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Program Plan for the Development of Seismic Design Guidelines for Port Container, Wharf, and Cargo Systems



Richard Wittkop, Omar Jarradat, Gayle Johnson, Geoffrey Martin, Glenn Rix, Ian Robertson


Work on this project was intended to be an extension of a National Science Foundation (NSF), George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Grand Challenge project, "Seismic Risk Mitigation for Port Systems," conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Grand Challenge project was motivated by the observation that many large U.S. container ports are located in areas of significant seismic hazard, and that seismic risk management practices have not kept pace with the growing importance of container ports to the nation's economy. That effort resulted in a systems-based approach for seismic risk analysis and risk management for container port facilities, and demonstrated how the post-earthquake functionality of a port system is also dependent upon on the functionality of other key elements of the infrastructure including roadways, railways, power supply, natural gas, and telecommunications systems. This report provides the basis for a multi-phase program for the development of nationally-accepted guidelines for seismic performance improvement of container cargo systems including cranes, wharves, and container storage yards. It summarizes the scope and content of a series of recommended guidance documents, outlines the studies necessary to support their development, and presents the estimated cost and schedule associated with the overall program.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 12-917-19
Report Number


NEHRP Consultants Joint Venture, ATC, Program Plan, Research Needs


Wittkop, R. , Jarradat, O. , Johnson, G. , Martin, G. , Rix, G. and Robertson, I. (2012), Program Plan for the Development of Seismic Design Guidelines for Port Container, Wharf, and Cargo Systems, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created September 14, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017