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Port Design and Layout

Port Design and Layout

  • Port design requires thorough and proper evaluation to ensure safety and efficiency. 
  • Several factors affect the design and layout of a port as discussed below:
    • The major purpose of the port 
    • The sustainability of the expected cargo volumes
    • A sheltered site for the port
    • Size of the area to be developed for the port
    • Depth of water 
    • Flat land 
    • Services (water, electricity)
    • Labour 
    • Transport access
    • Finance
    • Ancillary Services

Learning Activities

Identify a port in each East Africa country. Study the various aspects of the port identified and addresses the issues below.


  1. The what type of ports identified
  2. The advantages of each of the identified ports
  3. The possible factors considered in the design and layout of the specific ports chosen.


  1. What is the meaning of the following terms?
  • Sea port
  • Dry port
  • Free port
  • Breakwaters
  1. Explain any two functions of a port.
  2. Explain two types of ports found in landlocked countries
  3. Explain any three advantages of establishing a dry port