The Port of Karachi (Urdu: کراچی بندرگاہ Bandar gāh Karāchī) is one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports, handling about 60% of the nation’s cargo (25 million tons per annum) located in Karachi, Pakistan. It is located between the Karachi towns of Kiamari and Saddar, close to the main business district and several industrial areas. The geographic position of the port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes such as the Strait of Hormuz. The administration of the port is carried out by the Karachi Port Trust, which was established in the nineteenth century.
|Location:||Karachi, Sindh on the Arabian Sea|
|In Urdu:||کراچی بندرگاہ|
|Karachi Fishing Harbour:||8 Kilometres Away at Korangi|
|Pakistan’s Import and Export Trade:||70%|
|Phone:||+92 345 2619168|
|Facilitation of Trade:||Ship handling, Discharging / Loading of cargo,Storage of cargo, Clearance of cargo,Security / Safety|
|Chairman:||Mr.Mumtaz Ali Shah|
|Operated By :||Karachi Port Trust|
|Owned By:||Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Government of Pakistan|
|Size of Harbor:||32 km (20 mi)|
|Annual Cargo Tonnage:||65.25 Million Metric Tons|
|Annual Container Volume:||1.563 Million TEUs|
|Secretary:||Cdr(R) Syed Taj Tirmizi|
|General Manager (Civil Works/Engg.):||Imam Buksh Baloch|
|General Manager (Administration):||Niaz Ali Jesser|
|General Manager (Engineering):||R/Admiral Habib-ur-Rehman|
|General Manager (Planning & Development):||Raghib-ul-Khair|
|General Manager (Finance):||Nazeer Ahmed Seher|
|General Manager (Operations):||R/Admiral Asif Hameed|
The port comprises a deep natural harbour with an 11-km long approach channel which provides safe navigation for vessels up to 75,000 DWT. The main areas of port activity are two wharves – East Wharf with seventeen vessel berths and West Wharf with thirteen vessel berths. The maximum depth alongside the berths is currently 11.3 meters. The two wharves extend in opposite directions along the upper harbour – the West Wharf southwest from Saddar town and the East Wharf northeast from Kimari Island.
Flow of Cargo
The flow of cargo to and from the port is hampered by severe congestion in the harbour with several other maritime facilities located close to the port. Adjacent to the West Wharf is the Karachi Fishing Harbour, which is administered separately from the port and is the base for a large fleet of several thousand fishing vessels. The West Wharf also hosts a ship repair facility and shipyard and a naval dockyard at the tip of the wharf, while to the south of the port are the Karachi Naval Base and the Kimari Boat Club.
The Port of Karachi also faces competition from a new private terminal located 5 kilometres away in the larger harbour west of the port. In recent years the federal government has attempted to alleviate the increased congestion in the harbour by constructing a second port in Karachi thirty kilometers east at Port Qasim and a third major port at Gwadar about 650 kilometers west of Karachi. The Karachi Fishing Harbour has been upgraded and a second fishing harbour is located 18 kilometres away at Korangi. The transfer of some naval vessels to the new naval base at Ormara has brought about further reductions in congestion.
The history of the port is intertwined with that of the city of Karachi. Several ancient ports have been attributed in the area including Krokola, Morontobara (Woman’s Harbour) (mentioned by Nearchus), Barbarikon (the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea) and Debal (a city captured by the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE). There is a reference to the early existence of the port of Karachi in the Umdah, by the Arab navigator Suleiman al Mahri (AD 1511), who mentions Ras al Karazi and Ras Karashi while describing a route along the coast from Pasni to Ras Karashi. Karachi is also mentioned in the sixteenth century Turkish treatise Muhit (The Ocean) by the Ottoman captain Sidi Ali Reis. The Muhit is a compilation of sailing directions for a voyage from the Portuguese island of Diu to Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, warning sailors about whirlpools and advises them to seek safety in Kaurashi harbour if they found themselves drifting dangerously.
