The Karachi is the oldest and busiest natural port of Pakistan, it lies on a strategic point along the 600 miles long coastline stretching from borders with Iran on the west, and India on the east.
Being ideally located has well-developed connections with Afghanistan, Central Asia , Western China so well deserves the sobriquet ’Gateways to the region’. Karachi port has consistently maximized this potential with enlightened policies. Managed & operated by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), handles nearly 60% of the Pakistani trade, the main harbor served by East & West wharves, with 2 dedicated container terminals, namely PICT & KICT, and just outside the main harbor a newly built independent deeper draft container terminal, the SAPT handling CVs, all of these 3 terminals are well equipped with most modern fixed gantries & mobile RTGs and other necessary container handling gear, equipment. Beside the 3 main container terminals the Keamari Oil terminal of Karachi port is served by 3 dedicated Oil Piers (OP-1, 2 and 3) for handling all kinds of Oil & chemical tankers at berths OP-1 & OP-2, while OP-3 is currently non-operational for extensive repairs.
Port Qasim is the 2nd major & industrial port of Pakistan, the Port is located in the Indus delta region at a distance of 28 nautical miles to south-east of Karachi. Port Muhammad Bin Qasim is the most eco-friendly port and is geographically situated on the trade route of Arabian Gulf. The port presently caters for more than 40% of seaborne trade requirements of the country, with the distinction of as the only Pakistani port handling LPG & LNG cargoes, it’s served by 4 dry cargo berths called the marginal wharves, MW 1, 2, 3 & 4 for handling of dry bulk, bulk coal, steel & general cargoes, besides these four dry berths there are many other dedicated terminals for the handling of liquid, dry bulk, bulk coal, clicker, LPG & LNG cargoes. However, night time navigation is restricted at Port Qasim, and only allowed at some terminals subject to conditions and approval.
Port Muhammad Bin Qasim handles annually national imports and exports of some 46 million tons dry general, break bulk plus Liquid & Dry Bulk commodities, with total ship calls of 1,556 in the year 2017 -18
Gwadar is a newly developed deep water port located at the western most extremity of Pakistani coast on the Arabian sea, just 120 KM east from Iranian border, holding immense potential for expansion and development due it’s geostrategically suitable seaport location in terms of connectivity to the land locked central Asian states (CAS), besides providing direct link to the traditional China Silk Road.
The port is governed by the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), while operationally managed and controlled by the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), though currently operational with 3 berths of total quay length of 600 meters, and the available port infrastructure and facilities suitable for handling containerized, project, general, break-bulk, bagged cargoes & also facility for Ro-Ro handling.
The port is approached through a buoyed channel about 4.70 KM long with a dredged depths of 14.40 M at outer channel and 13.80 M in the inner channel & turning basin, the width of outer channel is 206 M, and that of inner channel 155 M, the turning basin has a diameter of 595 M, and depth alongside berths at 14.50 M, with max draft of 12.50 M. Gwadar port will be undergoing an extensive development and expansion programs with multiple projects for the construction of multi-purpose berths & liquid and gas cargo holding terminals with supporting operational infrastructure.
The Gadani ship breaking yard situated some 50.00 KM to the north west of Karachi port, is one of the biggest ship breaking facilities in Asia with 132 ship breaking plots stretching over 10 .00 KMs of coast line in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, about 90-100 minutes’ drive from Karachi port. Subject to the prevailing weather conditions, and following the agreement terms between Buyer & Seller, arriving ships for scrap-out, report in the outer of port limits some 22-30 NM off from the Karachi port for crew change, vessel hand over to the Buyer’s team, who conduct the safety inspection before finally conducting the ship for beaching to the designated plots at Gadani beach.