Pakistan is one of the largest economies in South Asia, with a population of about 200 million people. Pakistan has around 1200 kilometers of coastline on the Arabian Sea. In Pakistan’s coastline region, there are more than 8 minor and large seaports. But we’re going to talk about the 5 large seaports of Pakistan.
Here are The 5 Important Sea Ports of Pakistan:
- Karachi Port
- Gwadar Port
- Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
- Port Ormara
- Port Pasni
1. Karachi Port and Harbour
Karachi Port is a significant deep-sea port located along Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast. It handles roughly 60% of national cargo and is owned by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and operated by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT).
Karachi Port is a natural harbor that has been in use since the early 18th century, however, historic ports have been in use since the 8th century CE. The port now has 32 kilometers of wharves and docks. The anchoring depth is 16 meters, and commercial boats can use 41 berths and 8 wharves.
Under British administration, Karachi grew into an important port with newly created facilities utilized to enhance commerce. The present harbour was built off the coast of Pakistan in 1854, but it was progressively connected with the mainland by causeways and bridges. Karachi’s closeness to the Straits of Hormuz and the Suez Canal is a significant reason for its prominence.
The port handles 65.25 million tons of cargo and 1.56 million TEUs every year. The port is designed with an 11-kilometer waterway for entering boats and two berthing zones, the West and East wharves.
The wharves have a maximum docking vessel capacity of 75,000 DWT and include three liquid cargo berths, shipyards and repair facilities, two dry docks, and three container terminals.
The Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT) is located close to the Layari River and does not fall under the purview of the port. There is additional room for naval and commercial shipbuilding and maintenance at the Harbour. On 70 acres, there are dry docks, building complexes, steel handling factories, and outfitting zones.
2. Gwadar Port
UN/Code: PK GWD
Gwadar Port is a significant port on the Arabian Sea managed by the Gwadar Port Authority. The port is operated and managed by the China Overseas Port Holding Company. Gwadar is a key actor in commerce transit between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as a center for the projected China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The harbour is linked to the Maritime Silk Road and Belt and Road programs through several programs.
Gwadar is a deep-sea port in Iran, adjacent to the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz. It has been active since 2016. It is still undergoing expansionary operations in three successive phases. A floating liquefied natural gas plant, the Gwadar Special Economic Zone, and a dedicated facility to promote CPEC interests are all part of the port.
As of 2018, the yearly container capacity was 30 million TEUs. The planned cargo capacity is 400 million tons by 2045, up from 11 million tons now. The expansion phases are divided into three stages, with the final two scheduled to be completed in 2029 and 2045, respectively. The proposed ship classes to be supported are:
1. Bulk carriers – 30,000 DWT
2. Panamax – 52,000 DWT
3. Neo Panamax – 200,000 DWT
4. Chinamax – 400,000 DWT
5. Valemax – 400,000 DWT
6. TI-Class Supertankers – 440,000 DWT
3. Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
Bin Qasim, Malir District, Sindh
UN/Code: PK BQM
Although the port of Qasim is one of the oldest, it is now more of a dedicated port for Pakistan Steel Mills. To meet the rising demand for coal, it was decided to build a seaport 35 kilometers west of Karachi. It was built in the late 1970s on modern bases and named after the Muslim common Muhammad bin Qasim, who captured the area around 712 A.D. Connected to the Pakistan Steel Mills complex near the Indus River delta.
Port Qasim is Pakistan’s second busiest port, handling approximately 35% of the country’s cargo (17 million tons per year). It is located 35 kilometers east of Karachi city center, along a historic Indus River channel. The port is 1,000 acres in size, with an adjacent 11,000-acre industrial complex. The approach to the port is by a 45-kilometer-long passage Channel that provides safe passage for vessels up to 75,000 DWT.
