Port of Cape Town
The Port of Cape Town is the port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 of the city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 of Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. It is situated in Table Bay
Table Bay
Table Bay is a natural bay on the Atlantic Ocean overlooked by Cape Town and is at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula, which stretches south to the Cape of Good Hope. It was named because it is dominated by the flat-topped Table Mountain.Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to explore this...


Because of its position along one of the world's busiest trade routes it is one of the busiest ports in South Africa, handling the largest amount of fresh fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 and second only to Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 as a container port. The port also has significant repair and maintenance facilities that are used by several large fishing fleet
Fishing fleet
A fishing fleet is an aggregate of commercial fishing vessels. The term may be used of all vessels operating out of a particular port, all vessels engaged in a particular type of fishing , or all fishing vessels of a country or region.Although fishing vessels are not formally organized as if they...

s and parts of the West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

n oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 industry. Because of the many tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s offered by Cape Town and its surrounding region, many cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

s also berth in the port.


The history of the port follows that of Cape Town, which traces its roots back to 6 April 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town.-Biography:...

 of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 (VOC) established a revictualing station there. Earlier explorers had called at Table Bay from the late 15th century onwards.

Main areas

The port evolved greatly over the centuries and currently consists of several main components:
  • The Ben Schoeman Dock
    Dock (maritime)
    A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

    : This is the larger outer dock of the port, where the container terminal is situated.
  • The Duncan Dock: This is the smaller and the older inner dock, containing the multi-purpose and fruit terminals as well as a dry dock, repair quay and tanker basin.
  • The yachting
    Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

    A marina is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats.A marina differs from a port in that a marina does not handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters....

  • The Victoria and Alfred Basins: These were the main piers of the original Cape Town harbour, but now house the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
    Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
    The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in the historic heart of Cape Town's working harbour is South Africa's most-visited destination, having the highest rate of foreign tourists of any attraction in the country...

    . However, these basins are still used by smaller commercial vessels such as fishing and pleasure boats and also by smaller passenger cruise ships.

Port operations

The port is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All vessels berthing in the port require a pilot on board. Transfer is by pilot boat
Pilot boat
A Pilot Boat is a type of boat used to transport pilots between land and the inbound or outbound ships that they are piloting.-History:The origins of the word pilot probably disseminates from the Latin word pilota, a variation of pedota, the plural of pēdón which translates as oar...

 but plans have been made to introduce a helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 transfer service.

Several tug
Tuğ is a village in the Khojavend Rayon of Azerbaijan....

s, launches, workboats and other specialised vessels are operated by the port.

During the 2005/06 financial year, the Port of Cape Town handled 3,400 vessels for a gross tonnage of 48,778,963-gt. Total cargo handled at the port (excluding containers) was 3,718,005 tonnes; container tonnage is estimated at 9.948 million tonnes.

In 2010, the port handled 719,825 TEU.

External links

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