The port of Gioia Tauro is Italy’s largest container and car transhipment hub. The port is located between the municipalities of Gioia Tauro and S. Ferdinando. The 1960s project designed it as an industrial port that had to serve the Fifth Steelwork Centre that was never built. Construction works started in the first half of the 1970s and stopped at the beginning of the 1980s following the steel industry recession in Italy. The port was repurposed to a multi-purpose port. The maritime works were completed in 1992. In 1993 the Italian Ministry of Transport endorsed the project presented by the Countship Group for the construction of a large container terminal in the port, mainly designed for transhipment dedicated to unitized traffic and commuter routes among continental shores. The port went into operation in 1995 and developed at a high rate, becoming in a very short time the leading transhipment hub in the Mediterranean Sea. The total number of TEUs handled rapidly increased from 16.034 in 1995 to more than half a million in 1996, to 1.448.531 in 1997, and it exceeded two-millions in 1998 .
The port of Gioia Tauro was classified and later established by the Port Authority on the basis of total traffic volumes required by the law (number of handled containers higher than 200.000 TEUs). The main strong point is its barycentric position with respect to the intercontinental routes crossing the Mediterranean basin from one side to the other, from Suez to Gibraltar. Other strategic elements are: adequate infrastructures and very good physical characteristics (natural depth of sea water, linear quays, large container yards near the docks) that have enabled the port to harbor trans-ocean ships transiting the Mediterranean Sea and connect it to more than 50 Mediterranean ports through a dense feeder network. Moreover, its continental location directly connects the port to the European road network.
The port is located north of the city and develops inland to the town of San Ferdinando. The entrance of the port is protected by two converging breakwaters: the northern breakwater is 1100 m long, the southern breakwater is 350m long. The port consists of a south expansion basin, a service dock area, a channel and a north evolution basin. It has a channel configuration; the entrance of the channel is 200m wide and widens into an evolution basin that has a width of 750m. The port channel develops northwards for 3 km; its minimum width is 200 m, while the initial stretch is 250 m wide. A second evolution channel with a diameter of 500 m is located north of the channel. The port has wide docks overlooking high depths up to -18m. The total surface area of port yards is 1.800.000 mq. A small dock is located south and it is reserved to port service vessels and fishing and pleasure boats, with 243m long docks. The port area can be accessed from the highway A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria (connected to the port through a by-pass joint) and the state road SS18. Moreover, the port is connected to the national railway network through the Gioia Tauro-Rosarno single-truck electrified railway. Actually, the railway is a twin track, though only one track is working, because the final stretch of the line leading to Rossano train station has not yet been built.
Access: vessels entering and leaving the port should navigate inside the sea water area bound by the lines joining the following points:(A) Lat. 38°26'42"N Long. 015°53'30"E (red ligt at the entrance of the port)- (B) Lat. 38°28'04"N Long. 015°51'48"E - (C) Lat. 38°26'30"N Long. 015°50'56"E - (D) Lat. 38°26'30"N Long. 015°53'24"E (green light at the entrance of the port); no craft is allowed to stop, anchor and fish in the area, and any other maritime activity that might hamper navigation is banned as well.
Bans: no craft is allowed to stop, anchor and fish, and any other maritime activity that might hamper navigation is banned in the area facing the entrance.
Services and facilities: Fuel dock with diesel (excise duty excluded) (h. 24); tanker refueling (by authorization of the Maritime Authority – lighted piers - slipway (only in summer) – 5-50t mobile crane – motor repair – electric and electronic repair – wooden, fiberglass and steel hull repair – sail repair – security service - pilotage service - mooring crew - scuba divers - fire protection system – waste disposal - weather forecast (Port Authority) – food market - car parking - telephone.
Open 24 hours a day
Sandy sea bed
Depth: 4-6 m at the service dock; 12,5-18 m in the port
Radio channels: Vhs channel 16 (h 24) - Vhs radio channel 12 (pilots h 24)
Number of berths: 20, 1 of which for temporary berthing
Maximum length: 20 m in service dock
Spring wind from the south, summer wind from the north-east, autumn wind from the west, winter wind from the south-west
Transverse winds from the west