The second step in the journey of discovering the ports of our “PORTS” project leads us to Taranto, on the north coast of the Gulf of Taranto, a natural harbor embracing a wide sheltered bay, the Mar Grande, and a smaller inlet, the Mar Piccolo.
The commercial and industrial port infrastructures stretch along the northwest shore of Mar Grande, with the most recent facilities – the container terminal and Pier 5 – located just outside the western breakwater.
The port estate covers a total area of 3,250,000 square meters:
- 1,600,000 square meters are operational
- 1,150,000 square meters on concession
The quay has a combined length of 9,995 meters, of which:
- 3,410 linear meters are for common use
- 6,585 linear meters on concession
Year-round operations are possible at all berths thanks to the port’s natural protection and sea defense works, together with a negligible tidal range.
Traffic structure by main cargo categories can be summarized as follows:
- Containerized general cargo at Multipurpose Pier
- Dry bulk and steel products related to the steelmaking activities of Arcelor Mittal
- Liquid bulks (crude oil and refined products) related to ENI refinery activities
- Cement throughput related to the production activities of Cementir
- Breakbulk handled at common user commercial berths.
The Mar Grande is a wide bay allowing easy approach and maneuver. It is bounded by two breakwaters which reinforce the natural protection offered by promontories and islets. The main harbor entrance is 1,400 meters wide. An access channel with 25 meters depth leads from the middle of Mar Grande to the berths of Pier 4. Ships are piloted along specific routes to their moorings. Three offshore breakwaters protect the complex of piers. The Pier 5 and the Multipurpose Pier, which lie outside Mar Grande, are protected by a large offshore breakwater.