procedures for highlighting defective
material/workmanship and dealing with that defective material/workmanship. This is
sometimes embodied in the Non Conformance Report (NCR) system whereby unacceptable
work is identified, dealt with then accepted as having been closed out by the parties.

Quay Crane

A crane for transferring one or more containers simultaneously between ship and shore.
Usually runs on rails running parallel with the quay with a gauge of 100 ft. Older smaller quay
cranes were of gauge 50 ft.

Quay Deck/Quay Area

The deck of the structure constructed at the shore to provide a deep vertical face between
the sea or dock and the level of the container terminal surface.

Rail Mounted Gantry Crane

A gantry crane running on rails at each side of the gantry beam. Usually of wider span than a
Rubber Tyred Gantry Crane and may span over 10 rows of containers.

Reach Stacker

An item of container handling equipment which lifts a container by its upper corner castings.
The container is held by a telescopic arm which allows the container to be placed over or
even behind several stacked containers.


A refrigerated container often used for the transport of perishable items. When reefers are
stored in container terminals, they require electrical power to run the refrigeration equipment.
Gantries are installed within the container stacks to allow access to the reefer electrical
connections. By convention and to enhance cooling efficiency, reefers are usually painted

Rigid Pavement

A pavement of which the materials are so stiff that they cannot accommodate expansion and
contraction by internal material deformation and therefore needs joints. Most concretes are
rigid so a concrete pavement is often referred to as a rigid pavement.

Roll On/Roll Off (Ro/Ro)

A shipping operation where containers remain on wheeled trailers while being shipped. This
is wasteful of space on board the ship but requires less sophisticated ship to shore loading
equipment. Is cost-effective on short sea routes.

Roller Compacted Concrete

Concrete of strength 30 to 40 MPa of sufficiently low water cement ratio that it can be
installed using a paving machine. The material can be allowed to crack naturally or induced
cracks can be introduced during its installation.

Rubber Tyred Gantry Crane (RTG)

A type of portal crane which spans over six rows of containers up to five high and a truck
road. The crane transfers containers between trucks and the container stack.

Runway Beam

A ground bearing reinforced concrete beam set within a container terminal pavement along
which the wheels at one side of a rubber tyred gantry crane run.


A linear depression in the surface of a pavement caused by container handling equipment

wheel patch loads running in a channelised paths.

Service Life

The number of repetitions of wheel load patches for which a spot within a container terminal
pavement is designed. If the number of repetitions per year is known, then service life can be
expressed as a number of years.


The vertical downwards movement of the surface of a container terminal pavement as a

result of the underlying natural ground or fill material compaction (i.e. air between particles
being squeezed out) or consolidated (water between particles being squeezed out). Can lead
to large areas of standing water.

Shuttle Carrier

Item of container handling equipment which straddles the container but which cannot carry a
container over one or more height of stacked containers. Usually transports containers from
the quay to a shuttle carrier pad where it can be taken to its storage location by a rail
mounted gantry crane.

Shuttle Carrier Pad

Concrete pad at the quay end of a gantry crane run where a shuttle carrier places/lifts a

Single Equivalent Wheel Load (SEWL)

The value of a wheel patch load assessed as representing a spectrum of different loads. Also
takes into account the effect of dynamics (cornering, braking, accelerating and running over
uneven surface), wheel proximity and tyre inflation pressures.

Sleeper Beams

Containers can be stacked in areas comprising sleeper beams surrounded by gravel beds in
terminals where the containers are handled by gantry cranes. The sleeper beams are
positioned to align with container corner castings.

Statement of Engineering Parameters

A document setting out the predicted year-on-year amount of defective pavement. Also,
includes dates and type of interventions required to maintain the pavement in a serviceable

Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Steel fibres, typically of length 60 mm are mixed into the concrete to strengthen and increase
the toughness of the concrete.

Straddle Carrier (SC)

Item of container handling equipment which straddles the container and which can carry a
container over two stacked containers.


Marking a pavement surface to create designated roadways. This can lead to channelisation
of wide roadways, the quay deck and the backreach area.


Pavement foundation layer intended to improve the support provided to the structural base of
the pavement beyond that which would be provided by the natural subgrade or fill material.


