The main design parameters used for belt conveyors in harbour applications are discussed. Conveyor belting including the carcass, belt cover, belt tension and speed, and safety factors, idlers, conveyor pulleys, motors, fluid couplings and drive arrangements are considered. Technical factors are briefly outlined for the designer to consider to achieve minimum acceptable component service life. A method is discussed to reduce coal degradation investigated using a test chute designed for the purpose of minimizing sized coal degradation at transfer points in the refurbishing of the Durban Coal Terminal. 24 references.