There is a legend of a prosperous coastal town called Kharak in the estuary of the Hub River (west of modern Karachi) in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. In 1728 heavy rains silted up the harbour and resulted in the merchants of Kharak relocating to the area of modern Karachi. In 1729, they built a new fortified town called Kolachi (sometimes known as Kalachi-jo-Kun and Kolachi-jo-Goth) on high ground north of Karachi bay, surrounded by a 16-foot high mud and timber-reinforced wall with gun-mounted turrets and two gates. The gate facing the sea was called Kharadar (salt gate), and the gate facing the Layari River was called Mithadar (sweet gate). The modern neighbourhoods around the location of the gates are called Mithadar and Kharadar. Surrounded by mangrove swamps to the east, the sea to the southwest, and the Layari River to the north, the town was well defended and engaged in a profitable trade with Muscat and Bahrain.
Talpur Mirs of Sindh
From 1729 to 1783 the strategic location of Kolachi saw the town change hands several times between the Khans of Kalat and the rulers of Sindh. In 1783, after two prolonged sieges the town fell to the Talpur Mirs of Sindh, who constructed a fort mounted with cannons on Manora Island at the harbour entrance. The prominence of the port attracted the British, who opened a factory in Karachi at the end of the eighteenth century but disagreements with the Mirs on trade tariffs led to the closure of the factory. The British were concerned about Russian expansion towards the Arabian Sea, so in 1839 they occupied Karachi and later the whole of the Sindh. The port served as a landing point for troops during the First Afghan War.
The potential of Karachi as a natural harbour for the produce of the Indus basin led to rapid development. The Indus Steam Flotilla and the Orient Inland Steam Navigation Company were formed to transport cotton and wheat down the Indus river to Karachi. A number of British companies opened offices and warehouses in Karachi and the population increased rapidly. By 1852, Karachi was an established city with a population of 14,000 and a prosperous overseas trade. The modern port began to take shape in 1854, when the main navigation channel was dredged and a mole or causeway was constructed to link the main harbour with the rest of the city. This was followed by construction of Manora breakwater, Kiamari Groyne, the Napier Mole Bridge and the Native Jetty. The construction of the wharves started in 1882, and by 1914 the East Wharf and the Napier Mole Boat Wharf were complete while 1927 and 1944, the West Wharf, the lighterage berths and the ship-repair berths were constructed between 1927 and 1944.
Sindh Railway Line
From the 1861 the Sindh Railway line connected Karachi to the cotton and wheat producing areas of the Sindh and northern British India and by 1899 Karachi was the largest wheat and cotton exporting port in India. The period between 1856 and 1872 saw a marked increase in trade, especially during the American Civil War when cotton from Sindh replaced American cotton as a raw material in the British textile industry and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Another major export was oil brought by rail from the Sui region in Balochistan.
Karachi’s importance as a gateway to India increased in 1911 when the capital of British India was moved to Delhi. The city was an important military base during the First World War (1914-18) because it was the first Indian port of call for ships coming through the Suez Canal and was the gateway to Afghanistan and the Russian Empire. In 1936 the Sindh district of the Bombay Presidency was reorganised as a new province with Karachi as the capital instead of the traditional capital of Hyderabad. This led to new public services and buildings, thus increasing its population and importance.
Largest Pakistan Port
Karachi was again a military base and port for supplies to the Russian front during the Second World War (1939-1945). In 1947, Karachi became the capital of the new nation of Pakistan, resulting in a growth in population as it absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees. Although the capital moved to Islamabad in 1959, Karachi remains the economic centre of Pakistan, accounting for the largest proportion of national GDP based in part on the commerce conducted through the Port of Karachi and Port Qasim. Post Independence, the port witnessed tremendous growth as a result of being the largest port in Pakistan. The port was targeted by the Indian Navy (codenamed Operation Trident) during the hostilities of the 1971 war.
The port has thirty dry cargo berths, three liquid cargo-handling berths (oil piers), two ship repair jetties and a shipyard and engineering facility. These are arranged in two main wharves – the West Wharf and the East Wharf each including a container terminal:
Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) opened in 1996 at West Wharf berths 28-30. It has a handling capacity of 300,000 TEUs per annum and handles container ships up to 11-metre draught. The total quay length is 600 metres divided into two container berths. The terminal is equipped with three Panamax cranes and one post-Panamax crane.
Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) in 2002 at East Wharf berths 6-9. It has a handling capacity of 350,000 TEUs per annum and handles container ships up to 11.5 metre draught. The total quay length is 600 metres divided into two container berths. The terminal is equipped with two Panamax cranes.