The natural ground or imported fill material over which a pavement is constructed.

Surcharge Loading

A thick layer, often several metres thick installed over the footprint of a container terminal
pavement immediately ahead to construction of the terminal in order to compress the natural
ground and thereby limit service life settlement. The surcharge loading material may remain
in-situ for up to two years.

TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit)

A mix of 20-foot and 40-foot containers is conventionally expressed in terms of the equivalent
number of TEUs as a means of expressing a combination of different sizes of containers as
one number. Occasionally, the term Forty Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU) is used.

Top Lift

Item of container handling equipment which carries a container ahead of its front axle by
lifting the upper four corner castings of a container. Includes a mechanical mast which can
raise the container above the line of sight of the driver.

Transfer Function

An equation or table of data which shows the pavement thickness required for any given
number of wheel patch passes.

Trench Drain

A V-shaped or U-shaped concrete drain set into a container terminal pavement to intercept
the flow of surface water running down the fall and conducting the water down into the
underground drainage pipes.

Truck Exchange Grid

A series of bays where containers are transferred between straddle carriers and trucks.

Turning Pads

Steel plates set into a container terminal pavement to allow the wheels of rubber tyred gantry
cranes to turn about their vertical axes to allow the RTG to move laterally from stack to stack.


Steel casting which enters container corner castings and is then rotated to connect
containers together on a ship or to fix a container to a trailer or to an item of container
handling equipment.


The lateral spread of movements of container handling equipment.

Wharf Area

Similar to quay area. The pavement abutting the edge of the quay and extending to the
landside quay crane rail, 100 ft from the seaside quay crane rail.

Wheel Proximity

The additional stresses contributed by a second wheel to those stresses which exist directly
below a nearby given wheel.

Wheeled Container Storage

Using trailers to store containers in the container stacking area, rather than placing the
containers on the ground.

Appendix 4 Database

The table which follows shows information for 52 container terminal pavements at 20
different terminals. The design solutions included can form the basis of preliminary design
during the early part of the design process. However, as the project firms up, it is essential
that a rigorous design exercise is carried out using one of the authoritative design guides
described in this report.

Type of
Region No. Operation Operational Area Type of Pavement
Stacking Area Straddle Carrier 76 mm AC / 420 mm RCC / 153 mm ABC

Wheeled Storage Area 153 mm AC / 254 mm CTB

1 Conventional Transfer Zones Trucks 305 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC

Roadways Trucks 153 mm AC / 153 mm CTB

Gate Trucks 153 mm AC / 153 mm CTB

Storage Area Pavement Strip / 153 mm Base / 153 mm ABC

305 mm Reinforce Concrete / 305 mm CTB /

Transfer Areas AGV & Trucks
305mm Fill
2 305 mm Reinforce Concrete / 305 mm CTB /
Automated Wharf Area AGV
East Coast 305mm Fill
of U.S.A.
Gate & Other Areas Trucks 305 mm AC / 305 mm ABC

strad Transfer Area Straddle Carrier 280 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC

Strad Yard Straddle Carrier 230 mm AC / 305 mm ABC

3 Conventional
Wharf & Transfer Zone 305 mm AC / 305 mm ABC

Gate Trucks 254 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC

RTG Runway 16 Wheel RTG Concrete runway

4 Conventional Stacking Area Trucks 356 mm AC / 153 mm ABC

Gate Trucks 356 mm AC / 153 mm ABC

Main Yard Straddle Carrier 254 mm AC / 204 mm CMB

Access Roads Trucks 178 mm AC / 204 mm CMB

5 Conventional
Wheeled Storage Chassis 230 mm AC / Subgrade

Gate Area Trucks 230 mm PCC / 153 mm CMB

6 Conventional All 254 mm AC / 305 mm ABC

North West 7 Conventional All 204 mm AC / 305 mm ABC
of U.S.A.
458 mm PCC / 153 mm CMB
8 Conventional
254 mm AC / 585 mm ABC
Paver Block / 25 mm Sand / 280 mm AC /
Storage Area
153mm AB
9 Conventional Gate Area Truck 204 mm AC / 305 mm AB

