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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Port Of Karachi, Pakistan

The Port of Karachi is the capital of Pakistan's Sindh Province. It is the largest city and main seaport of the country. Located about 50 kilometers west of the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim and some 380 kilometers northwest of India's Port of Kandla. The Port of Karachi is also an important industrial and commercial center in Pakistan. In 2005, some 11.6 million people lived in the urban area of the Port of Karachi.

Karachi is Pakistan's financial and commercial capital as well, and the Port of Karachi accounts for most of the Pakistan's revenues. Some 50 banks and insurance companies are headquartered in the Port of Karachi. One of the busiest ports east of the Suez Canal, the Port of Karachi handles all of Pakistan's and Afghanistan's sea-borne trade.

The major products manufactured in the Port of Karachi are textiles and footwear, and other manufactured goods include metal products, paper, food and beverages, machinery, wood and furniture, chemicals, leather, petroleum, rubber, and electrical goods. Cottage industries in the Port of Karachi produce hand loomed cloth, carpets, lace, brass goods, pottery, and silver and gold embroidery. The Port of Karachi is linked to the interior by the Karachi-Peshawar highway and to coastal cities by the Karachi-Ormara highway. Pakistan's railway system, which terminates in the Port of Karachi, transports goods between the city and the interior, and there are many passenger trains for commuter traffic.

When the capital of British India was moved to Delhi in 1911, the Port of Karachi became more important as a gateway to India. During World War I, the Port of Karachi important as the first Indian port for ships traveling the Suez Canal and the gateway to both Afghanistan and the Russian Empire.

By 1914, the Port of Karachi's Napier Mole Boat Wharf and the East Wharves were finished. Between 1927 and 1944, the Port of Karachi gained many new facilities that included the West Wharves, lighterage berths, and ship-repair berths. Unfortunately, most of these facilities were outdated by 1947.

The Port of Karachi again served as an important military base during World War II, as it was a supply point for supplies to the Russian front. When the country of Pakistan was formed in 1947, most of the Port of Karachi's Hindu population was drive out of the country to India.

By that time, the Port of Karachi was a modern cosmopolitan city with beautiful architecture and many modern conveniences. The Port of Karachi was chosen to be the capital of Pakistan. Many new residents arrived as Muslims left India, bringing a population boom and a dramatic change in the city's culture and economy.

In 1958, the country's capital was moved to Rawalpindi and then to Islamabad in 1960. The move began a period of decline for the Port of Karachi in which little new development occurred. In the 1970s, labor struggles erupted in the Port of Karachi's industrial areas. Refugees from the Afghan War poured into the Port of Karachi in the 1980s and 1990s, and they were followed by refugees from Iran. Political tensions between native groups and the immigrants exploded in racial and political violence.

It is said that the years of 1992 through 1994 were the bloodiest time in the Port of Karachi's history. The Army conducted "Operation Clean-up" against the Mohajir Quami Movement that largely represented the 1947 immigrants.
Today, most of the older tensions have faded. The Port of Karachi retains its position as an important industrial and financial center in Pakistan, and it handles most of the country's overseas trade.

The Port of Karachi is one of the world's fastest-growing cities, and it faces the challenges of rapid growth: traffic, pollution, street crime, and poverty. These problems plague the Port of Karachi with a reputation for being a not-very-livable city. Traffic and air pollution are major problems facing the city, and the city has created new parks and planted trees in hopes of reducing pollution and improving the environment.

The Karachi Port Trust is the port authority for the Port of Karachi. It is administered by a Board of Trustees representing the public and private sectors. The Chairman of the Board, who is also the Chief Executive Officer for the Trust, is appointed by the Federal Government. The Karachi Port Trust is a federal government agency responsible for overseeing the Port of Karachi operations. The Trust was established by law in 1886.

The Port of Karachi boasts a natural deep-water harbor with an 11-kilometer approach channel that can accommodate up to 75 thousand DWT vessels. Two wharves are the main areas of activity for the port. The East Wharf has 17 berths, and the West Wharf has 13 berths. The maximum alongside depth of the berths is 11.3 meters.

Each Port of Karachi wharf has a container terminal. A nearby competitor, the privately-operated Al-Hamd International Container Terminal opened in 2001. The terminal is located next to the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate.

At West Wharf Berths 28-30, the Port of Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) opened in 1996. It has capacity to handle 300 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo per year and can accommodate container vessels with maximum draft of 11 meters. The quay is 600 meters long and has two berths. The KICT was the Port of Karachi's first container terminal, and it is Pakistan's leading container terminal operator. A subsidiary of the Hutchison Port Holdings Group, the KICT meets high service standards and carefully follows best practices that improve services to Port of Karachi customers.

The Port of Karachi's Pakistan Container Terminal (PICT) is located at East Wharf Berths 6-9, and it can handle 350 thousand TEUs per year. The 600 meter long quay can accommodate two container ships with maximum draft of 11.5 meters.

The Port of Karachi also contains oil piers for handing liquid cargoes, two jetties for repairing ships, a shipyard, and an engineering facility. The shipyard site covers 29 hectares at the West Wharf and is engaged in building and repairing both military and commercial vessels. Its facilities include a large hall and three berths for shipbuilding, two dry docks, and three foundries.

The Port of Karachi Fishing Harbour is next to the West Wharf, and it is administered separately from the port. A fleet of several thousand fishing vessels operates from the fishing harbor. The fishing harbor has recently been upgraded, and a second fishing harbor was constructed at Korangi about 18 kilometers to the east.

The modern Port of Karachi is experiencing severe congestion in the flow of cargo to and from the port. Attempting to alleviate the congestion, the Pakistan government constructed a second port in the city about 30 kilometers to the east at Port Qasim and a third port about 650 kilometers west at Gwadar. Some naval vessels have been transferred to the new base at Ormara near Gwadar, further reducing congestion.

The Port of Karachi is undertaking several projects to improve the port and enhance its facilities. The approach channel to the Port of Karachi is being dredged to accommodate vessels with 12 meters draft at all tides. At the outer tip of the harbor at Kiamari Groyne, dredging to 16.5 meters will allow 300 meter long vessels to dock.

Other projects underway by the Port of Karachi include improvements to the two container terminals. The KICT will have two new berths with alongside depth of 14 meters and an additional stacking area of 100 thousand square meters, increasing handling capacity from 300 to 400 TEUs per year.

A new bulk cargo terminal will be added at the Port of Karachi's East Wharf, and the oldest oil pier will be reconstructed to accommodate 90 thousand DWT vessels. A new 40-hectare cargo village will be added for containers and general and bulk cargoes. The Port of Karachi's 100-year old NMB Wharf will be reconstructed to accommodate passenger vessels. Furthermore, a new 200-hectare Port Town will be constructed at Hawkes Bay with 13 thousand homes for port workers. The Port of Karachi will also purchase a new dredger, two harbor tugs, two hopper barges, two water barges, two pilot boats, an anchor hoist vessel, and a dredger tender.

Other Port of Karachi improvements will include a new desalination plant to help alleviate the city's water shortage. A new 150-meter tall Port Tower will be added to provide commercial and recreational space, including a revolving restaurant. A new Port Club will be added at Chinna Creek next to the Port of Karachi's East Wharf.

In late 2007, the Karachi Port Trust entered into an agreement with Hutchison Port Holdings to build a new "Pakistan Deep Water Container Port" to open in 2010. The new port will have ten berths that can accommodate super-post-Panamax container vessels.

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