Black sea enjoys a favourable geographical location, surrounded by nations of Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. It is an important maritime gateway connecting the regions in the Mediterranean sea and Eastern European nations with Asia and the rest of the world.
The Black sea coast is home to around 65 seaports that contribute to the economic prosperity of this region, making the black sea one of the busiest trade routes in the world. In this article, let us have a look at some of the major black seaports.
1. Port of Constanta
Constanta is the largest black seaport and also the biggest port of Romania. Situated on the western sea coast, it is a multi-purpose seaport, well-connected with all major ports of Eastern and Central European nations.
It can accommodate huge vessels and ships and is well-linked with the Danube, an added advantage that increases the volume of container traffic handled at the port. The port has an annual handling capacity of 100,000,000 tonnes. Cruise ships are also welcomed at the port’s passenger terminal as Constanta is a famous tourist destination.
It is divided into two sections known as the North and the South port. The North Port spans 789 hectares and comprises 78 berths. It handles diverse cargo such as petroleum goods, coal, ores, containerised cargo, general cargo, chemicals, steel items, timber and also passengers. The Southport spans 3,137 hectares comprising 45 berths. This port deals with chemicals, heavy and bulk cargo, ro-ro, steel goods, etc. Most port projects are being developed at this part of the port.
Constanta has numerous terminals specializing in handling certain commodities. The liquid bulk terminal is connected to the region’s major oil refineries and includes pipelines for transferring oil and other chemicals from the main port facility to the smaller vessels on the Danube. Its dry bulk terminals are one of the busiest in Europe and handle cement, construction equipment, phosphate etc.
Two terminals comprising 13 berths handle iron ore, bauxite etc with an annual handling capacity of more than 30 million tons. Separate terminals for dealing with fertilizers, urea, apatite etc are also present with a storage capacity of 1 lakh tons and an annual handling capacity of about 4.5 million tonnes. They can accommodate ships weighing 50,000 DWT.
Cereals are handled at 14 berths, incorporated with silos, warehouses sheltered storage space and cold storage facility. These berths can accommodate 360 thousand tons of dry cereal. The port has a specialised berth for handling vehicles and ro-ro. Automobiles from this port are transported to Turkey, China, Columbia, etc. Constanta port also has 4 container terminals that are one of the busiest in the world.
2. Port of Odessa
One of the most important black seaports, Port Odessa spans 141 hectares and comprises 54 wharves. It can accommodate vessels weighing 100,000 tons, measuring 340 meters. The port’s handling capacity is 50 million tonnes and it deals with a variety of cargo such as oils, condensed gas, containerised cargo, metal products, iron, sugar, grains, etc.
The port facility is divided into 17 terminals of which the container terminals deal with 950,000 TEUs every year. The cruise ship terminal of this port is one of the most expansive among black seaports and is frequented by 4 million travellers annually. The terminal can accommodate about four to five ships at once and comprises 7 docks. The terminal has many eateries and offers essential banking services as well.
The port’s cargo terminal functions 24 hours and comprises 2 warehouses. The PHC complex handles metals, timber, packaged food and containerised cargo. The Shipyard can undertake repairs of all kinds of vessels weighing about 40,000 DWT.
The Oil and Gas terminal of this port is the biggest in Ukraine, with a handling capacity of 90,000 tons. A gas terminal is also situated nearby, with a capacity of storing 700,000 tons of liquefied gas.
3. Port of Novorossiysk
Situated on the Tsemes harbour, on the northeastern black sea coast, Port Novorossiysk is not only an eminent black seaport but also the main port of Russia, that handled 142 million tonnes of cargo in 2020. It is a warm-water port and conducts trading operations throughout the year.
The port has 11 berths with a depth of 7 to 14 m. 4 berths handle containerised cargo, while the others handle timber, plywood, metal goods, perishable goods, packaged food, wine etc.
The port has open and sheltered storage space spanning 51 hectares for keeping timber, 14 hectares for containers. The warehouses cover about 14,000 m sq to store fiberboards and plywood, including general cargo.
The port’s terminals such as the container terminal are well linked with 19 different railway lines, easing loading and unloading operations. The container terminal can accommodate Panamax container ships and handles about 350,000 TEUs annually. Incorporated with the latest port facilities and equipment, this port provides efficient and reliable services.
Since it mainly handles timber, it has an expansive timber terminal that handles approximately three million metric tonnes annually. Apart from timber, this port handles 405 thousand tonnes of general cargo, aluminium, rolled iron, pipes, etc. Hazardous substances packed in boxes are also handled at this facility.
4. Port of Varna
Situated on the western coast of the Black Sea near Varna Bay, port Varna is an important black seaport and the biggest seaport of Bulgaria. The port comprises two main terminals namely the East terminal and the West terminal. The port is well equipped in dealing with diverse cargo including containerised goods, dry and liquid cargo, heavy cargo etc.
