GEI provides innovative solutions to support any marine terminal operator program. GEI has extensive experience working with port authorities and marine terminal operators. We offer clients a complete suite of investigation, assessment, planning, design, construction oversight, and operational engineering services for marine terminal infrastructure to optimize and maintain terminal operations.


Project Types

We successfully take projects from the planning phase through design, construction, and implementation phases. This includes the regulatory process and conceptual and feasibility analysis at the early stages of a project’s life cycle. Our clients rely on us for new construction projects and maintenance of their existing facilities.

A key consideration for any marine terminal project is minimizing impacts on operations. GEI’s familiarity with a wide range of marine terminal operations and vessel operations can help with successfully planning and phasing construction work to avoid or minimize impacts.

Container Terminals

Container terminals present a unique set of challenges for waterside construction due to high loads for crane operations, intensive landside operations, and deep water requirements. GEI is familiar with these challenges and can help clients to develop cost effective approaches for design and maintenance.

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Cruise Terminals

Cruise terminals are a very different type of marine terminals than cargo terminals. Passenger queuing and transfer meeting ADA requirements through the tide range need to be incorporated. Cruise ship fendering needs to minimize impacts on ship hull and coatings and allow easy passenger transfer and provisioning. Terminals need to be planned to meet short turnaround requirements and tight cruise ship schedules.

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Oil Terminals

Safety is critical to oil terminals throughout every stage of the process. GEI works with our clients to help meet these stringent requirements. We understand the impacts of the large vessel freeboard range during cargo transfer and are familiar with industry guidelines including Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF) recommendations for vessel mooring. We offer support and original thinking to terminal operators seeking to maintain or improve their facilities including above and underwater structural assessments, development of maintenance plans, mooring analysis and design, and design of dock structures.

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Bulk Cargo Terminals

Bulk cargo terminals need to include storage and often have large piles of dry cargo such as salt or coal with very high loads on shoreline bulkheads. GEI has a wide range of waterfront and geotechnical expertise allowing economic design and assessment of these important structures. These terminals often serve many different needs and a flexible approach for planning is vital to their success.

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Key Services

Facility Inspections and Assessments

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GEI’s team of engineer divers specialize in waterfront structural engineering and design. We provide facility inspection and assessments which include above water and underwater structural inspections, underwater still and video photography, material testing, definition of necessary repairs, and estimation of remaining life. Our divers are all certified for FHWA – NHI Underwater Bridge Inspection. Our services include:

  • Emergency Response Assessments
  • Above and Underwater Assessments of Structural Elements
  • Engineering Assessment of Facility Life Expectancy
  • Determination of Fender and Mooring System Adequacy
  • Determination of Alternatives for Restoration or Improvement
  • Documentation and Rating of Current Conditions
  • Providing Program for 5-year Monitoring/Assessment with Recommendations for Maintenance and Repair

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GEI routinely assists clients with planning and feasibility studies. Our staff specialize in waterfront projects and understand the many constraints and considerations which impact the feasibility of a project including: design loadings, vessel operation criteria, environmental impacts and regulations, permitting requirements, constructability, and cost estimation. We understand the physical impacts such as waves, currents, scour, erosion, sediment transport, and siltation which affect the viability and durability of any waterfront project. Because our staff specialize in waterfront and coastal engineering, we can provide realistic designs and accurate estimates of construction costs. We have performed these services for many different clients and a wide range of facilities including:

  • Container Terminals
  • Oil Terminals
  • Municipal Fishing Piers
  • Ferry Landings
  • Marinas
  • Seawall Reconstruction and Improvement
  • Revetment Repairs and Upgrades
  • Living Shorelines
Resiliency Planning

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Prior to taking adaptation actions, many jurisdictions and agencies wish to undertake detailed planning to quantify threats, appropriately engage stakeholders, identify and prioritize vulnerable assets, and articulate and evaluate actions that may be both effective and cost-efficient. At GEI, we have extensive experience with all aspects of this work at many levels of the public sector.

At a facility level, resiliency planning requires an assessment of at-risk elements and the costs and likely time for restoration if impacted. A sound understanding of flood elevations, wave impacts, and predictions of sea level rise is essential to develop scenarios for further evaluation. The costs of construction and consequences of failure need to be evaluated for a range of different scenarios to determine a reasonable approach and reasonable design criteria. GEI has the expertise to provide all of these services and can assist our clients in developing cost effective designs.

Hydrographic Survey

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GEI offers in-house hydrographic (bathymetric) surveys to support our clients whether it be a berth survey, dredge payment survey, or existing conditions survey for planning and design. GEI can provide single-beam hydrographic, multi-beam hydrographic, and side scan sonar surveys to achieve the needs of the client in an efficient manner. Utilizing the data of the hydrographic surveys, GEI can create 3D dredge prisms, color banded comparison surfaces, and perform detailed volumetric analysis for dredging. GEI’s single beam surveys provide an economical approach for shallow depth surveys. Multibeam and side scan sonar provide in-depth mapping of the seafloor and can provide 3D modeling of underwater obstructions or debris.

Berthing Fender Design

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GEI provides services for berthing fender layout and design for a wide range of facilities including municipal fishing piers, ferry landings, oil terminals, cruise terminals, and container terminals. All of these facilities have their own constraints to meet operational needs and our engineers are accustomed to meeting those needs. We provide design of fenders and dolphins, including timber dolphins and heavier duty concrete/steel pile dolphins. We offer engineering design and planning services including project management, design, permitting, bidding, and construction administration services.

Mooring Analysis and Design

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Mooring analysis for commercial vessels is a key requirement for safe economic design. GEI engineers use Optimoor software and other methods to analyze the complex loadings from wind, wave, and current on moored vessels and the associated loads on the mooring equipment. We are familiar with OCIMF recommendations for mooring tankers and have performed analyses and assessments for a number of oil terminals. GEI can assist with design and layout of mooring systems and their supporting structures. We offer engineering design and planning services including project management, design, permitting, bidding, and construction administration services.

Pier, Wharf, and Bulkhead Design

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GEI provides many solutions for new and existing waterfront structures including seawalls, piers, wharves, and quays. We provide detailed inspection, survey, structural assessment, hydrodynamic analysis, repair design, regulatory approvals, and construction documentation and oversight. Our engineers specialize in waterfront engineering and have the expertise to design filled or pile supported structures for piers ranging from private docks and fishing piers, through commercial fishing piers and heavy load cargo piers and container wharves. We understand the impacts of the marine environment on these facilities and have designed timber piers, concrete deck piers with steel or timber piles, and filled piers with steel bulkheads or riprap slopes.

GEI’s roots are in geotechnical engineering and shoreline engineering remains a principal specialty. GEI has extensive experience in the geotechnical analysis and design of waterfront structures including bulkheads, seawalls, piles, and heavy structures. Our services include evaluation of existing bulkheads, assessment of the influence of dredging on the stability of bulkheads and channel slopes, geotechnical design of wharves and piers, design of bulkheads and retaining walls, riprap design, evaluation of granite seawalls, and sediment characterization.

Dredge Engineering

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Dredging projects present a unique set of challenges for planning, design, permitting, and material disposal. GEI’s knowledge of the requirements helps our clients to navigate this complex process. The biggest challenge for most dredging projects is cost-effective disposal of the dredged material. We have experience completing projects requiring CAD Cell disposal, offshore disposal, upland disposal, and beach nourishment. GEI’s in-house expertise includes a large group of environmental engineers to assist with contaminated site remediation. We offer hydrographic surveys, dredge material sampling and testing, feasibility analysis, assessment of alternative disposal options, design, permitting, and bid and construction phase support.

Sediment Management


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