Planning and designing a port or terminal to make the most out of available land is a complicated process. Knowing which equipment complements the existing layout, where certain activities would be best sited, the benefits of one type of software over another, as examples, are questions that only experience can answer. While some port operators have that experience and the accompanying knowledge base to make those decisions, others may lack the background and choose to employ an outsider contractor to help.
As in many other industries, a specialist Consultant can offer that professional advice or service, for a fee. Normally, the Port Consultant is not an employee of the port owner, but in unusual situations, an individual may be both a consultant and an employee of the same party, receiving compensation for some services as a consultant and for other work as a salaried employee.
Port consultants are unlikely to be restricted to port services and usually cover a wide range of sectors within the industry. As examples, consultancy services offered could include advice on engineering, design and implementation, marine warranty surveys and software.