The shores of Montenegro with the Adriatic Sea in its bay make it a natural delight. The land borders of Montenegro include the countries of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania as their neighbours.
Across the Adriatic, it is the mesmerizing beauty of Italy that rounds off this beautiful corridor. A big part of the shipping trade for this area lies within the crucial ports of Montenegro.
The country’s significant coastal presence, over 289 km of coastline, imparts a sea-friendly nature. Additionally, 30% of the tourism revenue comes from the earnings through these coastal areas. 95% of tourists flocking Montenegro visit its coastal parts for tourism and adventure experience. Montenegro’s natural land and sea reserves are also important factors for its shipping abilities.
Merchant goods and shipping form a significant part of Montenegro’s global value. The direct access to the Adriatic Sea through the Mediterranean Sea allows many ships to reach their shores. The major ports of Montenegro take sea trading over an annual average of 2650 million USD.
Agriculture, Fuel resources, and minerals share 56% of the country’s shipping trade. The five major ports in Montenegro under discussion handle 85% of the country’s shipping traffic. These ports contribute to most of the large-scale shipbuilding activities in Montenegro and across the region.
We will oversee the significant shipping opportunities, handling facilities, and development across these ports. Special focus will throw light on their geography, latest developments, identification, and global connectivity.
Major Ports in Montenegro
Port of Bar (Bar City, Montenegro)
The port of Bar comes across as the most extensive cargo handling port facility within Montenegro. The facility is in existence since the year 1906 and runs under the authority of Global Liman Isletmeleri.
Bar city is not only the most significant city but also a major tourist attraction in Montenegro. In addition, the rich natural sea belt and dense resources play a significant role in the import and export balance.
Efficient handling services for Timber, Bulk Ore, Liquid Cargo, Grains, and Consumer Goods cargo are available in the region. This presence of multiple resources makes Bar the most diverse of the major ports in Montenegro.
There are two berths available within the port with a quay length of 290m and 200m. On average, these berths handle over 179 vessel arrivals since 2012. Moreover, efficient crane facilities are available in the highest bracket of 50-99 meters for container handling systems. The highest draught limit for this port is 12.5 m. It comes along with the ability to handle vessels up to 260 m long. Meanwhile, cruise ships up to 300m in length can also accommodate here.
Network and Opportunities
Bar port has an automated arrival system within their terminal, occupying a 1,000 sq. m area. The project accommodates up to 80 large-size buses at a given time. The local authorities comply with a strict guideline for 0-emissions owing to the diverse tourism landscape. The port services and transportation together provide employment opportunities to over 500 locals. With more than 270 sunny days, the port of Bar has cargo operations for the majority of the year.
Port of TIVAT (Porto Montenegro)
The Port of TIVAT, famous as the Porto Montenegro, occupies most of the city’s coastal edge. The city and the harbor exist from the 14th century onwards, with tourism and seafood leading their income. This facility has a famous collection of over 430 berths, most of them serving cruises and yachts. The handling capacity allows pleasure crafts ranging from 12 m to 250 m to berth alongside each other.
Most of the local tourism and pleasure sailing happens across the combination of 3 marinas in this area. Along with Porto Montenegro, Navar Bay and Lustica Bay are the other two prominent names to feature. The berths at the Lustica Bay stand relatively smaller at 50 meters for smaller boats.
Network and Opportunities
A further allocation of over 500 million euros will see Porto Montenegro’s expansion to 850 berths. The super bay features to accommodate the largest cruise and yachts is the driving idea behind this project. Also, major yacht repairs and assembly services within the area depend hugely on this inflow. So many as 144 hotels work along the coast of TIVAT. These repair and hospitality services provide the majority of employment opportunities to the local population of 14,000 people.
Port of Bijela (Herceg Novi, Montenegro)
Bijela is home to a population of little less than 4,000 residents within its coastal limits. The port of Bijela stands as one of the most extensive repairs and drydocking yards within the Adriatic region. Moreover, the port is the closest to the Croatian border amongst the critical ports in Montenegro. The facility also included scrapping options for large yachts and cruise vessels. 43% of their commercial operations take place with the neighbours Albania for their smaller fleet.