The harbour is classified into 3 main zones for administrative ease:
1. North Western Industrial Zone (NWIZ) – 2,920 acres
2. South Western Industrial Zone (SWIZ) – 1,000 acres
3. Eastern Industrial Zone (EIZ) – 8,300 acres
1. 4 berth Multipurpose Terminal under PQA
2. 5 berth Container Terminal under Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT)
3. Single berth Liquid Chemical Terminal under Engro Vopak Ltd.
4. Single berth Oil Terminal under Fotco Oil Terminal
4. Port Ormara
Gwadar District, Balochistan
UN/Code: PK ORW
Ormara is a tiny port on the Makran coast of Pakistan’s Balochistan region, bordering the Arabian Sea. It is located around 450 kilometers west of Karachi and east of the coastal settlement of Pasni, which also serves as a port. The Pakistan Navy’s Jinnah naval facility is also located in Ormara. Because of the nearby naval installation, Ormara has a tiny airfield that can accommodate smaller planes the size of Fokker vessels.
Ormara is a historic seaside city. Its ancient roads are attributed to Alexander the Great, who paused here with his soldiers for a few days on his way back from the Indus area in 325-27 BC after conquering the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, and the NWFP areas, which he united to his growing Hellenic empire.
Ormara has been an important strategic location since Alexander the Great’s time since it allows access to and control over the Indus area. Today, it is administered by the Government of Pakistan’s Makran division, and the port’s and surrounding hinterlands’ prosperity has declined owing to the arrival of neighboring harbours.
“Ormoz,” considered one of the Hellenic Empire’s generals, died here, and the most recent Ormara was named after him. For years, Ormara was a battleground between the Baloch Sardars (local feudal rulers) and foreign invaders. Before Pakistan’s independence in 1947, it was a part of the state of Las Bela, and later, it became a part of the Makran Division.
The Jinnah Naval facility, located near Ormara, is the country’s second biggest naval facility. It was built on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by Belgium and Turkey, and it has improved economic activity in the region, with the fish port obtaining new equipment to increase the output of fresh produce for sale throughout the world.
Furthermore, because the Pakistan Navy’s important military assets (including submarines and nuclear weapons) are based at Ormara, the hinterlands have been developed to meet its requirements. The neighboring Cadet College has aided the port’s finances, and the government intends to rebuild the Ormara coastline by 2030 to transform the naval station into a vibrant strategic center.
5. Port Pasni
Pasni, Gwadar, Balochistan
UN/Code: PK PSI
Pasni is a medium-sized city and fishing port in Balochistan, Pakistan, located along the Makran coastline. It is roughly 300 kilometers from Karachi. The government has now resolved to develop Pasni as a full-time commercial port for Pakistan, in conjunction with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, to aid cargo activity in the region.
The town is home to the most recent fish harbour and Port of Pasni, with fishing being the primary employment of the residents. Frozen sizes can be shipped to Turbat and Karachi for sale in larger marketplaces. Pasni is home to a joint-user airport used by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Navy, and civil aviation.
Because the area is unsuitable for agriculture, the port also receives imports from other Pakistani ports to replenish food and other items for people. The fishing port is sophisticated, with cutting-edge equipment for processing and packaging goods for export.
Pasni export cargoes are mostly headed for Turbat (Kech District, Balochistan Province) and Karachi. The Government of Balochistan Port Authority (BPA) operates the port, and the harbour is owned by Pakistan’s Maritime Affairs Secretary.
The Pasni Port is a component of fisheries department research in the Balochistan and Sindh area. These areas are significant export centers, and this port is no exception.
The catch is normally processed in the port, packed for export, and sent to one of Karachi Port’s several fishing harbours. The facilities satisfy EU export criteria, and the product is wrapped for worldwide sale.
The Balochistan Sea Fisheries Act, of 1971, provides regulatory power for fishing and harbor activities, to protect marine life and local livelihoods.
That’s a wrap on our 5 Important Sea Ports of Pakistan Blog.
When you have any precise Sea Ports-related questions, drop us a remark below!
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