Russian Megafactories: The Black Sea's largest ice-free port

More than 4,500 ships pass through the Novorossiysk Port annually.

More than 4,500 ships pass through the Novorossiysk Port annually.

Slava Stepanov / GELIO
The Novorossiysk Port is the busiest in Russia and fifth-busiest in Europe in terms of volume of freight passing through, the port was founded in 1845.

The Novorossiysk Port is the busiest in Russia and fifth-busiest in Europe in terms of volume of freight passing through. The port is located in the ice-free Novorossiysk Bay (also known as Tsemes Bay) on the north eastern coast of the Black Sea. The port was founded in 1845.
The port covers an area of 238 hectares (588 acres).
141 million tons of freight passed through the port in 2013.
Ships with general types of freight come here most often.The geographical range of the flags flown here is widespread, ranging from Togo, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone to Tuvalu and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Ships flying Turkish and Maltese flags are the port's most frequent visitors.
Fewer container ships travel to the port, although their numbers have grown in recent years.
Large ocean-liner container ships pull up to the piers. In 2013, for example, the pier received a 286-meter long Maersk container ship with a deadweight of 58,341 tons.
The port never stops working.  During weather warnings, loading, unloading, and mooring operations are performed taking both weather conditions and safety requirements into account.
Oil from drilling fields in Western Siberia, the Volga region, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan are transported through the Sheskharis terminal's piers. The oil unloaded here is destined for ports in Italy, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Spain, and Bulgaria.
25,300 tankers were unloaded at the Sheskharis terminal alone. That's more than 1.2 billion tons of oil.
The oil docks are up to 14.5 meters deep. The average rate at which oil is pumped reaches 10,000 tons/hour. At this rate, it takes 14-15 hours to load 140,000-145,000 tons of oil on the largest tankers.
In addition to oil, the terminal's piers also unload mazut (fuel oil), diesel fuel, and various other dry cargo.
More than 6,000 people work at the Novorossiysk Port.
Shown here is a roadstead, the place where ships anchor on the way to the port while they wait for their turn to enter. Ships' waiting times vary between several hours and several days. The time depends on how busy the piers are or whether storm warnings are in place.
More than 4,500 ships pass through the Novorossiysk Port annually.

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