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Development stages

Port has a rich history associated with the ancient Greek colonization of the Northern Black Sea (7 century BC - 4 century AD).
In total, there are 19 settlements of that period on the coast of Odesa Gulf.


In 3 century BC in the immediate vicinity of modern port on Zhevakhov Mountain was an ancient Greek settlement surrounded by harbors modern Hadzhibeevskiy and Kuyalnik estuaries, connected with the sea. Exactly this area was the place of location of the ancient port.




After the disappearance of the ancient Greek civilization during a millennium the barbarian tribes lived on this territory. And only in the 13th century the first mark of anchorage appeared on medieval maps of Venetian and Genoese sailors - the famous medieval Ginestra. At the same place in the 14-15 centuries was located Lithuanian settlement Kachibey with quite large port, which had several marinas, a fortress, a lighthouse and customs. Grain was a basic cargo.




In 15 century have begun Turkish expansion, after which they ruled over here until the end of the 18th century.


Only in the 18th century. Russian Empire held three bloody wars with Turkey. Only after the third war (1787-1791) the lands of North-West Black Sea coast and the Crimea were annexed to Russia.


In 1789, during the third Russian-Turkish war by the order of the duke Potemkin, the fortress was seize Battle was led by Jose de Ribas.


Thus, the foundation for building the future leading port and the city of the Russian Empire and the modern Ukraine was laid.
Its foundation the port and the city owes the Catherine II, Alexander Suvorov, Franz de Wollant, Jose de Ribas.


Prominent role in the development of the city and even whole Southern Ukraine played an expatriate Netherlands, Brabant nobleman Franz de Wollant, a military engineer. He had four construction professions. He erected all the ports, fortresses and cities on the newly conquered lands, such as Nikolayev, Voznesensk, Tiraspol, Grigoriopol, Bender, Simferopol, Feodosia, the capital of the Don Cossacks - Novocherkassk, Taganrog and Odesa. He was the architect of the first buildings in these cities. He made the first navigable river - the Dniester and Dnieper by their cleaning and canals construction.


Plan of de Wollant to build the port of Odesa, the city and the Suvorov fortress was signed by the Catherine on May 27, 1794. The paper marked the construction of Odesa, and gave powerful impetus to the development of the Southern Ukraine. Suffice it to say that for the first half of the 19th century the population in the South of Ukraine has tripled, and the crop areas increased 7 times from 800 thousand to 6 million dessiatinas. Wide opportunities for export of grain, livestock and other goods have appeared.


Laying of the foundation of the port and the city were made simultaneously. On September 2, 1794 (New Style) is the founding date of Odesa.




Port construction designed for 5 years came over quite rapid and de Volan had no doubts that by the beginning of the new century the port will be one of the best ones in Europe. But the death of the Empress in November 1796 interrupted construction works. By its own decision, Paul I stop construction work as “unuseless” port on January 10, 1797. As a result, instead of the scheduled five years the port was building for 100 years. However, rumors about the construction of a new port in Khadjibey circled the Mediterranean and Europe. Business travelers and merchants reached for Odesa. In early 19th century the port of Odesa successfully competed with the port of St. Petersburg, and by handling of grain for export he had no equal in Russia until 1913. In autumn 1794 in the port, when de Volan drove in first piles, 7 merchant ships moored at the berths. In 1795 there were 39 ones, in 1796 - 86.


Attendance grew rapidly; the peak was in 1900, when 9773 ships visited the port, including 4341 steamers, 3390 sailboats, 2042 barges. 807 ships with imported goods called at the port. In succeeding years with the growth of fleet tonnage attendance began to fall, but the volume of cargo handling increased.


Significant role in the 19th and early 20th centuries until 1913 played coasting trade of various construction materials, food cargoes. In certain years it has reached 40, 50 and more percents of the total turnover. With the development of rail and road transport  from the 70-ies coasting trade began to reduce sharply and now it totals  only a grain of percent of total turnover.


The main stages of construction and development of the port in the 18th and 19th centuries are: 1794-1797, 1830-1840, 1866-1888, 1890-1905. Every time an impetus to start the next works was extreme disparity between the capabilities and the state of the port and the needs of commerce.


Wars of the 20th century (the Civil and Great Patriotic) completely disabled the port. We had to begin at the beginning.


Restoring the port after the devastation of the Civil War connected with the name of the General Manager Nikolai Kremlyanskiy (1920 - 1931). It was then that the technological process started in the port. In 1924 the problem of grain exports through the port of Odesa was almost solved by building two mechanized barns - the latest technology of that time. Each of them had a capacity of 6.5 thousand tons with a productivity of 1,300 tons of grain per day. It allowed in 1925 – 1926 executing plans of grain shipment ahead of time with a low cost of manual labor.


