In this study, a 3D numerical modelling of a single vertical drains consolidation incorporating vacuum preloading considering both vertical and horizontal drainage is presented. The effects of nonlinear soil compressibility, varying permeability and vacuum pressure distribution along the drain are examined through the dissipation of average excess pore pressure and associated settlement. A selected case history, using 3D finite element method, is employed to analyse two embankments constructed at the Second Bangkok International Airport, Thailand stabilised with prefabricated vertical drains and vacuum preloading. The behaviour of this embankment including settlements and excess pore pressures is then compared with the numerical predictions. This study reveals a close agreement between the predictions results obtained from the numerical model and the field measurements.