Port of Haifa

Friday, 15 July 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

Port of Haifa © flickr.com – Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

The Port of Haifa is the largest of Israel‘s three major international seaports, the others being the Port of Ashdod, and the Port of Eilat. It has a natural deep-water harbor, which operates all year long, and serves both passenger and merchant ships. It is one of the largest ports in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of freight volume and handles about 30 million tons of cargo per year (not including Israel Shipyards’ port). The port employs over 1,000 people, rising to 5,000 when cruise ships dock in Haifa. The Port of Haifa lies to the north of Haifa‘s downtown quarter on the Mediterranean, and stretches to some three kilometres along the city’s central shore with activities ranging from military, industrial and commercial next to a nowadays-smaller passenger cruising facility.

Haifa Bay has been a refuge for mariners since prehistoric times. When the Crusaders conquered Haifa in the year 1100, it became an important town and the main port for Tiberias, the capital of the Galilee. The port fell into disrepair during the Mamluk reign, and acquired the reputation of a pirate lair in the 18th century. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Acre served as the main port for the region. However, the port eventually became clogged with silt, and was unable to accommodate large ships. The first person to comprehend the tremendous possibilities of a port in Haifa was Theodor Herzl, the father of Political Zionism, who in 1902 wrote a prophetic description of the town in his book AltNeuland. Construction of the port began in 1922, and it was officially opened on 31 October 1933 by Lieut. Gen. Sir Arthur Wauchope, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The port allowed Haifa to blossom, and in 1936, the city had over 100,000 inhabitants. The port was a gateway for thousands of immigrants to Israel after the Second World War. With Israel’s western borders the Mediterranean and the eastern borders sealed by its Arab neighbors, Haifa served as a crucial gateway to the rest of the world, and helped Israel develop into an economic power. Today the port brings both passenger and cargo traffic to a bustling metropolis, much as Theodor Herzl predicted over a century ago. The port has been the scene of two fatal sinkings. The Patria disaster in 1940, triggered by a bomb attack by the terrorist organization Haganah, killed 267 people; the loss of Shelly in 2007 killed two.

Port of Haifa, the business district and Carmel mountain © Zvi Roger - Haifa Municipality/cc-by-3.0 Baha'i Garden, German Quarter and Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Bon Adrien/cc-by-2.0 Haifa and the port © flickr.com - bertconcepts/cc-by-2.0 Port of Haifa viewed from the sea © אור17 Port of Haifa from Mount Carmel © Юкатан/cc-by-sa-3.0 Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0
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Port of Haifa, the business district and Carmel mountain © Zvi Roger - Haifa Municipality/cc-by-3.0
The Port of Haifa contains many cargo terminals, and is capable of servicing many ships at once. A modern 17-lane truck gate facility can handle multiple cargo vehicles exiting the port simultaneously. A railroad freight terminal is located inside the port that in 2018 handled transporting about 221,000 containers to and from the port by rail, in addition to general cargo. The port also features a passenger terminal, fishing wharf, yacht club, sports marina, large grain silos, and a chemicals terminal. In 2018, the port processed nearly 30 million tons of cargo including 1.46 million TEUs, as well as 240,000 passengers. The port opened the first phase in the “Carmel Port” expansion program in 2010 that involved the construction of a new cargo terminal which includes a 700m long wharf capable of handling 15,500 TEU container ships with a maximum draft of 15.2m, as well as the opening of a secondary 250 metres (820 ft) wharf plus adjacent support and storage areas. The new facilities expand the port’s annual container handling capacity by 500,000 TEU. Construction of this new terminal cost NIS1.8 billion (appx. US$500 million) and took five years to complete. The Port maintains facilities for the United States Sixth Fleet.

Israel Shipyards, near the port, provides heavy ship repair facilities. The company also operates a private port on its premises which in 2017 handled approximately three million tons of cargo, consisting of mostly bulk and general cargo.

The port contains a modern passenger terminal serving cruise and ferry passengers. The terminal offers a waiting area, duty-free shop, souvenir shop, cafeteria, VAT reimbursement counter, currency exchange, free wireless internet, parking, as well as other services to travelers. The area near the terminal also offers excellent public transit connections for passengers. The Haifa Center Railway Station is adjacent to the terminal and is served by nearly 200 passenger trains 24 hours a day on weekdays to the Haifa region and beyond. Additional public transit connections are available by bus or taxi at the railway station or on Ha’Atsma’ut Road, the main thoroughfare in downtown Haifa which is located in front of the station. The Carmelit‘s Kikar Paris subway station is also within walking distance and allows convenient access to the top of Mount Carmel.

Read more on Port of Haifa, ArchDaily, 5 July 2013: New Haifa Waterfront Plan / Amir Mann–Ami Shinar Architects and Planners and Wikipedia Port of Haifa (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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