KICT and PICT have a nearby competitor in the privately operated Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT), which opened in 2001 at a site west of the Layari River. AICT is situated next to the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, the new truck stand at Hawkes Bay Road and close to the RCD Highway, Super Highway and the future Layari Bypass.
Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works carries out shipbuilding and repair for both commercial and military customers on a 29-hectare (70 acres) site at the West Wharf. The facilities include a large shipbuilding hall, three shipbuilding berths, two dry-docks, three foundries.
Further deepening of the port has been planned by the Karachi Port Trust in order to enhance facilities. The channel is being dredged initially to 13.5 metres deep to cater for 12 metre draught vessels at all tides. At Kiamari Groyne, located at the outer tip of the harbour, dredging will be to 16.5 metres to enable vessels up to 300 metres long to dock. The Karachi Port Trust also plans to develop a trans-shipment terminal at Kiamari Groyne which should minimise turn around time for larger vessels.
Other projects to expand the port include:
- An increase the handling capacity of KICT from 300,000 TEUs to 400,000 TEUs per annum
- Two new berths at KICT with 14 metres depth alongside and an additional 100,000 m² terminal/stacking area
- Installation of modern facilities at PICT (completed in April, 2004)
- A new bulk cargo terminal at East Wharf
- Reconstruction of the oldest oil pier to allow berthing of 90,000 DWT tankers
- A new 100-acre cargo village to cater for containers and general and bulk cargo
- Reconstruction of the 100-year old NMB Wharf to enhance the berthing of passenger vessels
- The purchase of a new dredger, two hopper barges, two harbour tugs, two water barges, an anchor hoist vessel, two pilot boats, and a dredger tender
- A new desalination plant to address the city’s water shortage problem
- A 500-foot high Port Tower for commercial and recreational use including a revolving restaurant
- The construction of a 500-acre Port Town with 13,000 homes for port workers at nearby Hawkes Bay
- A new Port Club at Chinna Creek adjacent to the East Wharf
Environmental ConcernsThe area around the harbour includes several mangrove forests which are constantly under threat from human activities. To the east of the port lies Chinna Creek, which covers about 6 km² and is dotted with mangrove islands. To the southwest of the port is another much larger mangrove forest in the bay formed by several islands and Manora breakwater; the river Layari flows into this bay, bringing waste from upstream suburbs.
The beach immediately east of the harbour was the scene of a significant oil spillage when the Greek-registered Tasman Spirit ran aground in August 2003. The environmental impact included large numbers of dead fish and turtles and damage to a key mangrove forest, as well as dozens of people suffering nausea.
Karachi Dock Labour Board
The Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB) is responsible for labour relations between employees and the Karachi Port Trust. In October 2006, the Pakistan government has decided to close down Karachi Dock Labour Board by December this year as part of its landlord port strategy and under the National Trade Corridor (NTC) programme. The closure of KDLB would cost around Rs 4.2 billion ($70 million) to the national exchequer.
The World Bank in its report suggested, in case of closure the KDLB would have to pay about Rs one million to each employee. There are about 3895 employees and officers on its payroll. Of which about 3673 are dockworkers; 185 staff members; and 37 are officers. The total payoffs calculated by the bank would be around Rs 4.2 billion.
Karachi Fish Harbour
Karachi Fish Harbour is in West Karachi near the main port. It is relatively well supplied with facilities, with two large auction halls which whilst not ideal could be made presentable at little cost, a smaller improved auction hall for export fish, a landing area for fish intended for fishmeal, one 40 ton flake ice machine (most ice used is block ice and bought in by truck from outside the harbour area), an unloading wharf next to the market hall and export processing factories. Boat building facilities and a slipway are on the creek side of the harbour.
The Port Fountain or Karachi Port Trust Fountain is located next to the Northern rock of a series known as Oyster Rocks, off the Karachi Harbour. The fountain is the worlds second tallest fountain and rises to height of 620 feet when operating at full force. Ever since its inauguration by the President of Pakistan on January 15, 2006. The fountain has been attracting visitors from all over Pakistan. The fountain structure and platform of 135 sq meters (15m x 9m) is on 16 piles 18 meters deep. Two 835-horsepower turbine pumps deliver nearly 2000 liters of sea water per second at a velocity of 70 meter per second through specially designed 8 inch nozzles. The fountain constructed at a cost of PKR 320 million.
