This study investigates the coupling effects of six degrees of freedom in ship motion with fluid oscillation inside a three-dimensional rectangular container using a novel time domain simulation scheme. During the time marching, the tank-sloshing algorithm is coupled with the vessel-motion algorithm so that the influence of tank sloshing on vessel motions and vice versa can be assessed. Several factors influencing the dynamic behavior of tankliquid system due to moving ship are also investigated. These factors include container parameters, environmental settings such as the significant wave height, current velocity as well as the direction of wind, wave and flow current acting on the ship. The nonlinear sloshing is studied using a finite element model whereas nonlinear ship motion is simulated using a hybrid marine control system. Computed roll response is compared with the existing results, showing fair agreement. Although the two hull forms and the sea states are not identical, the numerical result shows the same trend of the roll motion when the anti-rolling tanks are considered. Thus, the numerical approach presented in this paper is expected to be very useful and realistic in evaluating the coupling effects of nonlinear sloshing and 6-DOF ship motion. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.