Varna port became operational in 1906 and presently it can handle ships weighing around 25,000 tonnes. From the 1960s, the port has become a famous tourist spot, attracting many cruise ships. The port handles more than 8 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Equipped with the latest port equipment and facilities, it has 32 wharves, and an open storage space spanning 60 acres. The East terminal of the Varna port is the main port for grain exports in Bulgaria. It is also a multi-purpose port dealing with sugar, metal products, molasses, general cargo etc. The Western terminal is in close proximity to the chemical plants and deals with soda, coal, fertilizers, ores, silica, phosphates etc. The port is well connected with the national rail and road network.
5. Port of Theodosia
Theodosia port is situated in the Gulf of Theodosia adjacent to the Black sea. The port has been used since ancient times but a proper port facility was constructed around the late 1800s. The modern port was finally opened for international ships in the 1990s. It remains ice-free throughout the year and also offers repair services.
Theodosia mainly handles oil and petroleum goods and derivatives and is an important port for Ukraine. It can handle tankers weighing more than 114,000 DWT. Its annual handling capacity is about 11 million tonnes.
The port spans about 13 hectares with two main port areas, one dealing with dry bulk and the other with oil and petroleum. The port also has a passenger berth and two berths for receiving huge tankers. It also has specialised berths for handling about 35 to 40 kinds of cargo such as metal, grains, fertilizers, construction equipment etc.
The port boasts enormous storage space comprising warehouses and unsheltered storage pavements spanning 3000 sq m and 19,000 sq m respectively. They are mainly used for storing fertilizers, clay and steel goods.
6. Port of Hopa
The port of Hopa is the easternmost Black seaport which became operational in 1972. It contributes significantly to the Turkish economy and is considered an important maritime gateway to the countries near the black sea, including central Asia and the middle eastern nations.
This port specialises in handling steel and steel goods such as steel pipes and rolls. Container repair services and mechanical services are also offered at the port. The port handles bulk cargoes such as grains primarily wheat, coal, mineral ore, stones etc.
It has 9 wharves, including a 220 m long ore terminal, a 37 m long pier for handling ro-ro, one for fisheries, another for handling military equipment and lastly a 250 m long dock with grain silos. It comprises 10 silos with a storage capacity of 1000 tonnes each.
The port has a tank terminal comprising 7 tanks for storing oil, fuel, diesel with a capacity of 38.100 m3. Apart from these products, the terminal also has storage facilities for industrial oil, sunflower oil, etc.
The port has a sheltered storage space of 18, 300 m2, open storage spanning 102,400m2, 8400 tonnes of storage at the cement terminal, and 450 m3 at the terminal for storing LPG.
7. Samsun Port
This is the biggest Turkish seaport situated in the Black sea, frequented by large bulk carriers carrying heavy bulk and general cargo, fishing boats, oil and chemical tankers and ro-ro ships. The port can handle vessels not more than 230 m long with a maximum draught of 11.2m.
The port handles different kinds of cargo such as pallets, coil sheets, metal goods and pipes, marble stone, roll paper, bagged goods etc.
The main terminal area covers around 440,000 m2 with a capacity of 255,000 TEU and 40 reefer points. The port has 45,000 m2 of sheltered storage space and open storage yards spanning 330,000 m2. The length of the berths is 1,550 m approximately.
The main port area has 5 berths with an average depth of 10 m. The industrial zone of the port comprises 3 berths with an average depth of 12 m. The port is endowed with the latest equipment such as mobile and gantry cranes with a lifting capacity of 130 tonnes, 11 dock cranes with a capacity of 30 tonnes, etc. The port has grain silos with a storage capacity of 55,000 tonnes.
8. Batumi port
Port Batumi is situated on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea and is an important port of Georgia, specialising in purifying oil, fuel etc. It also handles shipments of metals, grains, cement, fertilizers, corn, wood, construction equipment and sugar.
The port comprises 5 specialised terminals and 11 docks with an annual handling capacity of 18 million tonnes. It has a shipyard offering ship repair, along with small industries located in the vicinity; manufacturing furniture and machine equipment.
Apart from being an industrial and shipping port, Batumi port is popular among tourists for its eye-catching tea gardens and other attractions. The port has been used since the times of the Roman Empire and was developed as a modern port in the late 19th century.
It is a well-sheltered port, with road and rail links to Turkey, central Asian regions, Russia and Caucasus. One of its terminals handles oil and petroleum, with 4 operational berths and a handling capacity of 4 tankers each at once.
It has a terminal for handling containers with a handling capacity of 350,000 TEUs. The ferry terminal moves cargo to neighbouring cities with an annual handling capacity of 700,000 tonnes. 4 berths serve the terminal specialising in dry cargo. The port also has a beautiful cruise ship terminal.
The Black Sea is a crucial trade corridor for the eastern European countries. The ports along the black sea drive economic growth by boosting the region’s shipping and trade sector. With maritime links to almost all major ports in Europe, black seaports offer efficient and reliable services and are home to the world’s most renowned shipping companies.
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