Because the fountain rises so high into the air, it is quite easily seen from many locations of the city. Many high rise apartments, buildings and surroundings overlook the fountain throughout the community at the beach. The column of water can be seen from miles at sea. The fountain is located 1.4 km away from the beach to avoid spraying neighborhood homes. Maximum vapours travel up to a radius of 500 feet around the fountain. Eighteen flood lights of 400 watts illuminate the fountain at night.
Cargo Container Handling Shipping
Karachi’s most awaiting food street and entertainment complex ‘Port Grand’ was finally inaugurated on Saturday May 28th 2011. The complex offers visitors a world of its own in an enclosed area cut off from the craziness of city life.
This project is being developed on an area of 8.5 acres at Native Jetty and within Jinnah Bridge Rotary. It was designed and built and in collaboration with top international architects and designers, who have deployed latest technologies and construction techniques to deliver state of the art facility.The food enclave runs along the port where you can view the sea while sitting on green benches lined across the fresh green turf. The three spaced-apart metal barriers from the water could, however, be tempting for adventurous children. You can even see the cargo being loaded and unloaded from the ships that arrive from all over the world. The food street ends close to a point where you can see ships harboured at the KPT Boat Wharf. The land for the project was leased by the KPT for 30 years on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. Work on the billion-rupee project started in 2005 and it was expected that it would be completed by 2009.However, Grand Leisure Corporation claimed that the delay was caused by the need to completely revamp the Native Jetty bridge which was in bad shape. This caused expenses to shoot up. “Better late than never”, said Firoz.
Native Jetty Bridge
The Native Jetty Bridge has been entirely rebuilt to ensure a world-class tourist destination and source of pride for Karachiites that would ultimately attract millions of people from all over the country and beyond.The area underneath the Native Jetty bridge has been cleaned up and rehabilitated. The few trees that existed at the site have been preserved. The 150-year-old banyan tree, for example, has been untouched. The Napier Mole Bridge has been repaired and the corporation installed an irrigation system for the tree to give it an even longer life.Parking for over 800 cars with complimentary valet service, pristine public restrooms, plenty of pedestrian friendly walkways are additional attractions.
Port Real Estate
The main objective of port authorities is to generate revenues by running it efficiently and competitively. Most major international sea ports have diversified their operations in order to move further in development.A popular and lucrative channel of diversification is to add up values on the port’s real state and to earn maximum premium.KPT has a large estate that is leased out to the private sector for setting up port – related concerns. All the related records are fully computerized i.e Lease and Allotment record, Maps.
Karachi Port is a deep natural port with an 11.5 km-long navigable channel and a 12.2 meter-deep approach channel. It provides round the clock safe navigation to tankers, modern container vessels, bulk carriers, and general cargo ships upto 75,000 DWT. The port has 30 dry cargo and 3 liquid cargo handling berths including a privately operated modern container terminal – the Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT). The port is handling about 26 million tons of cargo per annum which includes 14 million tons of liquid and 12 million tons of dry cargo and 650,000 TEUs. Presently about 1600 ships are visiting Karachi Port annually and the berth occupancy is about 45%, which shows that there is enough capacity in the port to handle more cargo.
Port Channel and Fairways
The port channel and fairways are maintained by port’s own dredging flotilla. The port provides shipside and dock facilities for handling heavy lifts, containers-bulk, break bulk, and liquid cargo by means of requisite quay and heavy lift cranes, floating cranes, and shore-based equipment. The port sea for cargo transit is 100 hectares and an additional area of 60 hectares is available in the close proximity of the port, which may be developed for port related commercial activities. The port is adequately backed up with nationwide rail and road services for swift cargo transportation.
Workers and Officers
Presently 4748 workers and 315 officers are employed in KPT. Since the independence of Pakistan, growth of cargo at the Karachi Port has been steadily increasing from 2.5 million tons per annum to the present volume of 38.73 million tons per annum. The total volume breaks down to 26.96 million tons is dry cargo and 11.77 million tons of liquid cargo. It includes 1.25 million TEUs handled by container terminals. Total number of ships visited port during financial year 2008-09 were 2,386. The growth in trade is being handled without any queuing of ships or waiting at anchorage. The three oil piers of the port are capable of handling 24 million tons per annum at maximum. Karachi Port broke its own record by handling 70,379 tons of liquid bulk cargo in one day.