Wharf Area 204 mm AC / 204 mm AB / 305 mm AB

Waterside Traffic Area AGV 76mm AC / 343 mm RCC / 102 mm CMB
Waterside Transfer
AGV 343 mm PCC / 153 mm CMB
Container Storage Area 76 mm AC / 204 mm CMB
10 Automated
Truck Traffic Area Trucks 76 mm AC / 280 mm RCC / 102 mm CMB

Landside Traffic Area Trucks 76 mm AC / 204 mm RCC / 102 mm CMB

Landside Transfer Area Trucks 254 mm PCC / 153 mm CMB

West of 11 Conventional All 178 mm AC / 432 mm CMB
RTG Runway RTG 432 mm Reinforced Concrete /178 mm CMB
12 Conventional Top-pick / Trucks /
Rest 178 mm AC / 432 mm CMB
Storage Area
South Half 76 mm AC / 432 mm RCC / 102 mm CMB
13 Conventional
North Half 178 mm AC / 432 mm CMB

14 Conventional All 178 mm AC / 356 mm CMB

15 Conventional All 178 mm AC / 432 mm CMB

178 mm AC / 330 mm Granular Base / 153 mm

16 Conventional Wharf Area
West granular Sub-base
Coast of
Canada Container Yard 204 mm AC / 204 mm Base / 560 mm Sub-base
17 Conventional
Intermodal Yard 204 mm AC / 204 mm Base / 381 mm Sub-base

Wharf Area Reach Stacker 483 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC

Waterside Traffic Area Straddle Carrier 356 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC

United Waterside Transfer

Semi- Straddle Carrier 356 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC
Arab 18 Area
Emirate Paver Block / 25 mm Sand / 204 mm CTB / 153
Container Storage Area
mm ABC
Landside Traffic &
Trucks 280 mm PCC / 153 mm ABC
Transfer Area
Semi- 40 mm grouted asphalt/60 mm EME2/300 mm
Wharf Area AGV
Automatic C12/15/350 mm crushed rock
Tractor/trailer 80 mm pavers/30 mm sand/200 mm C12/15/200
Conventional Landside Transfer Area
units mm C1.5/2
310 mm PQ Pavement/200 mm C12/15/300 mm
Conventional RTG Runway RTG
crushed rock
Container stacks & 80 mm pavers/30 mm sand/375mm C12/15/300
Conventional Trucks
roadways mm crushed rock

40 mm AC with cement grout + 30 mm binder +

21 Conventional ? Reachstacker
300 mm CBM 0/31.5 + 300 mm gravel 0/80

22 Conventional ? Reachstacker 2 cm seal + 23 cm RCC + 30 cm treated sand

13 cm BCP + 15 cm cement treated lateritic
23 Conventional ? Reachstacker
material + 20 cm sand

24 Conventional ? Reachstacker 32 cm concrete (reinforced with dowel)

Appendix 5 Container Terminal Pavement Foundation Design

1. Sub-Base and Capping Thickness

This section presents a way of proportioning the foundation layers for a container terminal
pavement. It follows the procedure in the British Ports Association port pavement design
guide which is based upon the UK Highways Agency (UKHA) method. A feature of the UKHA
foundation design method is that it allows the user the freedom to select a strength of
foundation from one of four classes: a Class 1 foundation is the weakest and a Class 4
foundation is the strongest. If the designer elects to use a strong Class 4 foundation, he can
make savings in the structural layers of the pavement.

The foundation comprises a sub-base and in the case of pavements constructed over
subgrades of CBR less than 5 %, a capping layer. Table 1 shows the thicknesses of each of
these two layers using Class 1 material in the case of capping and Class 2 material in the
case of sub-base (these classes are defined later in this section). The capping thicknesses
are greater than those commonly used in highway design because in container terminals, the
higher wheel patch loads lead to high stresses penetrating lower into the pavement structure.
The values in Table 28 have been developed to ensure that as subgrade CBR falls below
5 %, the stress in the pavement base material remains constant and the deflexion of the
pavement remains nearly constant. In fact, stress and deflexion cannot both be kept at their
5 % CBR values simultaneously. As CBR falls below 5 %, deflexion at the centre of the
wheel patch increases by the amounts shown in Table 2.

