Maritime Engineering

Ports are a key component of New Zealand’s export and trade infrastructure – we work with port operators to help them make the most of their facilities.

WSP designs and delivers port infrastructure projects for New Zealand and overseas clients. We help port operators to plan for port expansion, devise reclamation schemes, design new port facilities, inspect and manage existing marine structures, refurbish and reconfigure wharves, design heavy duty pavements, provide port valuations and advise on associated infrastructure.

Our 30-strong specialist port team in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland work with our Melbourne based freight logistics team. Our clients include port companies, local and regional councils with marine infrastructure, private companies with marine infrastructure, construction contractors, project managers and other professional advisors.

Our experience in New Zealand

Our port designers and freight logistics specialists collaborate with our clients, operations personnel and project managers to deliver projects on time, on budget and to the highest standard.

We have a strong reputation for reliable, cost effective and workable project outcomes through our in-depth operational experience; practical knowledge of deterioration and decay in timber and concrete; and personal engagement with academic leaders in the field of seismic analysis and the design of marine assets including wharves and reclamations.

We take a whole of life approach to integrated asset management and work closely with our clients at every step. Our experience working with port operators has given us an excellent understanding of how ports function and their role in the logistics chain. This helps us to ask the right questions at the right time, to spot gaps and challenge assumptions.


Our services include:

  • Strategic project and technical advice
  • Port standards development
  • Operational advice and analysis
  • Freight logistics and planning
  • Maritime project and engineering management
  • Maritime infrastructure design (ports, jetties, pontoons)
  • Land side infrastructure  (hardstand, marshalling, buildings and road access)
  • Geotechnical and  environmental services
  • Land and statutory planning
  • Procurement and contract management
  • Port asset condition assessment and management
  • Asset valuations and insurance assessments

Global Maritime Expertise

With over 300 projects in more than 65 countries successfully completed, WSP provides maritime consultancy services from offices across our global network to its different clients, including port authorities, terminal operating companies, governments, shipping lines, logistics operators, and the wider financial community.

By combining technical, financial, and operational expertise we assist with the commercial decision-making process while minimizing investment risk through the application of in depth sector expertise. For the Panama Canal Expansion, we worked closely with the Canal Authority to develop five models – capability, operation costs, market demand, hydrologic, and financial – in order to maximize the economic value of the Canal. The 100-year-old canal can now accommodate New Panamax vessels, which can transport tens of thousands of containers stacked as tall as a 15-story building.

Container port operators need to adjust to this new reality. To keep up with growth, they need larger cranes, stronger wharves, higher clearances, and deeper channels. The ultimate objective is to decrease handling time, increase productivity, and establish more reliable intermodal logistics.

Delivering Challenging Maritime Projects

WSP engineers love challenges and we are thrilled to work on projects that stand out, like Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest manmade island. We assisted the client in creating an environmentally friendly development, tackling issues during the detailed design construction phase, including the recycling of all sewerage waste, and the desalination of drinking water from seawater (reverse osmosis process). The Palm has increased Dubai’s shoreline by 120 kilometers, creating numerous residential, leisure, and entertainment areas.

In Montreal, Canada, we used 3D design and computer modelling to restore the Alexandra Wharf, an important passenger terminal that was built at the end of the 1800s. The project was a must for the city’s growing cruise industry, which is expected to double in the next 10 years.

Across the world, WSP delivers innovative, value-engineered outcomes that have benefited from decades of experience, and a thorough understanding of the challenges and risks that confront this multifaceted sector. We are committed to incorporating environmental characterizations and sustainability principles into every phase of our projects. Our task is to help our clients achieve their objectives.