The Port Authority of Palermo is the governing body for the Port of Palermo’s maritime traffic responsible for developing, managing, operating, promoting, and securing the Port of Palermo. In 2007, the Port of Palermo handled over 6.6 million tons of cargo, including 4.3 million tons of imports and 2.3 million tons of exports. Included in the total were 22.2 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. The same year, over 2.3 million passengers moved through the Port of Palermo, including 404.1 thousand cruise passengers.
The majority of the Port of Palermo’s imports was 3.4 million tons roll-on/roll-off cargoes. The Port of Palermo also imported 811 thousand tons of liquid bulk and lesser amounts of dry bulk including cereals. The vast majority of exports was also roll-on/roll-off cargoes (2.1 million tons), with 170 thousand tons of containerized cargoes adding to that volume. Almost 3400 vessels anchored at the Port of Palermo in 2007.
The Port of Palermo contains 17 commercial quays with a total length of more than 3.7 thousand meters and alongside depths from 8 to 15 meters. The Port of Palermo’s Container Terminal is one of the best-equipped in the Mediterranean. Covering about 150 thousand square meters, the terminal quays can accommodate vessels to 300 meters long. The terminal’s capacity is about 120 thousand TEUs per year.
In the northwest area of the Port of Palermo, the terminal is served by the Puntone and Quattroventi quays. The Puntone Quay is 400 meters long with alongside depth of 14 meters, and it covers an area of 52 thousand square meters. Covering 12 thousand square meters, the Quattroventi Quay is 320 meters long with alongside depth of 14 meters. The terminal contains a consolidation store of 1400 square meters that contains offices, baths, loading platforms, and rail connections.
Also at the Puntone Quay is the Port of Palermo’s new bunkering plant for diesel oil and fuel and other oil products. The plant has capacity for nine thousand cubic meters in four underground tanks, and it has two outlets at the Quattroventi Quay.
An automated refrigerator plant in the port area contains low-temperature cells with capacity for a total of about 3690 cubic meters for deep-frozen goods and five cells with a total of 2360 cubic meters for cooling of fruits and vegetables.
The Piave Quay Refrigerator plant in the Port of Palermo contains six cells with total capacity for 2160 cubic meters for deep-frozen goods and two warehouses with total capacity for 3266 cubic meters of dry goods.
The Port of Palermo’s Silos Granari Della Sicilia at the Piave Quay supports loading/unloading, storing, and handling of cereals. Equipped with automatic weighing balances, a sieve, and systems for removing dust and grinding, the Granari contains 31 cells with a total capacity for 23.1 thousand tons of cereals.
The Magazzini Generali Soc. Cooperativa ar.l. operates the Port of Palermo’s storage and distribution infrastructure for general cargoes. The warehouses contain a Customs House. Inside the port area are warehouses of 4.5 thousand square meters and 1.5 thousand square meters and open areas covering 14 thousand square meters. Bonded warehouses within the port area include warehouses and sheds covering one thousand square meters. Also included is a set of steel tanks with capacity for five thousand metric tons of oils, alcohols, wines, and other liquid goods. There is also a set of 17 heated iron tanks with capacity for 3.5 thousand cubic meters of vegetable fats, husk oils, and other liquid products. The tanks are connected by underground pipelines with the Sammuzzo Quay.
The Port of Palermo’s shipyard is an important element of the port’s services. The Fincantieri Merchant Shipbuilding Division, Palermo Yard, is the biggest ship repair and conversion center in the Mediterranean. Located at the northeast part of the harbor, the shipyards serve all types of vessels including cargo and passenger ships. The Palermo Yard can handle vessels to 160 thousand DWT. Equipped with two graving and two floating docks, the Yard also contains a machine shop for repair of turbines, propellers, diesel engines, and other machinery. The heavy and light plate shop can handle pre-fabrications, sand-blasting, pipes, electrical systems, ultrasonic sounding, and x-ray.
Over the past decade, the cruise sector has boomed in the Port of Palermo. With an excellent location in the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Palermo is used by many world-famous cruise lines. The Passengers’ Maritime Station is a large and modern air-conditioned facility with complete services for tourists and passengers.