“Port” is that particular area or which provides shelter to boats and sea vessels, in other terms, harbors them and a legal point from where international and domestic shipping operations are commenced. Port can be either a natural establishment or an artificial construction, depending on location and a place where loading and unloading of the cargo take place. They service large sea-going ships as well as for inland waterways via rivers and lakes. Depth of water and the extent of the port would decide on the types of boat that can enter and dock.
Most of the ports nowadays are well-equipped with state-of-the-art fixtures and facilities like gantry cranes and forklifts for the convenience of regular cargo dealings. Ports are of great significance for a nation’s prosperity in terms of commerce, economy, welfare, trade and strengthen the relationship in case of international trade. Then ports also serve the military to dock their battleships and cruisers. Considering the many different factors like location, depth, size of the ship and all, ports can be divided into many types as listed below.
- Sea Ports
Seaports are the most common all across the world used for multiple commercial shipping activities. These ports are established on a seaside location, enabling accommodation to both large and small ships. Various seaports are found along the coastline, actively managing recurrent cargo transactions and logistics operations. Seaport can be subcategorized in cargo and cruise port whereas some of the oldest ones are still operational; being used for fishing and recreational activities.
Special warehouses are also built to preserve cargo and maintenance of the regular stockings. Largest ports in the world also feature added facilities such as restaurants, hotels, restrooms, eateries, port reception facility to invite people.
- Inland Ports
Inland ports are comparatively smaller and established on rivers and lakes. They can be used either for cargo, to carry passengers or even both. These inland ports might’ve access to the sea via canal system whereas having complete facilities as that of a normal seaport but, not designed for deep draft ships. Some of these inland ports are specifically arranged for recreational activities allowing smaller vessels for fishing and ferry activities. Inland ports are also known to offer smoother functions, unlike the busy and clogged harbors. These are also referred to as dry ports or intermodal hubs.
- Fishing Ports
Fishing ports primarily contribute to the commercial sectors as the name implies its purpose that is fishing. Many likewise activities are executed which makes the port a recreational hub. Existence of a fishing port depends on the abundance of fishes and resources to carry out the activity in the safest and efficient manner. That said, a fishing port can be either inland or seaport.
- Warm Water Ports
The name reflects one of the biggest advantages of these particular ports as water doesn’t freeze even during the winter season, which makes it operable all year round, however, the temporary shutdown may occur in case of extreme sub-zero temperatures. Such ports promote a nation’s economy to a huge extent.
- Dry Ports
Also termed as inland terminals, dry ports can be connected with a seaport via rail or road transportation facilities whereas they act as a hub of multimodal logistics activities. A dry port is useful in the trade of exporting and importing of the cargo whereby it can diminish obvious congestion that might be happening at a nearby seaport.
The functions are quite the same as that of a seaport with the only difference is its establishment which isn’t near the coastline. A dry port has all the necessary equipment to oversee maintenance and clearance of the ships and consignments such as cargo instrumentations, rail siding, storehouses, and container yards.
- Cruise Home Ports
Such a port specializes in dealing with activities of a cruise ship, offer passengers a platform to enter and disembark respectively. Cruise home port also has essential provisions needed for a luxury cruise voyage whereas supply may vary from fuel resources to fresh water, foods, and other such stuff.