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Manila Bay satellite photo

The Port of Manila is the largest seaport in the Philippines, and is the premier international shipping gateway to the country. It is located in the vicinity of Manila Bay.


Port Area

Cranes tower over many informal settlers at the Manila North Harbor

As of 2007, the Port Area geographical district of Manila had a population of 48,684.[1] The district has 5 barangays (649-653), but the vast majority of the population resides in barangay 649.

Barangay Population (2007)[1]
649 42,249
650 3,555
651 2,533
652 174
653 173


Roxas Bridge (formerly Del Pan Bridge)

The Port of Manila is also known as Manila International Cargo Terminal and is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. It is one of Asia's major seaports and one of the Philippines's most active ports.

In a 2005 study, the Port of Manila was listed as the world's 31st most active container port, moving 2,665 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) worth of containers that year.[2]

The bay entrance is 19 kilometres (12 mi) wide and expands to a width of 48 kilometres (30 mi). Mariveles, in the province of Bataan, is an anchorage just inside the northern entrance, and Sangley Point is the former location of Cavite Naval Base.

On either side of the bay are volcanic peaks topped with tropical foliage. 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the north is the Bataan Peninsula and to the south is the province of Cavite.

The port's main areas are known as Manila North (seaport code MNN), Manila South (MNS) and Manila (MNL).[3]


The skyline of Manila as seen from the top of a ship docked at the Manila North Harbor.

The Port of Manila and the area dates back to Spanish and pre-Spanish rule of the Philippine Islands. It is recorded that Manila and the Philippines had trade relations with most neighboring countries at least as far back as the 9th to 12th centuries. Major trading partners included China and Japan, with ties to India through the areas that are now Malaysia and Indonesia. [4] The Spanish-controlled Port of Manila handled trade primarily with China and other East Asian countries, with Mexico, with Arab countries, and directly with Spain from the 16th to mid-19th century CE when the port was opened to all trade ships.

The port was also the staging point for the Manila galleons, a state-monopoly shipping line running to Acapulco and back, which operated virtually continuously from the 16th to the early 19th century CE.

Manila Bay was the setting for the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 between United States and Spanish forces, and the siege of Corregidor Island by invading Japanese forces in 1942.


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