Israeli Port Industry Overview
The Israeli port industry has undergone massive reform over the last decade. In 2005, the Israeli goverment decided to break up the Israel Ports Authority, a body that managed, developed and operated all three of Israel's major commercial ports in Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat. In its place, the were created four government owned companies: the Israel Ports Company, Haifa Port Company, Ashdod Port Company and Eilat Port Company and a one privately owned port-The Israel shipyard Port in Haifa.
The Israel Port Company serves as landlord of the state's port properties. It is responsible for the development of Israel's three commercial seaports and for providing the necessary infrastructure that will allow the ports to operate efficiently and competitively handle Israel's international trade. In addition to managing some of the country's largest infrastructure development projects, the company also manages and develops land allocated for necessary port/trade related services. The company is also involved with the development of port related technology, including the national maritime community information system that manages and controls the flow of all trade through Israel's ports.
In addition to creating the Israel Ports Company, the program of reform set up three port operating companies to handle cargos and vessels in the three ports:
The Haifa Port Company is responsible for most cargo operations in Haifa Port, which was established in 1933. Haifa Port is situated on the southern shore of Haifa Bay, on the Mediterranean, 90km north of Tel Aviv. It has over 6,700 meters of quay length with a maximum waterside depth of 15.5m. The Haifa Port Company handled some 28 million tons of cargo during 2016, including 1.26 million TEU’s of container traffic. Several smaller terminal operators in the port area include specialized bulk handlers Dagon Grain Terminal and the Petroleum and Energy Infrastructures oil terminal. In addition to cargo handling capacity, the port also has a passenger terminal for handling cruise traffic.
Ashdod Port is located on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. Operations commenced there in 1965. The Ashdod Port Company is responsible for most operations in the port. Last year the Ashdod Port Company also handled 24 million tons of cargo, including 1.44 million TEU. The port has some 5,000 meters of quay with maximum water depth of 15.5 meters. The port also has automated facilities to handle phosphate and potash exports, as well as liquid bulk. Like Haifa, it also has a passenger terminal for handling cruise vessels.
Eilat Port is located on the Red Sea and is Israel's southern gateway to the Far East. The Eilat Port Company handled around 2.1 million tons of cargo during 2016 on its 530m quay. Most of the tonnage is phosphate and potash exports via the port's fertilizer terminal, as well as vehicle imports from the Far East. The government has completed privatization of the Eilat port during 2013.
In addition to Ashdod, Haifa and Eilat, the country has two additional energy ports in Hadera and Ashkelon that handle coal imports for power plants located near the port facilities, as well as petroleum/petroleum products.