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. Port locations are selected to optimize access to land and navigable water, for commercial demand, and for shelter from wind and waves. Ports with deeper water are rarer, but can handle larger, more economical ships. Since ports throughout history handled every kind of traffic, support and storage facilities vary widely, may extend for miles, and dominate the local economy. Some ports have an important military role.
There are two discrete sections of the Swiss law that pertain to the use of the name Swiss made. The first law, which applies to all types of Swiss products, is the Loi sur la protection des marques (LPM). The LPM at Article 50 provided the authority for the enactment of the second law, Ordonnance du 23 décembre 1971 réglant l’utilisation du nom «Suisse» pour les montres, relating specifically Swiss watches. The text of either law is available in French, German or Italian, since those are the principal official languages of Switzerland.
Cargo ports, on the other hand, are quite different from cruise ports, because each handles very different cargo, which has to be loaded and unloaded by very different mechanical means. The port may handle one particular type of cargo or it may handle numerous cargoes, such as grains, liquid fuels, liquid chemicals, wood, automobiles, etc. Such ports are known as the “bulk” or “break bulk ports”. Those ports that handle containerized cargo are known as container ports. Most cargo ports handle all sorts of cargo, but some ports are very specific as to what cargo they handle. Additionally, the individual cargo ports are divided into different operating terminals which handle the different cargoes, and are operated by different companies, also known as terminal operators or stevedores.
Cruise home port
A cruise home port is the port where cruise-ship passengers board (or embark) to start their cruise and disembark the cruise ship at the end of their cruise. It is also where the cruise ship’s supplies are loaded for the cruise, which includes everything from fresh water and fuel to fruits, vegetable, champagne, and any other supplies needed for the cruise. “Cruise home ports” are a very busy place during the day the cruise ship is in port, because off-going passengers debark their baggage and on-coming passengers board the ship in addition to all the supplies being loaded. Currently, the Cruise Capital of the World is the Port of Miami, Florida, closely followed behind by Port Everglades, Florida and the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A port of call is an intermediate stop for a ship on its sailing itinerary, which may include up to half a dozen ports. At these ports, a cargo ship may take on supplies or fuel, as well as unloading and loading cargo. But for a cruise ship, it is their premier stop where the cruise lines take on passengers to enjoy their vacation.
A warm-water port is one where the water does not freeze in wintertime. Because they are available year-round, warm-water ports can be of great geopolitical or economic interest. Such settlements as Dalian in China, Vostochny Port, Murmansk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Russia, Odessa in Ukraine, Kushiro in Japan and Valdez at the terminus of the Alaska Pipeline owe their very existence to being ice-free ports. The Baltic Sea and similar areas have ports available year-round thanks to icebreakers beginning in the 20th century, but earlier access problems prompted Russia to expand its territory to the Black Sea.
- Bandar (Persian word for “port” or “haven”)
- Marina – port for recreational boating
- Port operator
- Ship transport
A marina may have refueling, washing and repair facilities, marine and boat chandlers, stores and restaurants. A marina may include ground facilities such as parking lots for vehicles and boat trailers. Slipways (or boat ramps) transfer a trailered boat into the water. A marina may have a boat hoist well (a traveling crane) operated by service personnel. A marina may provide in- or out-of-water boat storage.
Other types of ports
- Port of entry
Fee-based services such as parking, use of picnic areas, pubs, and clubhouses for showers are usually included in long-term rental agreements. Visiting yachtsmen usually have the option of buying each amenity from a fixed schedule of fees; arrangements can be as wide as a single use, such as a shower, or several weeks of temporary berthing. The right to use the facilities is frequently extended at overnight or period rates to visiting yachtsmen. Since marinas are often limited by available space, it may take years on a waiting list to get a permanent berth.
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