Welcome to the Port of Kaohsiung, which is Taiwan’s biggest harbor and a key hub for trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Port of Kaohsiung is in the southern part of Taiwan, right next to Kaohsiung City. It handles a lot of different types of goods, such as containers, breakbulk, dry bulk, chemicals, petroleum products, and liquefied gas. The port is very important for foreign trade and Taiwan’s economic growth because it is in a great spot and has modern facilities.

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History of Port of Kaohsiung


The history of the Port of Kaohsiung dates back to ancient times when it was a natural lagoon. Over the centuries, the port underwent significant development and transformation. In the 16th century, Dutch colonists arrived in the area and began developing the lagoon, which was then known as “Takau.” During the Qing Dynasty, the port was officially opened to Western traders in 1864. However, it was not until the Japanese era in the early 20th century that the port underwent extensive modernization and expansion. The Japanese government undertook large-scale projects to transform the port into a modern harbor, with the construction of new wharves and facilities. The port played a crucial role during World War II but was heavily bombed by the Allies. After the war, reconstruction efforts were initiated, and the port resumed its growth trajectory.

Infrastructure and Facilities

The Port of Kaohsiung boasts a comprehensive range of infrastructure and facilities to support efficient and seamless operations. With a total of 116 wharves and a combined length of 25.8 kilometers, the port offers ample berthing space for vessels of various sizes and types. These wharves are equipped to handle different types of cargo, including general merchandise, containers, dry bulk, and liquid bulk. The port also features 22 sets of buoys, strategically located within the harbor, to accommodate vessels weighing up to 300,000 tons. Additionally, the port is supported by a network of warehouses, sheds, and storage yards with a total capacity of over one million tons.

Cargo Handling Capabilities

As one of the busiest ports in the world, the Port of Kaohsiung has impressive cargo handling capabilities. It can handle approximately 18.9 million tons of cargo annually, including 9.77 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers. The main containerized imports comprise base metals, metal products, vegetable products, chemicals, and pulp and paper. On the export side, the port handles plastics, rubber, machinery, textiles, and base metals. The port’s container terminals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including gantry cranes, reach stackers, and automated stacking systems, ensuring efficient and secure handling of containers.

International Trade and Economic Significance


The Port of Kaohsiung plays a pivotal role in Taiwan’s international trade and economic development. It serves as a vital gateway for imports and exports, connecting Taiwan to major trading partners across the globe. The port’s strategic location on the southwest coast of Taiwan provides convenient access to major shipping routes, making it an attractive choice for international shipping companies. Its extensive network of shipping routes spans five continents, facilitating trade between Asia, Europe, and America. The port handles a diverse range of commodities, including manufactured goods, raw materials, and energy products, contributing significantly to Taiwan’s economic growth and competitiveness in the global market.

Environmental Initiatives and Sustainability

The Port of Kaohsiung is committed to environmental sustainability and has implemented various initiatives to minimize its ecological footprint. The port has adopted eco-friendly practices to reduce air and water pollution, promote energy efficiency, and protect marine ecosystems. It has invested in advanced technologies and infrastructure to ensure responsible waste management and pollution control. The port also actively supports green transportation and encourages the use of low-emission vehicles and alternative fuels. Furthermore, the port collaborates with stakeholders to raise awareness about environmental conservation and sustainable practices within the maritime industry.

Cruise and Passenger Services

The Port of Kaohsiung does more than just handle goods. It also serves cruise ships and people. Because more people want to go on cruises, the port has added more facilities for serving passengers. A new mobile and adjustable passenger bridge has been introduced to facilitate passenger embarkation and disembarkation from large cruise ships. The port has also developed an air-conditioned, enclosed corridor linking the cruise ship wharf to the International Travel Center, enhancing the overall passenger experience. The port’s efforts to promote cruise tourism have resulted in a steady increase in the number of cruise passengers visiting Kaohsiung each year.

Port Expansion and Future Developments

To meet the evolving demands of international trade and accommodate larger vessels, the Port of Kaohsiung has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan. The port has completed the construction of new facilities to enhance both container and passenger throughput. The expansion includes the addition of new berths, the development of intermodal transportation infrastructure, and the improvement of port access and connectivity. These developments will further strengthen the port’s position as a major maritime hub and contribute to the economic development of the region.

Port Regulations and Safety Measures

The Port of Kaohsiung operates under stringent regulations and safety measures to ensure the smooth and secure flow of maritime activities. The ISPS is one of the international rules and standards that the port follows. It maintains a robust port security system, which includes regular inspections, surveillance, and access control measures. Additionally, the port has established comprehensive safety protocols to mitigate risks and respond effectively to emergencies. These regulations and safety measures contribute to the port’s reputation as a reliable and secure trading hub.

Port Security and Customs Clearance


Port security and customs clearance are of utmost importance at the Port of Kaohsiung. The port has dedicated customs facilities and personnel to facilitate the efficient clearance of goods and ensure compliance with customs regulations. Stringent security checks, including container scanning and document verification, are conducted to prevent smuggling and unauthorized activities. The port also collaborates with relevant agencies and stakeholders to enhance security measures and promote seamless trade facilitation.

The Port of Kaohsiung serves as a crucial gateway for Taiwan’s maritime trade, connecting the island nation to the global economy. With its state-of-the-art infrastructure, extensive cargo handling capabilities, and commitment to environmental sustainability, the port continues to thrive as a major hub for international shipping. Because the port is growing and getting ready for new projects, it will play an even bigger part in Taiwan’s economic growth and making the country stronger in the global trade network. Whether it is facilitating trade, supporting cruise tourism, or ensuring port security, the Port of Kaohsiung remains a symbol of Taiwan’s maritime prowess and commitment to excellence in the shipping industry.

Related FAQs

The Port of Kaohsiung handled approximately 10.27 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) worth of cargo in 2017.

The Port of Kaohsiung handles a wide range of cargo, including containers, breakbulk, dry bulk, chemicals, petroleum products, and liquefied gas.

The port has a rich history dating back to ancient times when it was a natural lagoon. It underwent significant development during the Dutch and Japanese eras and played a crucial role in Taiwan’s trade and economic growth.

The port has implemented eco-friendly practices to reduce pollution, invest in advanced technologies for waste management, and encourage the use of green transportation options.

The port is undergoing an expansion plan to accommodate larger vessels and enhance both container and passenger throughput. This includes the construction of new berths, intermodal transportation infrastructure, and improved port access and connectivity.

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