The motion of sloshing waves under random excitation in the sway and heave modes have been simulated in a numerical wave tank. The fully nonlinear wave is numerically simulated using the finite element method with the cubic spline and finite difference approximations, in which the need for smoothing and regridding is minimal. The present model predictions are compared with that of Frandsen [Frandsen JB. Sloshing motions in the excited tanks. J Comput Phys 2004;196:53-87] for the regular wave excitation in the vertical and horizontal modes. The sloshing due to the simulated random excitation with different peak frequencies relative to the natural sloshing frequency has been subjected to frequency domain analysis. The results showed that irrespective of peak excitation frequency, the peaks appear at the natural frequencies of the system and the peak magnitude appears close to the natural frequency for the sway excitation. The higher magnitude is seen when the excitation frequency is equal to the first mode of natural frequency, due to the resonance condition. In the case of heave excitation, even though the peaks appear at the natural frequencies, the magnitude of the spectral peak remains the same for different excitation frequencies. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.