Currently, Pakistan has two main operating international deep-sea ports: Karachi Port and Port Qasim. During the coming years, their capacity expansion programs are unlikely to keep pace with the expected growth in demand, resulting in a need for a third port to fill the gap.
In particular, Karachi Port has significant physical limitations and will not be able to grow at the same speed as the national growth in demand over the coming decades. These limitations result mainly from its location, which is within the city of Karachi itself, which has seen very rapid growth over the past years.
In the case of Port Qasim, although having a large physical space for expansion, its possible speed of development is hampered by its up-stream location, which is more than 40 km from the open sea, resulting in long turnaround times for visiting ships. This is not a problem for cargoes that are linked to industries located near the port, but it carries cost-disadvantages for cargoes that have origins and destinations elsewhere.
Against this background, it was deemed timely to construct and inaugurate a third deep-sea port for Pakistan so as to ensure that national development is not hampered by a lack of national port capacity in the future. Given the expected rapid growth in demand for port capacity, it is likewise important to continue expanding the capacity of Gwadar port over the coming decades.
Gwadar is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the western province of Balochistan. It is about 533 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Straits of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf.
Gwadar district covers a coastal zone. Main towns within this zone are Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani (near the border with Iran)
Estimated population in 2004: 215,000 (Gwadar district)
Land distances from Gwadar