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is a location in a port or harbour used specifically for mooring vessels while not at sea.
Locations in a port
Berth is the term used in port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....
s and harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...
s to define a specific location where a vessel may be berthed, usually for the purposes of loading and unloading.
Most berths will be alongside a quay or a jetty
A jetty is any of a variety of structures used in river, dock, and maritime works that are generally carried out in pairs from river banks, or in continuation of river channels at their outlets into deep water; or out into docks, and outside their entrances; or for forming basins along the...
(large ports) or a floating dock
A floating dock is a platform or ramp supported by pontoons. It is usually joined to the shore with a ramp that rests upon the dock on rollers, to adjust for the vertical movement of the dock...
(small harbours and marinas). Berths are either general or specific to the types of vessel that use them in the process. The size of the berths varies from 5-10m for a small boat in a marina to over 400m for the largest tankers.
The following is a list of berth types that can be found in a large port:
- Bulk berth: Used to handle bulk cargo
Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. This cargo is usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, as a liquid or as a mass of relatively small solids , into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body...
. Vessels are loaded using either excavators and conveyor belt
A conveyor belt consists of two or more pulleys, with a continuous loop of material - the conveyor belt - that rotates about them. One or both of the pulleys are powered, moving the belt and the material on the belt forward. The powered pulley is called the drive pulley while the unpowered pulley...
s or pipelines. Storage facilities for the bulk cargo are often alongside the berth - e.g. silo
A silo is a structure for storing bulk materials.Silo may also refer to:* Silo , a 3D modeling software* Silo , a defunct chain of retail electronics stores* SILO , used in Linux...
s or stockpiles.
- Container berth: Used to handle 20' and 40' standard intermodal container
An intermodal container is a standardized reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerized intermodal freight transport system...
s. Vessels are loaded and unloaded by container cranes, designed specifically for the task. Alongside the quay there is often a large flat area used to store both the imported and exported containers.
- General berth: Used to handle smaller shipments of general cargo. Vessels using these would usually have their own lifting gear, but some ports will provide mobile cranes to do this.
- Marina berth: Used to allow the owners of leisure craft on and off their boats. Generally alongside pontoons and accessed by hinged bridges (in tidal locations) to the shore.
- Product berth: Used to handle oil and gas related products, usually in liquid form. Vessels are loaded via loading arms containing the pipe lines. Storage facilities for the products are usually some distance away from the berth and connected by several pipes to ensure fast loading.
- X berth: Suitable for nuclear powered warships, and part of an operational Naval base or a building and refitting yard
- Z berth: Suitable for nuclear powered warships, as a location for operational visits or stand offs