Marine Terminal

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marine terminal

[mə′rēn ′term·ən·əl]
(civil engineering)
That part of a port or harbor with facilities for docking, cargo-handling, and storage.

Marine Terminal


a building or complex of buildings and structures to serve passengers and handle baggage and freight in seaports. Marine terminals are classified according to basic operations as passenger or passenger-freight terminals and according to their location on sea routes as origin/destination or intermediate terminals.

Marine terminal buildings are built on shore and include buildings on piers or areas with man-made foundations. The purpose and types of ships to be used, variations in the water level, and conditions for rational organization of the flow of passengers and visitors and delivery of baggage and freight are taken into account during the planning of marine terminals.

Marine terminals have passenger, administrative, baggage, auxiliary, and technical areas.

The architecture and design of marine terminals are very diverse. Terminal buildings of two and three stories are most common. Freight and passenger terminals usually have the warehouses at the dock level, with the passenger areas above them (on the second or third floor). Terminals arranged in this way include those in Odessa and Vladivostok (USSR); Le Havre, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, and Dieppe (France); and Helsinki (Finland); and also the Ocean Terminal in Southampton (Great Britain). These terminals use special loading equipment (including hoisting-swiveling and enclosed telescoping ramps) for easy movement of passengers to ships over cargo areas, motor vehicle roads, and railroads.

The buildings of many marine terminals are very long, so that they may serve several large ships simultaneously (for example, the Ocean Terminal in Southampton is 550 m long, and the Atlantic Terminal in Le Havre is about 575 m long). Terminals often have galleries extending along the wharves or piers, arranged perpendicular to the wharf embankment (the terminals in New York and Philadelphia in the USA and in Montreal, Canada).

Marine terminals that extend out over the water (on piles) have also been built—for example, La Rochelle and Boulogne in France and Sukhumi in the USSR. Certain installations in a marine terminal are sometimes placed on floating platforms, as in the port of Tilbury in London (Great Britain).

Most marine terminals serve as large-scale transfer points for passengers from ships to land transportation (and vice versa) and for transshipment of freight. Therefore, large passenger-cargo terminals ordinarily have a well-developed system of railroad and motor-vehicle approaches. Some terminals are built in combination with railroad terminals to provide for more convenient freight transshipment and passenger transfer (for example, in Vladivostok).

Marine terminals are usually unique architectural objects of cities. Typical features of modern terminals include large halls for passenger service, large glass facades facing the sea, and the use of suspended elements and balconies for passengers and visitors. During the building of marine terminals, their compositional relationship to planning and construction in the area around the port and to the conditions of visual perception of the terminal complex, a unique maritime facade of the city, both from the land area around the terminal and from the sea, are taken into account.


Golubev, G. E., G. M. Andzhelini, and A. F. Modorov. Sovremennye vokzaly. … Moscow, 1967.


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