The total export cargo handled last year closed at 13.364 million tons which reflects a growth of 14.47% made by Karachi Port when compared with cargo handled during preceding year. Export of bulk cargo through Karachi Port was recorded to be 5.471 million tons, which is a massive increase of 28.94%, as compared to the previous year. This is yet another achievement of Karachi Port Trust. Bulk cargo export of cement gained momentum at Karachi Port and increased by 70.29%.
|Ships Off Port|
|Updated on Friday, 13 October 2017|
|DURING 24 HRS. ENDING 0700 HRS. ON 13/10/2017|
|Vessel Name||Type||Agent||Expected Berth No.||Arrival Date||Arrival Time||Remarks|
|Al Farahidi||Container (Gearless)||NOT PROVIDED||Not Allocated||12/10/2017||16:36||–|
|Bulk Polaris||Container (Gearless)||OC.WORLD||Not Allocated||12/10/2017||18:30||–|
|Ocean Colossus||Fertilizer||BULK-SH.||Not Allocated||10/10/2017||20:36||–|
|Corona||Oil Tanker||ALPINE||Not Allocated||10/10/2017||05:30||–|
|Arabian Orchid||Oil Tanker||GAC||Not Allocated||10/10/2017||22:00||–|
|Nord Larkspur||Oil Tanker||GAC||Not Allocated||11/10/2017||02:42||–|
|Triton Seahawks||Oil Tanker||BULK-SH.||Not Allocated||12/10/2017||16:10||–|
|Yuhua Star||Oil Tanker||EAST WIND||Not Allocated||12/10/2017||19:12||–|
- Custom’s Auction
- East Wharf
- West Wharf
- KICT / PICT
KPT aims at providing modern and user-friendly facilities to port users for import and export of all types of cargo. Port development plans have conventionally been focused on national trade requirements. However, swift changes in regional shipping trends and global economic conditions call for a repositioning of Karachi Port services to respond to market demands and adapt to the current scenario.
Accordingly, KPT visions to transform the port into a modern, competitive and user-friendly port, which would also be a transshipment hub of the region. For realizing this vision Karachi Port has embarked upon a comprehensive port modernization plan.
Deepening of channels to accommodate deep draft vessels at all tides is the first step in this direction.
In Phase-I the navigable channel is being dredged to 13.5 meter depth whereas In Phase-II this has been increased up to 16.5 meters.
Computerization of port operations and installation of electronic aids to monitor port activity is aimed at bringing efficiency and agility to the system.
A new container terminal is also established in the private sector.
Deep draft berths at the mouth of harbor are also being planned to enable swift and effective cargo handling.
Port tariff is under revision to enhance cost efficiency and competitiveness.
In expanding business the focus is to capture new markets and to look beyond the national trade, seeking share in the burgeoning global volume of containerized trade and to develop transshipment facilities accordingly.
- A dedicated area has also been designated to provide 24-hour handling facilities. Other concessions include :
- Free period of 30 days
- Application of only one-way wharf age
- Exemption from Dock Labor Chess etc
KPT is in the process of taking feed back from the port users to devise a set-up to facilitate improved transshipment.
Private sector participation in Port operations is being encouraged. A dedicated container terminal in the private sector is in operation, whereas another dedicated container terminal on newly constructed berths with 13.5 meter draft will also established. Bulk and general cargo terminals are also planned to be established by the private sector.
Mr. Mumtaz Ali Shah
- Karachi Port Trust
- 99214315, 99214310
RAdmiral Asif Hameed
- General Manager (Operations)
- 99214375, 99214530-40
- Ext. 2240
CdrR Syed Taj Tirmizi
- 99214311, 99214530-40
- Ext. 2206
Shafiq A. Faridi
- Manager Public Relations
- Ext. 2391
Syed Saghir Hussain Ag.Manager
- (Management Information Systems)
- 99214352, 99214679, 99214530-40
- Ext. 2276
Ali Mardan Abbasi
- Traffic Manager
- 99214361, 99214530-40
- Ext. 2466
Cdr.R Khalid Munir
- Ag. Manager Legal Affairs