Taneja, P.; H. Ligteringen and M. Van Schuylenburg: Dealing with uncertainty in design of port infrastructure systems, pp. 101-118, In: Journal of Design Research Vol. 8, No.2 (2010). [s.l.]: Inderscience, 2010. ISSN (Print) 1748-3050.
Ports exist by the grace of international trade. In the volatile and uncertain environment of globalisation, liberalisation, rapidly changing technologies, competition, threats and budgets, this trade is highly unpredictable and investment in port infrastructure highly risky. This paper suggests that many uncertainties that ports infrastructure systems will face during their projected lifetime cannot be addressed through the traditional predict-and-act approach of port master planning. An adaptive approach to port master planning, coupled with flexible and evolutionary design solutions, will help us to confront the uncertainty of what lies ahead and ensure long-term functionality, capacity and quality of large-scale, capital-intensive port infrastructure. This paper also emphasises that modern evaluation techniques like 'real options', which help to justify incorporation of flexibility in infrastructures, are more suitable than traditional methods for investment decisions in uncertain times.