Upon entering shallow waters, ships experience a number of changes due to the hydrodynamic interaction between the hull and the seabed. Some of these changes are expressed in a pronounced increase in sinkage, trim and resistance. In this paper, a numerical study is performed on the Duisburg Test Case (DTC) container ship using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the Slender-Body theory and various empirical methods. A parametric comparison of the behaviour and performance estimation techniques in shallow waters for varying channel cross-sections and ship speeds is performed. The main objective of this research is to quantify the effect a step in the channel topography on ship sinkage, trim and resistance. Significant differences are shown in the computed parameters for the DTC advancing through dredged channels and conventional shallow water topographies. The different techniques employed show good agreement, especially in the low speed range. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.