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Important Ports

Meira Feinman

Isn’t it nice to walk through your front door after a long day at school? You know you are home. Well, maybe that’s how big ships feel when they finish a long ocean journey and come “home” to their port. What is a port, exactly? What do ships do there? Let’s find out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  A harbor is a place where ships lay anchor and take a break. They can wait out stormy weather or be stored in the harbor for future use. Boats don’t load and unload at harbors, though; that happens in ports, which are usually located in harbors.

There are different types of ports: fishing ports, which are specifically used to find and ship fish; cargo ports, which usually load and unload large ships with many items on them; and cruise ports, which are the places people taking cruises get on and off, and where the ship itself stocks up for the journey. This article will focus mainly on cargo ports.

The Port Authority

Ports are somewhat like airports — as you might suspect, because airport has the word “port” in it! Lots of ships come in at once and need to be unloaded, like people coming off a plane, while others have already been loaded up with new cargo and are ready to go. It’s an extremely busy and bustling environment. All this traffic needs organized direction!

The port authority is in charge of making sure the port runs smoothly. Hundreds to thousands of people work for port authorities. They organize the port the way that air traffic control does at airports. They also help the ships observe all international laws, and manage everything from the overland roads leading to the port to the computer systems. They have a big job!


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