Bridgetown Port

Port of Bridgetown
Gatehouse for the Deep Water Harbour from the Princess Alice Highway. (c. November 2000)
Country Barbados Barbados
Location Bridgetown, St. Michael

13°06′22″N 59°37′55″W / 13.106°N 59.632°W / 13.106; -59.632

Opened 1961
Operated by Barbados Port, Inc.
Owned by Government of Barbados
Type of harbor Artificial
(Coastal Breakwater)[1]
Available berths 7[2]
Wharfs 0
Piers 0
Employees 592

The Port of Bridgetown (officially the Deep Water Harbour),[3] (AMS Seaport Code: 27201,[4][5] UN/LOCODE: BB BGI, Port Callsign: 8PB) is a seaport in Bridgetown on the southwest coast of Barbados. Situated at the North-Western end of Carlisle Bay, the harbour handles all of the country's international bulk ship-based trade and commerce.[6] In addition to international-shipping the Deep Water Harbour is the port of entry for southern-Caribbean cruise ships.[7] The port is one of three designated ports of entry in Barbados, along with the privately owned Port Saint Charles marina and the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport. The port's timezone is GMT –4, and it handles roughly 700,000[8] cruise passengers and 900,000 tonnes of containerised cargo per year.


Construction of the Deep Water Harbour began in 1956 by Costain Group of Britain,[9] and cost EC$28,000,000 through completion in 1961.
The port was formed by creating a man-made isthmus across the shallow strait that existed off the coast of Fontabelle, St. Michael.
The isthmus formed 90 acres of new land stretching from the original west coast of Barbados, out to a small uninhabited, ex-quarantine island just offshore, named Pelican Island.
After the initial completion, the harbour later underwent a $22 million expansion seventeen years later.[3]

In 2002 Barbados Port Inc. contracted with Jan De Nul Group of Companies of Belgium to carry out dredging at the port facility. The dredging was deemed necessary to allow some of the world's largest cruise ships to berth in Barbados rather than anchoring offshore. The project followed a rigorous environmental monitoring programme by the Barbados Port Inc. along with key regulatory agencies, namely the Town Planning Department, the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Environmental Engineering Division and the University of the West Indies' Natural Resources Management Programme to ensure that the oceanographic and sediment processes, the water quality, and the marine communities were not compromised in any way.[10] During this operation, the port's depth was increased to 11.6 metres (from 9.6 metres). Reclaimed material from the dredging was added to increase the port's cargo area by 9 acres.[11]

In December 2008, Minister of International Transport George Hutson announced that due to congestion between cargo and passenger ships at the Deep Water Harbour, the country needed to look at expansion at the facility following the last upgrade undertaken in 2002.[12] Due to the importance of Tourism to Barbados' economy, the government is presently reviewing a further $70 million upgrade.[13]

In September 2010, the Barbados government stated it was reviewing a list of joint-venture partners to construct the new cruise ship facilities at the port with expected construction to begin in 2011.[14]

Due to increased activity at the port, officials say it poised to become a "super-hub of the southern Caribbean", rivalling Puerto Rico.[15][16][17]

In 2012 the Government of Barbados announced[10]


Responsibility for administering the port is vested in the CEO of Barbados Port Incorporated (BPI). As a statutory corporation it oversees all matters affecting the efficient operations of the harbour facility. B.P.I. also advises the Ministry of International Business and International Transport who has ultimate authority for the Deep Water Harbour. Barbados Port Inc. is a member of: the American Association of Port Authorities,[18] the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA),[19] the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (P.M.A.C.),[20][21] the Shipping Association of Barbados (SAB),[22] and an affiliate of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).[23]

It has been awarded the title of "Caribbean Port of the Year" for: 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998; the "Best Multi-Purpose Terminal (Container terminal)" in 2004 and 2005;[24] and the safest port in the Caribbean region in 2011.[25][26]



Top trading partners:[27]

Imports: consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel, electrical components

Top import sources (2009)
  • Trinidad and Tobago – 28.52%,
  • United States of America – 27.96%,
  • Colombia – 7.13%,
  • China – 4.76%,
  • United Kingdom – 4.39%

Exports: manufactures, sugar and molasses, cotton, rum, other foods and beverages, chemicals, light manufacturing, electrical components

Top export destinations (2009)
  • Trinidad and Tobago – 17.48%,
  • Jamaica – 15.63%,
  • United States of America – 8.93%,
  • Saint Lucia – 8.13%,
  • United Kingdom – 5.36%,
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 5.04%,
  • Antigua and Barbuda – 4.12%


Terminal facilities
Berths Depth
Quay length
Breakwater 11.5 522 For Cruise vessels.
Sugar Berth 9.75 307 For Bulk sugar, molasses tankers.
(Cross) Berth #1 11 152 Naval, auxiliary vessels.
Berth #2 11.0 183 Cruise vessels, breakbulk vessels.
Berth #3 11.0 183 breakbulk, container vessels.
Berth #4 11.0 184 Container vessels.
Berth #5 11.0 65 Container vessels.
Shallow Draught 6.8 156 Inter-island cargo vessels (breakbulk)
Bulk Facility 9.75 183 Dry bulk vessels.
Esso Jetty 11.6 244 Petroleum tankers.
Needham’s Point 11.6 198 Petroleum tankers.
Oistins 10.0 172 Petroleum tankers.
Black Rock 7.5 122 Petroleum tankers.
Spring Garden 4.9 103 Petroleum tankers.

Passenger lines

The Deep-Water Harbour now acts as a home port for many of the British-based Cruise ship lines operating in the Caribbean region. Some of the Cruise Lines which visit or are home ported at the Deep Water Harbour include:[28]

Ships registry

Barbados has a small but increasing ships registry. The Barbados Maritime Ships Registry (BMSR) has seventy six (76) vessels flying the Barbados Flag.

See also


External links

  • Barbados Customs & Excise Department
  • Caribbean Export Development Agency
  • Port of Bridgetown,
  • About the Bridgetown Port, Barbados Tourism Encyclopaedia
  • Barbados Maritime Ship Registry (BMSR)
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) For Barbados
  • Aerial photo,
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