ADEN - YEMEN 12th Port of Call - SUNSHINE ROUTE
Aden - an ancient trading centre
Map showing Aden
The City of Aden draws its vitality from the Port of Aden. The story of Aden as a trading centre stretches back over 3000 years. Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta visited it in the 11th and 12th Centuries. In the 1800's, Aden grew as ship fuelling port, holding stocks of coal and water supplies for the early steamers. Port services expanded after the Suez Canal opened in 1869 as Aden grew to become one of the busiest ship bunkering and tax-free-shopping and trading ports in the world by the 1950's. Barges took cargo between ships berthed in the Inner Harbour and the wharves. Coastal vessels and dhows carried cargoes to and from regional ports.
In the 1970's, with the Suez Canal closed until 1975, Aden declined under intense competition from new ports in the region and changes in the patterns of trade. New quays were urgently needed at Aden to serve modern cargo demands. These were built at the end of the 1980's at the "Ma'alla Terminal". After over 150 years of commercial activity, Aden finally had the capacity and equipment to handle all types of dry cargo at deep alongside berths served by modern container cranes.
Aden is recognized as a national resource with great potential, described as "Yemen's Gateway to the World". To handle the world's largest container vessels, the Aden Container Terminal (ACT) at the North Shore of Aden's Inner Harbour was designed and built. This facility was commissioned in March 1999 and provides the port with world-class container handling facilities.
The container yard covers a total area of 35 hectares, and has 2500 x 20 foot ground slots with a storage capacity of 10,000 TEU (four high). Eight 40 tones Fels Cranes RTG's (1999), 4+1 high, 6+1 wide, and 2 reach stackers handle containers in the yard. 22 tractor units and 45 trailers move containers from the quay to the yard.
Lat 12° 47’N Long 044° 58’E Time Zone GMT +3
Aden and Little Aden peninsulas are very prominent, with the harbour
between them. Approaching
from the W, pass 1 nm south of Little Aden Peninsula and then to the
entrance to the dredged channel at 12° 44.5’ N, 044° 57’ E
marked by the No. 1 buoys (QR and QG).
At night, with Elephant’s Back light (red and white sectored)
on a bearing of not greater than 061° (white sector) a ship will
clear the Little Aden Peninsula on a course to bring her close to the
from the E, pass 1 nm south of the Aden Peninsula and then to the
At night, pass 1.5 nm S of Ra’s Marshaq light and then steer
W to the entrance to the channel.
From the No. 1 buoys, the two harbours are approached by a
dredged channel 16.0 m in depth, width 220 m.
From the bifurcation point, the channel to Little Aden oil
harbour has a depth of 14.7 m, width 220 m, length 2.3 nm, marked by
pairs of buoys. Vessels should proceed mid-way between these buoys,
and immediately after passing No. 2 buoys, turn to head 300° on the
leading marks for the centre of the channel to pass north of the oil
From the No. 1 buoys, the two harbours are approached by a dredged channel 16.0 m in depth, width 220 m. From the bifurcation point, the channel to Little Aden oil harbour has a depth of 14.7 m, width 220 m, length 2.3 nm, marked by pairs of buoys. Vessels should proceed mid-way between these buoys, and immediately after passing No. 2 buoys, turn to head 300° on the leading marks for the centre of the channel to pass north of the oil harbour breakwater.
inner harbour is approached by the same dredged channel, which divides
at Buoy No. 3 (S Cardinal), 9 cables north of the channel entrance.
From this point, the inner harbour channel has a depth of 15.0
m, width 185 m and is 2.6 nm to the inner harbour breakwater.
Vessels proceed on a course of 027° to pass between No. 2
Buoys, then on a heading of 047° between the channel buoys to clear
the inner harbour breakwater.
The 15.0 m deep dredged channel in the inner harbour is 220 m
wide and leads, on a heading of 068°, to the 700 m diameter turning
area off the ACT. Ships
proceeding to Ma’alla should then pass from the south side of the
turning area between buoys Nos 9 starboard and 9 port.
vessels arriving off the port and wishing to enter must show the
standard international signal to request a pilot.
Pilot boats have red hulls and yellow superstructures.
They exhibit the standard international pilot signal at night.
A pilot ladder should be rigged on the port side by the ship
during the NE Monsoon period (mid-September to May).
During the SW monsoon (June to mid-September), pilot ladders
should be rigged on the port side for ships approaching from the W and
on the starboard side for ships approaching from the E.
Port of Aden is situated between the promontories of Aden (Jebel Shamsan, 553
m) and Little Aden (Jebel Muzalqam, 374 m) and is protected from the NE and SW
monsoons by these hills and along the northern boundary by land, enabling it
to operate without restriction all year. The harbour covers an area some 8 nm
east-west and 3 nm north-south.
channel to the inner harbour, leading north east from the bifurcation point,
has a least depth of 15.0 m. The inner harbour has 9 alongside berths, plus 6
buoy and 3 bunkering (dolphin) berths with depths between 5.5 and 11.9 m. On
the north side of the inner harbour, the Aden Container Terminal (ACT)
provides 700 meters of quay, depth alongside 16.0 meters (completed in March
1999). Off the ACT is a turning area, depth 15.0 m, diameter 700 m. At the
eastern end of the inner harbour, a short channel of depth 11.0 m leads to the
Ma'alla Terminal, with 4 container/general/bulk berths of total length 750 m,
depth 11.0 m., and a RoRo berth depth 7.6 m. At the eastern end of this
terminal is the Home Trade Quay, 250 m long, depth 6.7 m . The inner harbour
also contains a fishing harbour and a ship repair yard with two floating
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