Port zone: an economic zone in connection with a coastal settlement, where all the buildings and socio-economic activities are related directly or indirectly to the transportation of goods and passengers.
Typical services and industries of ports:
1. port services (storing incoming and outgoing goods in warehouses and their distribution);
2. port operation services (loading and unloading, packing, ship repair, customs, financial services, insurance, transportation, security, catering, information services);
3. port-based industries that process incoming bulk goods and goods from the mainland, for exportation (metallurgy, petrochemical industry, wood industry, textile industry, food industry);
4. industries related to maritime activities (e. g. shipbuilding).
Ports are the hubs of water transport; logistic, industrial and commercial centers. We can distinguish between freight and passenger transport, which require different port facilities and are also physically separated from each other.
Passengerports are located in the centers of large cities or in tourist areas. These ports have facilities like restaurants, hotels and banks, to serve passengers’ needs. The primary function of a commercialport is the loading and unloading of ships, and if necessary, the storage of goods . Larger ports today serve complex functions, such as customs clearance, classification of goods, administration, maintenance and repair of ships. A port needs good transport links, an internal railway system and loading machines. Freight can be loaded directly from the ship to the freight trains by cranes. The containers are stored in container terminals. Certain products must be stored under special conditions: wheat and grain in silos, and oil in special tanks.
Bulk products are stored and transported in loose bulk form. These include cereals, oily seeds, animal feed and sugar. The weight and quality of incoming bulk material is checked at ports.
Free ports are ports where the handling and storage of goods takes place without a customs inspection.