In recent years a significant body of work has been established on climate change adaptation by ports. Like climate change mitigation, work towards adaptation has stalled on the same collective action problem, whereby public and private sector actors avoid commitment to necessary investments. Recently the concept of ‘deep adaptation’ has appeared, which suggests that, rather than climate change bringing simply incremental challenges that can be adapted to in a piecemeal fashion, in fact, we should expect “disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war”. However, current port and shipping forecasts continue to predict uninterrupted growth with only minor incremental policy changes already known to be insufficient for mitigation and adaptation. Thus, this paper argues that actors in the maritime transport sector need to consider greater threats than those currently identified and also prepare for a more advanced adaptation timetable.