Note that Table 28 assumes that the crushed rock sub-base material has a CBR of 80 %.
Such material may be expensive or unobtainable. As an alternative, hydraulically bound
material may be used and this section explains how to first use Table 28 to obtain an
unbound crushed rock foundation and then how to substitute hydraulically bound material.
This allows in situ stabilised foundations to be designed. Stabilised foundations are typically
stronger than unbound layers so the thickness of the base can be reduced. The way to
reduce base thickness is explained in this section.

The differences between stress values in Table 2 are considered to be sufficiently small to be
of no consequence. Note that in developing the capping thicknesses, a particularly high
patch load of 750 kN was applied at a contact stress of 1 N/mm2. This led to tensile stress in
the base of approximately 2 N/mm2 which would be excessive in routine design. This high
load has been selected in order to assess the most adverse effect of low CBR values which
is unlikely to be exceeded in practice.

2. Need to Investigate Subgrade at Significant Depth

Heavy duty pavements cause significant stresses to develop at much greater depths than is
the case with highway pavements. Therefore, the CBR of the soils must be measured at
deeper locations than formation. No specific depth can be given for site investigation but the
vertical stress contour diagrams accompanying this Manual show the pattern of stress to be
accommodated. Conventional proof rolling may be insufficient to discover a layer of weak
material at depth which may cause a heavy duty pavement to fail.

3. Sufficiency of Site Investigation

Weak ground is the most common cause of heavy duty pavement distress and a rigorous
site investigation should always be undertaken under the supervision of a geotechnical
engineer familiar with the specific site investigation requirements for a heavy duty pavement.
Sufficient intrusive investigation must be undertaken to establish the variation of soil
properties with depth and with location. A site investigation undertaken near to the
development site should be used only as a guide to the design of a thorough site
investigation of the site to be developed. Special care should be taken in the case of weak
soils underlying competent ones. In the case of ex-filtrating permeable pavements, the
properties of the subgrade when soaked should be used in design.

CBR of Subgrade Capping Thickness (mm) Sub-Base Thickness (mm)

1% 900 150
2% 600 150
3% 400 150
4% 250 150
5 % and greater Not required 150

Table 28 Unbound sub-base and capping thicknesses for various subgrade CBR values

Tensile Stress in Deflexion of Pavement % Increase in Deflexion as Compared with

Subgrade CBR Base (N/mm2) Surface (mm) Value for 5 % CBR Subgrade
1% 2.00 0.81 8%
2% 2.01 0.81 8%
3% 2.01 0.79 5%
4% 2.00 0.76 1%
5% 2.00 0.75 -

Table 29 Increases in wheel patch deflexion as subgrade CBR falls below 5 %

4. Alternative Sub-Base Materials

Although unbound materials will be used commonly to construct the foundation to the
pavement, in some situations, cement stabilised materials may be preferred for all or part of
the foundation. In this case, the guidelines of TRL publication Development of a more
versatile approach to flexible composite pavement design by M Nunn (TRL Report TRL615
(2004)) should be followed. That report defines four classes of foundations by their half-
space stiffness. This is a different property from the elastic modulus used in the finite
element model in this manual. It is the property which describes the response of the
pavement foundation and the subgrade to vertically applied load. In this instance, half-space
stiffness is assessed on the basis of the foundation installed over subgrade of CBR 5 %.

The four foundation Classes are as follows:

Class 1. Half-space stiffness = 50 N/mm2

The foundation comprises 250 mm thickness of capping material over subgrade of 5 % CBR.
This would be an unusual foundation solution for a heavy duty pavement but might be
encountered during existing pavement assessment in the case of overlay design.

Class 2. Half-space stiffness = 100 N/mm2

The foundation comprises 225 mm thickness of UK Highways Agency Type 1 sub-base
material over 5 % CBR subgrade (Clause 803 material as defined in UK Specification for
Highway Works Series 800) or, if the CBR of the subgrade is less than 5 %, 150 mm
thickness of Type 1 sub-base material over capping material. All of the foundations shown in
Table 28 fall into this class.

