Pakistan Studies

Water Transport – Sea Ports of Pakistan

Pakistan does not have a developed inland water transport.

This post describes the location and salient features of the seaports of Pakistan i.e. Gawadar, Karachi, and Bin Qasim Port.  

What does the term  ‘Water Transport’ refer to? 

The term “water transport” refers to structures and devices such as ships, boats, submarines, etc. which run on water and help in travel and carriage of goods.

Water Transport in Pakistan

Pakistan does not have any developed inland water transport for mass transit like that of road and railways. However, it is blessed with the sea at its southern part which it uses for international trade. Pakistan conducts more than 80% of foreign trade through the sea.

Seaports of Pakistan

Seaports play an important role in international trade. The countries with seaports are always at a better economic edge than those without them. Pakistan having blessed with the sea at its south has three main ports i.e. Karachi Port, Bin Qasim Port, and Gwadar Port, used for international trade.

1. Karachi Port

Karachi Port is located in Kemari in Karachi to the west of the Indus Delta. This is the oldest Port of Pakistan and also called Kemari Port because of its location. This is a warm and deep-water seaport. Being a deep-water natural seaport ship of all kinds i.e. containers, general cargo, tankers can easily be anchored at the port.

Facilities at the Port

Following facilities are available at port to facilitate importers and exporters.

  1. The port authority has set up a number of wharves for a smooth landing, loading, and unloading purposes.
  2. It also has set up a separate terminal for the storage of liquid products with modern facilities.
  3. Moreover, in order to avoid the rush and ensure smooth traffic, the government has constructed which connection between different parts of the port.
  4. Similarly, the port has all modern navigational and radar facilities.
  5. The port also has modern technology to avoid pollution and ensure environmental destruction.
  6. Container terminals are also set up for handling cargo.

2. Bin Qasim Port

Gwadar port is one of the most important seaports of Pakistan. It is located to the East of Karachi at Gharo Creek. It is also a deep-water port started by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto but completed in 1980 when General Zia-ul-Haq was in power. The purpose of setting up this port was to lessen the burden on Karachi port.

Facilities at Bin Qasim Port

  • Bin Qasim has all modern technology and machinery for handling exports and imports. It is near Pakistan Steel Mills for which raw material i.e. iron ore, crude oil, etc. are handled mostly at Bin Qasim Port.
  • It is a multi-purpose port. Apart from handling raw material for Pakistan steel it also has an industrial zone and export processing zones.

3. Gwadar Port

Gwadar port is the new port developed with the financial help of China. Like that of Karachi and Bin Qasim Port, it is also a deep-water port with an allocated area of about 2500 acres. It is located on the Makran Coast to the west of Karachi Port along the Arabian Sea.

Being located at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Gwadar Port occupies a strategically important position. Moreover, Gwadar Port because of its role in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has brought Pakistan once again into the international limelight.

The major world powers try to have a strong footing in the region to establish their economic domination in the region. The United States of America (USA) and India look at the project as a threat to their economic and political interests in the regions and world.

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