The evaluation of structural responses is key element in the design of ships and offshore structures. Fundamental to this is the determination of the design loads to support the Rule requirements and for application in direct calculations. To date, the current design philosophy for the prediction of motions and wave-induced loads has been driven by empirical or first-principles calculation procedures based on well-proven applications such as ship motion prediction programs. In recent years, the software, engineering and computer technology available to predict the design loads imposed on ships and offshore structures has improved dramatically. Notwithstanding, with the stepwise increase in the size and structural complexity of ships and floating offshore installations and the advances in the framework of Rules and Standards it has become necessary to utilise the latest technologies to assess the design loads on new designs. Along the lines of the recommendations from the International Ship and Offshore Structures Committee (ISSC) 1.2 on Loads this paper reviews some of the recent advances in the assessment of loads for ships and offshore structures with the aim to draw the overall technological landscape available for further understanding, validation and implementation by the academic and industrial communities. Particular emphasis is attributed on methodologies applicable for the prediction of environmental and operational loads from waves, wind, current, ice, slamming, sloshing and operational factors. Consideration is also given to deterministic and statistical load predictions based on model experiments, full-scale measurements and theoretical methods. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.