Class 3. Half-space stiffness = 200 N/mm2
The foundation is identical to a Class 2 foundation with the exception that where a Class 2
foundation includes Type 1 sub-base material, Class 3 includes C1.5/2.0 , C3/4 , C5/6 CBM1 or
CBM2 instead. This will be a common alternative class of foundation.

Class 4. Half-space stiffness = 400 N/mm2

The foundation comprises 225 mm thickness of C8/10, C9/12 or CBM3 installed over subgrade
with a CBR of 5 % or more. This alternative might be considered where in-situ stabilisation is
an option.

In the case of foundation Classes 3 and 4, the switch from unbound materials to bound
materials will have a structurally beneficial effect and this can be used to reduce the
thickness of the base as explained in the following example.

5. Foundation Design Examples

Example 1 Class 2 to Class 3 foundation

Consider a pavement to be constructed over 4 % CBR subgrade material for which the BPA
Manual Design Chart and Table 28 produced the following design section:

80 mm thickness pavers
30 mm laying course material
550 mm thickness C8/10
150 mm thickness UK Highways Agency Type 1 sub-base material
250 mm thickness capping material
Subgrade CBR = 4 %

In the above, the 150 mm thickness of Type 1 material over 250 mm thickness of Capping
comprises a Class 2 foundation. The designer wishes to use a Class 3 foundation in which
the 150 mm thickness of Type 1 sub-base material is replaced with a similar thickness of C3/4
material. From Table 13 of the BPA Manual, use a Material Equivalence Factor (MEF) of 3.0
for the Type 1 material and use a MEF value of 1.38 for C3/4.

Therefore, 150 mm thickness of Type 1 equates with 150 x 1.38/3.0 = 69 mm of C 3/4. This
means that the alternative bound sub-base has additional strength as compared with the
unbound sub-base and this additional strength can be expressed as 150-69 = 81 mm of C3/4.
Taking the MEF of 1.38 for C3/4 from Table 13 of the BPA Manual, the additional strength of
the bound sub-base can also be expressed as 81/1.38 = 59 mm thickness of C8/10. Therefore,
the thickness of the base can be reduced by 59 mm (say 60 mm) so the revised pavement
section comprises:

80 mm thickness pavers
30 mm laying course material
490 mm thickness C8/10
150 mm thickness C3/4
250 mm thickness capping material
Subgrade CBR = 4 %

Example 2 Class 2 to Class 4 In Situ Stabilised Foundation

Consider a pavement to be constructed over 7 % CBR subgrade material for which the BPA
Manual Design Chart and Table 28 produced the following design section:

80 mm thickness pavers
30 mm laying course material
550 mm thickness C8/10
150 mm thickness UK Highways Agency Type 1 sub-base material
Subgrade CBR = 7 %

In the above, the 150 mm thickness of Type 1 sub-base material comprises a Class 2
foundation. The designer wishes to use a Class 4 foundation in which the 150 mm thickness
of Type 1 sub-base material is replaced with a similar thickness of C9/12 material created by
in-situ stabilisation. From Table 13 of the BPA Manual, use a Material Equivalence Factor
(MEF) of 3.0 for the Type 1 material and use a MEF value of 0.95 for C9/12.

Therefore, 150 mm thickness of Type 1 equates with 150 x 0.95/3.0 = 47.5mm of C 9/12. This
means that the alternative in situ stabilised sub-base has additional strength as compared
with the unbound sub-base and this additional strength can be expressed as 150-47.5 =
102.5 mm of C9/12. Taking the MEF of 0.95 for C9/12 from Table 13 of the BPA Manual, the
additional strength of the in situ stabilised sub-base can also be expressed as 102.5/0.95 =
108 mm thickness of C8/10. Therefore, the thickness of the base can be reduced by 108 mm
(say 110mm) so the revised pavement section comprises:

80 mm thickness pavers
30 mm laying course material
440 mm thickness C8/10
150 mm thickness in situ stabilised C9/12
Subgrade CBR = 7 %

