a major international commercial seaport on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea in the southwestern region of Odessa Gulf. The construction of port facilities began in 1794. Wooden pile wharves in the area of the existing health inspection pier, and also warehouses, were built before 1804. By the 1880’s a radical restructuring of the port had been carried out. Wooden hydroengineering structures were replaced by concrete structures, and a breakwater, moorings, and the health inspection, Platonov, military, and Potapov piers were built. By 1905 the port had essentially taken on its present form.
During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) the port was considerably damaged. Restoration work on port facilities began in 1944, and by 1972 many moorings, warehouses, and production and service buildings had been built or rebuilt. In 1973 the freight turnover of the port was more than 20 million tons. Transport vessels with export-import and coastal cargo are loaded and unloaded year-round in the port. The cargo includes general goods (jute, metals, equipment, tea, and fruit), bulk goods (grain and sugar), and liquid goods (petroleum and petroleum products). All freight operations are mechanized. The port is equipped with a large number of gantry cranes, lift trucks, fork lifts, a specialized complex for unloading and loading sugar, on-shore and floating grain loaders, and floating cranes. The large Odessa-port railroad station, which provides for transportation of freight brought by sea, is located in the port.
The Odessa Seaport, a base of the Black Sea Shipping Line where transport vessels are supplied with fuel, water, and food, has a shipyard. The port is a major facility and a point of origin for passenger, express, and tourist services to Batumi and other ports on the Black Sea, as well as for international lines to Marseille, Barcelona, Venice, and Beirut and international cruises on the Mediterranean, to the Canary Islands, and to West Africa. There is a passenger terminal, which serves the numerous Soviet and foreign citizens in the port (constructed 1965–66; architects, V. K. Golovin and V. P. Kremliakov; engineer, S. E. Shoikis). The port was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1966.
V. V. PONIATOVSKII