In 1930s port’s engineers first in the world developed technology of transportation of dry bulk cargoes in tankers to eliminate ballast legs. This idea has been widely implemented in the navies worldwide. Experts also proposed technology of tank cleaning for bulk cargoes.


The most notably port’s technologies are:

- Technology of carrying gantry crane without demounting from one berth to another using twin floating cranes (time savings - 1 month) - (1990).

- Technology of recent years - the handling of bulk cargo using hoppers – no analogues in Ukraine.


After the liberation of Odesa from the Nazis, despite the enormous destruction and loss the port came into operation on October 7, 1944 (the port was bombed daily from 50 to 250 bombshells besides high-explosive bombs and magnetic mines; the port withstand up to 14 air raids during the daytime; 24 of 35 gantry cranes were taken away, and preserved ones required for repair).


For the first three years of the five-year plan all the ruined buildings were restored, began the construction of a new fridge (1951) and the grain elevator (1962). The port throughput in 1950 increased by 1 million tons compared to the pre-war period and totaled 5.53 million tons.


In 1989, the port reached the first highest turnover in its history - 31.05 million tons (in 2002 - 33.6 million tons). There was a decline of throughput in the following years up to 15.81 mil tons in 1993, due to objective reasons beyond the control of the port in the early years of independence of Ukraine.


Starting from 1994, the port’s turnover began to grow, gaining one million tons per year until 1999 when it was handled 26.9 million tons of cargoes. In 2002 was reached the highest figure in port;s history - 33.6 million tons. The port of Odesa handles about 1/3 of turnover of all the ports of Ukraine.


All the above mentioned made the port one of the most prosperous companies in the country and allowed implementation of a large-scale modernization of the port.

1992 - 1996 - Reconstruction of the passenger terminal;

1999-2000 - Complex for handling of mineral fertilizers;

2000-2001 – Complex for handling of liquefied gases;

2001 - mini-elevator;

2000-2002 – Free Trade Zone (creation is ongoing);

2000-2001 – Complex for handling of vegetable oils;

2001-2002 - Reconstruction of berth #29 at the Khlebnaya harbor;

2005 - opened the Transit Cargo Terminal with the complex customs clearance and so-called "One office" for easy clearance of containers; After renovation commissioned berths ##4 - 5 "z"

2006 – launched the berth #7 at the Oil Harbour for processing of LNG vessels; introduced the first stage of "dry port" - transit area for trucks (capacity of 800 trucks per day);

2008 – achieved the third record turnover in the history of the port - 34.5 million tons;

In April 2010, the first pile for expanding the area of the Quarantine Mole was rammed in;

in October 2011 was formed 80% of the pile field.


During the years of independence were created a spiritual, educational, cultural, sports, social service buildings:

- 1992 - 1993 - The Church of St. Nicholas;

- 1990 - 1994 - Museum of the port of Odesa (1997, 2001 - 2002 - the years of reconstruction);

- 1994 - 1996 - Concert and Exhibition Hall;

- 1997 - 1998 - Yacht Club;

- 2000 - 2001 - Hotel “Odesa”;

- 1997 - 2000 – Health resort "Chabanka";

- 2000 - 2002 - Aquapark in “Chabanka”.


The long-term plan for port development includes a number of investment projects, such as:

1. Quarantine Mole development associated with the construction of a specialized container terminal on the newly created territory with an area of 19.3 hectares, the length of berth line of 650 m, the depth of 15 meters.

2. Construction of universal berth number 35 (1-z) with the length of 256 meters, the depth of 12 m.

3. Expansion of the container terminal at Khlebnaya harbour, which will increase its capacity up to 350,000 TEU per year, or up to 2.5 million tons of bulk and general cargoes.

4. Equipment of berths #2 and #3 with new cargo handling equipment, which would increase the capacity of the terminal up to 180,000 TEU per year.

5. Construction of Dry Port, which will significantly reduce the time spent by heavy vehicles at the port and increase the number of additional services for cargo owners and shipping companies.

6. Development of passenger terminal, which may make the port of Odesa the homeport for cruise liners.

7. Technical re-equipment of the port, as a result of which handling of grain cargo will grow by 1.6 million tons per year, general and bulk cargoes - by 700 thousand tons.

8. Development of port fleet.

9. Energy-saving project.

10. Program of environmental measures.

11. Dredging at the Quarantine Mole.


After completion of the projects the capacity of the port may increase by:

- 1.01 million TEU for container cargoes;

- 4.6 million tons for general and bulk cargoes.


As a result of implementation of the above mentioned projects the port may increase handling of goods by rail transport by 12 million tons per year.


The reconstruction of the passenger terminal will allow improve the safety of acceptance of the liners with the length over 300 m.


About one thousand job positions to be created after projects implementation.