Figure 36 Design chart

Appendix 6 Conversion Factors for Units and Sieve Sizes

To Convert to
Given SI Units Multiply by
US Customary Units
Length millimetres (mm) 0.0394 inches (in)
centimetres (cm) 0.3937 inches (in)
metres (m) 39.3701 inches (in)
metres (m) 3.2808 feet (ft)
metres (m) 1.0936 yards (yd)
kilometres (km) 0.6214 miles (mi)
micron (m) 3.9370E-05 inches (in)
Area square millimetres (mm 2) 1.5500E-03 square inches (sq.in)
square centimetres (cm 2) 0.1550 square inches (sq.in)
square metres (m2) 10.7639 square feet (sq.ft)
square metres (m2) 1.1960 square yards (sq.yd)
square kilometres (km 2) 0.3861 square miles (sq.mi)
hectares (ha) 1.1960E+04 square yards (sq.yd)
hectares (ha) 2.4711 acres (ac)
hectares (ha) 3.8610E-03 square miles (sq.mi)
Volume litres (l) 0.2642 gallons, US liquid (gal)
litres (l) 0.2200 gallons (imperial gallons)
cubic centimetres (cc) 0.0610 cubic inches (cu.in)
cubic metres (m3) 35.3147 cubic feet (cu.ft)
cubic metres (m3) 1.3080 cubic yards (cu.yd)
Mass grams (g) 0.0353 ounces (oz)
kilograms (kg) 2.2046 pounds (lb)
kilograms (kg) 1.1023E-03 short tonnes, 2,000 lb (ST)
kilograms (kg) 9.8420E-04 long tonnes, 2,240 lb (LT)

To Convert to
Given SI Units Multiply by
US Customary Units

kilogram force (kgf) 2.2046 pound force (lbf)

Newton (N) 0.2248 pound force (lbf)

kiloNewton (kN) 224.8089 pound force (lbf)

kilogram force (kgf) 2.2046E-03 1,000 pound force (kip)

Pascal (Pa) 1.4504E-04 pound force per square inch (psi)

Pascal (Pa) 0.0209 pound force per square foot (psf)

megapascal (MPa) 10.4427 short ton force per square foot (tsf)

Newtons per square metre (N/m 2) 1.4504E-04 pound force per square inch (psi)

kilogram force per square millimetre

1.4223 kips per square inch (ksi)

gram force per square centimetre

2.0482 pound force per square foot (psf)

grams per cubic centimetre (g/cm 3) 0.0361 pounds per cubic inch (pci)
kilograms per cubic metre (kg/m 3) 0.0624 pounds per cubic foot (pcf)

kilograms per cubic metre (kg/m 3) 1.6856 pounds per cubic yard (pcy)

grams per cubic centimetre (g/cm 3) 8.3454 pounds per gallon, US liquid (lb/gal)

kilograms per cubic metre (kg/m 3) 8.3454E-03 pounds per gallon, US liquid (lb/gal)

Temperature degrees Celsius (oC) (1.8 x oC) + 32 degrees Fahrenheit (oF)

European US Standards
Standards Metric Customary

80 mm
75 mm 3 in.
63 mm 63 mm 21/2 in.
50 mm 2 in.
40 mm
37.5 mm 11/2 in.
31.5 mm
25 mm 1 in.
20 mm
19 mm /4 in.
16 mm
14 mm
12.5 mm /2 in.
10 mm
9.5 mm /8 in.
8 mm
6.3 mm
4.75 mm No. 4
4 mm
2.8 mm
2.36 mm No. 8
2 mm
1.18 mm No. 16
1 mm
600 m No. 30
0.500 mm
300 m No. 50
0.250 mm
150 m No. 100
0.125 mm
75 m No. 200
0.063 mm

Appendix 7 Hydraulically Bound Mixtures (HBM)

Hydraulically Bound Mixtures for a container terminal pavements base layer comprise an
engineered mixture of dense graded aggregates, cement and water. Five types of HBM are
described in European Norm EN 14227: 2013.

The European Standard for HBM was introduced in 2013 in five parts:

EN 14227-1 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 1. Cement bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-2 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 2. Slag bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-3 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 3. Fly ash bound granular mixtures
EN 14227-4 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 4. Fly ash for hydraulically bound
EN 14227-5 2013: Hydraulically bound mixtures Part 5. Hydraulic road binder bound
granular mixtures

Part 1 deals with mixtures bound with cement conforming to the cement standard EN 197-1.
Five types of cement bound mixtures are included in Part 1.

