Karachi Port is a deep natural port with an 11.5 km-long navigable channel and a 12.2 meter-deep approach channel.  It provides round the clock safe navigation to tankers, modern container vessels, bulk carriers, and general cargo ships upto 75,000 DWT.  The port has 30 dry cargo and 3 liquid cargo handling berths including a privately operated modern container terminal – the Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT).  The port is handling about 26 million tons of cargo per annum which includes 14 million tons of liquid and 12 million tons of dry cargo and 650,000 TEUs.  Presently about 1600 ships are visiting Karachi Port annually and the berth occupancy is about 45%, which shows that there is enough capacity in the port to handle more cargo.

The port channel and fairways are maintained by port’s own dredging flotilla.  The port provides shipside and dock facilities for handling heavy lifts, containers-bulk, break bulk, and liquid cargo by means of requisite quay and heavy lift cranes, floating cranes, and shore-based equipment.  The port sea for cargo transit is 100 hectares and an additional area of 60 hectares is available in the close proximity of the port, which may be developed for port related commercial activities.  The port is adequately backed up with nationwide rail and road services for swift cargo transportation.

Karachi Port has a 11.5 km long, 12.2 m deep channel. It has 30 dry cargo berths, 13 berths on West Wharves, 17 berths on East Wharves and 3 liquid cargo berths for POL & Non-POL products. This makes a grand total of 33 berths. The port has two container terminals namely, Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) and Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT), both have been established by the private sector on BOT basis. The port provides round the clock safe navigation for all vessels including modern container ships and tankers up to 75,000 DWT. The port facilities are very well backed up with goods transit and storage areas, with rail and road services for handling, storage and clearance of cargo.

Presently 4748 workers and 315 officers are employed in KPT. Since the independence of Pakistan, growth of cargo at the Karachi Port has been steadily increasing from 2.5 million tons per annum to the present volume of 38.73 million tons per annum. The total volume breaks down to 26.96 million tons is dry cargo and 11.77 million tons of liquid cargo. It includes 1.25 million TEUs handled by container terminals. Total number of ships visited port during financial year 2008-09 were 2,386. The growth in trade is being handled without any queuing of ships or waiting at anchorage. The three oil piers of the port are capable of handling 24 million tons per annum at maximum. Karachi Port broke its own record by handling 70,379 tons of liquid bulk cargo in one day.

The total export cargo handled last year closed at 13.364 million tons which reflects a growth of 14.47% made by Karachi Port when compared with cargo handled during preceding year. Export of bulk cargo through Karachi Port was recorded to be 5.471 million tons, which is a massive increase of 28.94%, as compared to the previous year. This is yet another achievement of Karachi Port Trust.  Bulk cargo export of cement gained momentum at Karachi Port and increased by 70.29%.


Facilitation of trade at the Karachi Port can be broadly categorized as follows:
    a.    Ship handling
    b.    Discharging / Loading of cargo
    c.    Storage of cargo
    d.    Clearance of cargo
    e.    Security / Safety





Number of Berths:

At present the Karachi Port has 30 dry berths and three liquid berths.  Apart from this, there are six berths dedicated for country crafts. The average berth occupancy range is between 45-55%. The waiting time outside is almost zero.  However, for seasonal cargo bunching of ships does take place. Nevertheless, all efforts are made to accommodate as many ships as possible without disturbing the timings of linear schedule vessels. The berth average occupancy at the oil piers is 50% and waiting period is zero except for tide constraints for vessel greater than 12 drafts.

At present all equipments for cargo discharging and loading is being provided by the Stevedores.  The present average cargo handling rates per 24 hours are at par with regional ports.  Some examples are as under:





Iron and Steel






Iron Scrap


General Cargo




The two container terminals are capable of handling up to Post Panamax ships with six Gantry Cranes. The average time for handling a ship up to 3000 TEUs is 20 hours.

The Karachi Port Trust maintains two floating cranes and one heavy lift quay crane capable of lifting up to 100 tons and 40 tons respectively.   The Karachi Port also maintains four barges (3 general cargo and 1 dangerous goods cargo) for over side discharging to facilitate inter wharves movement.

Presently the port open cargo storage area is about 450,824 sq. meters of plinth and covered cargo storage area is about 101,403 sq. meters. The 100,000 sq. meter coal yard has recently been established and new area is also been added as per requirement. The similar area has also been developed for handling of shredded scarp.

The 329,753 sq. meters is also available at the Thule Produce Yard (TPX) to facilitate the export cargo handling as well as empty containers.