Bijela operates through a solitary berth with the maximum allowable deadweight of 1,20,000 MT. The maximum beam within the allowable values is around 42 meters, accommodating the large bulk carriers. Hence, it is understandable that significant shipping operations within the port include bulk cargo off-loading. Moreover, the large number of tourist ports nearby also limits the number of pleasure calls and small arrivals.
Network and Opportunities
The recent tender through Drydock World aims to transform Biela into a world-class super drydock service for yachts. It is in line with the superyachts ranging over 350 meters in length that need ultra-modern facilities. Adriatic marinas are the consortium partner for the development of this repair facility. The tentative plan will revolve over 36 months for the strategic growth of the repair yard. The plan will also transform Bijela into the leading repair facility amongst the crucial ports in Montenegro.
Port of Kotor (Kotor, Montenegro)
Kotor Bay and the port of Kotor have been in existence since the first half of the 16th century. In the modern-day setup, the port management is in the hands of Luka Kotor AD. The facility concentrates heavily on tourism and leisure boats for their economic growth. The port setup is only 100 meters from the central town and provides direct city travel. A total of 3 berths, two for the big cruises and one for the smaller boats, are also available. The total water zone for the port and sea operations covers spread across 52,000 sq. meters area.
The maxim length of cruises allowed at these berths is up to 300 meters. Further expansion of the port will accommodate vessels up to 350 meters long. The heavy inflow of tourists and traffic means the port operates 24-hours, round the year. Freshwater services and yacht maintenance are also available within the port premises. The old gate access for a direct visit to the town is within a 100 meters range. These areas use digital surveillance and security standards for the safety of the tourists and locals too.
Network and Opportunities
There are proposals of further plans for the securing of longer cruises through additional mooring buoys. It will substantially increase the cruise tourists from 541,017 (2017) to an average of million-plus footfalls. The port facility has 69 permanent employees (2019) with additional contract-based strength of 150 plus. A budget of 500 million euros is in the pipeline for the floating buoys and berth extensions. Kotor aims to expand into the second-biggest facility within the critical ports in Montenegro.
Port of Risan (E65, Montenegro)
Risan, known as the Risan Port of Kotor, is a small setup in Kotor Bay. This port has a total coastal length of 75 meters with a mooring length availability of 75.5 meters. The port is in existence since the late 1900s, with the main aim of maritime traffic control and handling. The total area is within two separate parts, namely the holding area and the marina. While the total population of this town is close to 2000, 75 residents work at the port facility.
The total area within the port is 1,300 sq. meters with an average draught of 6 meters. In addition, the facility holds a variety of small pleasure boats and yachts moving within the Bay of Kotor. A total of 5 vessels at a maximum allowable length of 17 meters can parallel the coastal facility.
Network and Opportunities
A small docking facility provides repair opportunities for the local yachts and smaller boats. The distance between Risan Port and the Port of Kotor is hardly 8.8 km. It allows the off-loading of the waiting traffic within the zone as well. However, the local anchorage facilities engage in the arrival of larger vessels for stay. A draft restriction of 21.3 meters allows it to serve as the anchor bay for inbound arrivals too. The overall size and traffic density make Risan the smallest amongst the critical ports in Montenegro.
Montenegro’s Shipping Growth
Significant partnerships with UAE firms and large incoming traffic from neighbours will dictate Montenegro’s shipping landscape. Being largely dependent on sea tourism, the country and the port facilities plan for a vital transformation by 2030.
The country’s priority is to develop the two most extensive cruise handling facilities in the Adriatic and Mediterranean regions. A rich history of ship development and shipping technologies also attracts the people’s interest in their infrastructure.
With over 200 cruise and yacht berths across the critical ports of Montenegro, seaways tourism always remains a significant contributor. An evolving trend for accommodating the superyachts will soon allow Montenegro to attract the most extensive cruises on a global scale.
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Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.