Cement Bound Granular Mixture 1

Cement bound granular mixture 1 shall be either a 0/31,5 mm, a 0/20 mm or a 0/14 mm
mixture with a grading, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, complying with specified

Cement Bound Granular Mixture 2

Cement bound granular mixture 2 shall be a granular mixture with compacity requirement.
There are three options depending on the aggregate size. The grading of the selected option,
determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with specified limits. The minimum
compacity of the mixture at the maximum modified Proctor dry density shall be 0.80 in
accordance with Annex A. The immediate bearing index category of the 0/10 mixture,
determined in accordance with EN 13286-47 using modified Proctor compaction, shall be
IPI50 in accordance with Table 4.

Cement Bound Granular Mixture 3

Cement bound granular mixture 3 shall be a granular mixture with a maximum nominal size
of D equal to or less than 6.3 mm with an immediate bearing index requirement. The grading
of the mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with specified limits.
The immediate bearing index category should be selected from Table 4.

Cement Bound Granular Mixture 4

Cement bound granular mixture 4 shall be a mixture where the grading, including declared
upper and lower limits, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, is declared by the supplier.

Cement Bound Granular Mixture 5

Cement bound granular mixture 5 shall be a mixture where the grading, determined in
accordance with EN 933-1, complies with specified limits. The laboratory mechanical
performance shall be categorised and classified by one of the following methods:

compressive strength Rc, (for example C8/10)
the combination Rt, E of tensile strength and modulus of elasticity

The mixture shall satisfy the selected category for strength after immersion from Table 6.
Where appropriate frost resistance should also be examined.

Part 2 specifies slag bound granular mixtures for roads, airfields, and other trafficked areas
and specifies the requirements for their constituents, composition and laboratory
performance classification. Five types of slag bound mixtures are included in Part 2.

Slag Bound Granular Mixture 1

Granular mixture that contains granulated (or ground or partially ground granulated) blast
furnace slag. The grading of the mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall
comply with Table 1.

Slag Bound Granular Mixture 2

Granular mixture with compacity requirement that contains granulated (or ground or partially
ground granulated) blast furnace slag. The grading of the selected sub-type, determined in
accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with specified limits. Compacity shall comply with
specified requirements. Mixture 2 - 0/10 shall satisfy the immediate bearing index

Slag Bound Granular Mixture 3

Granular mixture that contains granulated (or ground or partially ground granulated) blast
furnace slag with a maximum nominal size of D equal or less than 6.3 mm and with an
immediate bearing index requirement. Slag bound granular mixture 3 shall be a mixture with
a maximum nominal size of D equal or less than 6.3 mm with an immediate bearing index
requirement. The grading of the mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall
comply with Table 3. The immediate bearing index category shall be selected.

Slag Bound Granular Mixture 4

Granular mixture with manufacturer declared value for the grading including declared upper
and lower limits and, when required, an immediate bearing index category selected from
Table 5. The grading of the mixture shall be determined in accordance with EN 933-1.

Slag Bound Granular Mixture 5

Granular mixture that contains granulated (or ground or partially ground granulated) blast
furnace slag. The grading of the mixture when tested in accordance with EN 933-1 shall
comply with Table 4. The laboratory mechanical performance shall be categorised and
classified by one of the following methods:

by California bearing ratio test

by compressive strength Rc, (for example C8/10)
by the combination Rt, E of tensile strength and modulus of elasticity

The mixture shall satisfy the selected category for strength after immersion from Table 6.
Where appropriate frost resistance should also be examined.

Part 3 specifies fly ash bound granular mixtures for roads, airfields and other trafficked areas,
and specifies the requirements for their constituents, composition and laboratory
performance classification. Two types of fly ash are covered. Calcareous fly ash and
siliceous fly ash shall conform to EN 14227-4.

Fly Ash Bound Granular Mixture 1

The grading of the mixture shall be 0/31,5 mm, determined in accordance with EN 933-1 and
shall comply with Figure 1 for mixture using siliceous fly ash and Figure 2 for mixture using
calcareous fly ash.

