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Dominican Republic Sea Ports

Dominican Republic Map Because they are shallow and subject to wide seasonal changes in flow, most of the Dominican Republics rivers are not used for transportation. The mouths of several rivers are used as harbors, but the rivers themselves are navigable only by small craft for short distances.

The Rio Ozama is navigable for approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles), from its mouth at the Port of Santo Domingo to its junction with the Rio Isabela. From this point, the Rio Isabela is navigable west approximately 2 kilometers (1 mile) to the highway bridge and a cement plant, which has a private dock. Depths along the channel range from 7 meters (23 feet) to as few as 3 meters (10 feet) and are affected by variations in seasonal flow.

The Dominican Republic operates as many as 15 seaports; 9 are engaged in international commerce, while 6 are limited to internal trade. The four major seaports include Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, and Barahona.

Haina port is located at the mouth of the Haina River, 16 kilometers from Santo Domingo on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. The port of Haina was formerly an expansion of Santo Domingo; however, new container equipment has made Haina one of the most modern ports in the Caribbean. Haina port has replaced Santo Domingo and Boca Chica as Dominican Republics central shipping facility. Haina Port has berthing facilities for break-bulk, bulk, liquid, roll-on/ roll-off (RO/RO) cargo, and containers. Up to 85 percent of the islands import traffic is handled through Santo Domingo and Haina. Export at Haina includes sugar, molasses, grain, fuel oil, and general cargo.

Puerto Plata is a small, open, roadstead port. It is the principal port on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. This port serves an agricultural area and is a transshipment center for tobacco, coffee, sugarcane, and rum; it also serves the tourist trade. Puerto Plata is accessible from the northeast between Punta Fortaleza on the west and Punta Cafemba on the east. Harbor entry may be difficult between October and May, when high swells from the north/northeast are frequent. Deepwater anchorage is available outside the port. Puerto Plata links to Cibao Valley via a two-lane, bituminous coal highway that extends southwesterly 44 kilometers (27 miles) to National Route 1.

Santo Domingo, a natural river port, lies at the mouth of the Rio Ozama. Situated on both banks of the river, the port of Santo Domingo serves as a transshipment point for sugar, coffee, and tropical fruit export. Berths for the discharge of break-bulk, dry and liquid bulk cargo, and containers are available at the port. A cruise ship quay contributes to port traffic. Santo Domingo Port can accommodate vessels up to break-bulk class E, container class C-F, RO/RO class R-D, bulk class BC-D, and naval class N-D. No fixed heavy lift cranes are available at the port, and vessels must use ships gear during cargo handling operations. Anchorage is available approximately 1 kilometer west-southwest of Santo Domingo at depths of 9 meters. Pilotage is compulsory. The commander of the port and collector of customs have authority over port operations.

Barahona Port is a natural coastal port, on the southwest shore of the Bahia de Neiba. Berths at the port are suited principally for the export of dry bulk cargo, but break-bulk cargo is also accommodated. No fixed, heavy-lift cranes are available at the port for breakbulk, and ship gear must be used for cargo discharge.

Anchorage is available in good holding grounds, just outside of the port entrance, at depths of 12.8 to 14.6 meters (42 to 48 feet). Barahona Port is both road- and rail-served. The rail line extends inland to the mining area or sugar fields and is not used for port clearance. Clearance of the port occurs by way of a one- to two-lane bituminous coal highway south to the Haitian border. Pilotage is compulsory. The commander of the port and collector of customs have authority over port operations.





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