Center for Army Lessons Learned - Thesaurus
CALL title banner


Definition/Scope: A port is a facility for receiving ships and transferring cargo. They are usually found at the edge of an ocean, sea, river, or lake. Ports often have cargo-handling equipment such as cranes (operated by longshoremen) and forklifts for use in loading/unloading of ships, which may be provided by private interests or public bodies. Often, canneries or other processing facilities will be located near by. Harbour pilots and tugboats are often used to maneuver large ships in tight quarters as they approach and leave the docks. Ports which handle international traffic have customs facilities. The terms "port" and "seaport" are used for ports that handle ocean-going vessels, and "river port" is used for river traffic, such as barges and other shallow draft vessels. Some ports on a lake, river, or canal have access to a sea or ocean, and are sometimes called "inland ports". A "fishing port" is a type of port or harbor facility particularly suitable for landing and distributing fish. A "dry port" is a term sometimes used to describe a yard used to place containers or conventional bulk cargo, usually connected to a seaport by rail or road. A "warm water port" is a port where the water does not freeze in winter. Because they are available year-round, warm water ports can be of great geopolitical or economic interest, with the ports of Saint Petersburg and Valdez being notable examples. A "port of call" is an intermediate stop, for example to collect supplies or fuel.

Broader Terms:

Aden (Yemen)
Cargo Movement Operations System

Related Terms:

Seaport of Debarkation
Seaport of Embarkation

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008