Fly Ash Bound Granular Mixture 2

Granular mixture with a compacity requirement.

The grading of the mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with
specified limits. The minimum compacity of the mixture at the maximum modified Proctor dry
density shall be 0.80 in accordance with Annex A. The immediate bearing index category of
the 0/10 mixture, determined in accordance with EN 13286-47 using modified Proctor
compaction, shall be IPI50 in accordance with Table 4.

Fly Ash Bound Granular Mixture 3

Fly ash bound granular mixture 3 shall be a granular mixture with a maximum nominal size of
D equal or less than 6.3 mm with an immediate bearing index requirement. The grading of the
mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with Table 2. The immediate
bearing index class shall be selected from Table 4.

Fly Ash Bound Granular Mixture 4

Granular mixture with supplier declared grading, including declared upper and lower limits,
and supplier declared immediate bearing index category. The grading of the mixture shall be
determined in accordance with EN 933-1. The immediate bearing index category shall be
selected from Table 4.

Fly Ash Bound Granular Mixture 5

The grading of the mixture when tested in accordance with EN 933-1 shall comply with the
limits in Table 3. The immediate bearing index category shall be selected from Table 4. Fly
ash bound granular mixture 6. Fly ash bound mixture 6 shall be a mixture where fly ash is the
main constituent of the mixture and part of the binder. The minimum compacity of Type 2
mixtures at the maximum modified Proctor dry density shall be 0.80 in accordance with
Annex A. The immediate bearing index shall be determined in accordance with EN 13286-47
using modified Proctor compaction. The immediate bearing index category from Table 4 shall
be IPI50 for mixture 2 0/10. The immediate bearing index category shall be selected from
Table 4 for mixtures 3, 4 and 5. Laboratory mechanical performance shall be characterised
and classified by one of the following methods:

compressive strength Rc
the combination Rt, E of tensile strength Rt and modulus of elasticity E

The mixture shall satisfy the selected category for strength after immersion from Table 6.
Where appropriate frost resistance should also be examined.

Part 5 specifies hydraulic road binder bound granular mixtures for road construction, airfields
and other trafficked areas and specifies the requirements for their constituents, composition
and laboratory performance classification. Aggregates shall be selected from EN 13242. The
properties and the appropriate categories of the aggregates shall be specified depending on
the position of the hydraulic road binder bound granular mixture in the pavement structure
and the traffic to be carried. Aggregates shall be volumetrically stable. Hydraulic road binder
shall comply with EN 13282-1 or with a European Technical Approval.

The mixture shall be selected from the 4 types described below and shall conform to the
specified requirements for the selected mixture.

Hydraulic Road Binder Bound Granular Mixture 1

Hydraulic road binder bound granular mixture 1 shall be a 0/31,5 mm mixture with a grading,
determined in accordance with EN 933-1, complying with specified limits.

Hydraulic Road Binder Bound Granular Mixture 2

Hydraulic road binder bound granular mixture 2 shall be a granular mixture with compacity
requirement. There are 3 sub-types depending on the aggregate size. The grading of the
selected sub-type, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with specified
limits. According to the use of the mixture, either category G1 or category G2 of the grading
envelopes in Figures 2 to 4 shall be specified.

Hydraulic Road Binder Bound Granular Mixture 3

Hydraulic road binder bound granular mixture 3 shall be a granular mixture with a maximum
nominal size of D equal or less than 6.3 mm with an immediate bearing index requirement.
The grading of the mixture, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, shall comply with
specified limits. The immediate bearing index category shall be selected from Table 3.

Hydraulic Road Binder Bound Granular Mixture 4

Hydraulic road binder bound granular mixture 4 shall be a mixture where the grading
including upper and lower limits, determined in accordance with EN 933-1, is declared by the
supplier. When required, an immediate bearing index category selected from Table 3 shall be
Laboratory mechanical performance shall be characterised and classified by one of the
following methods:

compressive strength Rc
the combination Rt, E of tensile strength Rt and modulus of elasticity E

The mixture shall satisfy the selected category for strength after immersion in Table 5.
Where appropriate, other characteristics such as frost resistance shall be examined.

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