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Dominican Republic Top 10 Major Ports

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Updated on 29 Dec 2023
6 min read
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Dominican Republic shares the island of Hipsaniola with several other countries including Haiti. Being located in an archipelago means that it is dotted with some of the most lucrative ports in the region which makes trading with other countries easier. The ten major ports in the Dominican Republic include:

1. Port of Santo Domingo

The port of Santo Domingo lies at the mouth of the river Rio Ozama. This is the transit shipment port for the country’s exports of sugar, tropical fruit and coffee exports. The mouth of Rio Ozama also happens to be the marine entrance into the Dominica Republic capital, Santo Domingo.

There has been major renovation work on this port that saw the refurbishment of the Don Domingo terminal and the building of new terminal known as the Sans Souci terminal. The Don Domingo terminal is home to two cruise reception areas and it offers 400 meters of piers for the cruise ships. This terminal is close to the colonial city but even before entering the city the terminal itself is a work of art.

The north wing of the Don Domingo terminal has a beautiful stained glass facade and expansive waiting area. This wing is used for transit purposes mostly. The South wing of the terminal is used as both a transit reception area as well as a homeport terminal. This means that this is the port where some of the cruise vessels found at port of Domingo are based.

Berths along the East bank of the port handle cargoes of jet fuel, diesel and asphalt as well as gasoline for large corporations like Texaco and Shell among others. The berths along the west bank handle other general cargo while also handling trailers, ferries and their passengers and fuel for power barges.

2. Port of Barahona

This port has four berths: terminal EGE HAINA, terminal Consorcio Azucarero Central, Muelle del Central Azucarero and Muelle de Barahona. The port of Barahona is located on the south coast of the Dominican Republic and it’s a natural coastal port. This port is used to mainly handle loading of bulk cargo with the two main exports coming from this port being sugar and gypsum.

The sugar is loaded manually onto the vessel in bags from where the crew bleeds the bags into the cargo holds of the vessel. The other export is gypsum which is loaded through the mechanically using a conveyor belt. Of the four berths mentioned above the Sugar mill central harbor (Muelle del Central Azucarero) is the most active in exportation as bulk molasses are also exported from this berth. Muelle de Barahona is also active because of gypsum exportation.

The other two berths are mainly utilized for ships undergoing any repairs and they are also used as lay berths for vessels awaiting orders.

3. Port of Haina

Located on the mouth of the Haina river this port is also referred to as the Haina occidental port. It is also close to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, which is why it moves a lot of the country’s imports and exports. It was second only to Multimodal Caucedo port in moving containers with 27% of the containers moving from this port after Multimodal’s 66%. This port is used mainly for regional shipments.

Haina port has two terminals: the Haina occidental and Haina oriental terminals. This port is primarily responsible for handling the petroleum imports for the country. It has berthing facilities for liquid, roll on and off, bulk and break bulk shipments meaning that nearly 85% of the country’s import traffic is handled between Haina and Santo Domingo ports. This port was originally an expansion of Santo Domingo before it became more self reliant when new container equipment modernized its operations.

4. Port of Puerto Plata

This is the main port on the North coast of the country and it is located in San Felipe de Puerto Plata. It is considered the third most important port in the country because not only does it handle container cargo, general cargo and fuel cargo, it also is utilized by the government for military movements.

The port is open and is well served by road and rail freight making it the best port of call for shipments of agricultural produce like tobacco, sugarcane, rum and coffee. This port is also popular because of its links to the Cibao Valley which is well known as the country’s bituminous coal highway.

5. Port of Caucedo

The Caucedo multimodal port is located in Caucedo, Boca Chica and it is used mainly for handling cargo imports from the Caribbean zone. This port is managed by DP world recognized port operator that has transformed the youngest port in the country into its most modern one. The port of Caucedo is home to the Caucedo Logistics center which is the first and currently only free trade zone housed within a port facility in the nation.

The port features a single container terminal but with the construction of 400 more meters of berth it is set to increase its capacity by more than 40%.

6. Port of Manzanillo

The port of Manzanillo is located close to the border of Dominican Republic with Haiti. It was build during the 50s, and used mainly for food exports. Currently, this ports is under recontruction, directly supervised by Goberment.

Even if a great part of its export ends in the United States, this ports also has been exporting to Europe. In both cases, the main exportation is food (like fruit or meat) and containers.

7. Port of Viejo de Azua

This port is a very small one, located in the province of Azua, close to Santo Domingo. It´s small size makes it hard to trade on a big scale. However, this ports usually recieves passengers from international cruise ships. Big ships won´t find much space in the Port of Viejo de Azua, but their instalations have diesel oil supply and fuel.

8. Port of Samana

The port of Samana is located in the Samana Peninsula, a great enviroment for natural trips and excursions. This peninsula is quite large, surpassing even some of the most famous caribbean islands.

Like in other cases, the main propouse of this port is turistic. Therefore, conexions with Samana city are easy, and it takes around 10 minutes to arrive.

9. Port of Palenque

This small ports is located at the city of Palenque (Sabana Grande de Palenque), in San Cristobal´s province. The port of Palenque is used mainly as a passenger terminal, but also recieves crude oil for the local oil refinery.

This port is managed by the national authority of ports, and manages its maximum activity in the typically tourist periods.

10. Port of San Pedro de Masan

The port of San Pedro de Masan is located near the Higuamo river, in San Pedro de Marcoiris. It is one of the oldest ports in Dominican Republic, built by the end of the 19th century.

Exportations from here usually consist in cement, clinker and coal. Along with that, it usually exports sugar, a main product of the region.

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