The Port of Kochi is administered by the Port, Harbor, and Airport Administration Bureau of the Kochi Prefecture Government. They have developed a harbor plan for the 21st Century that aims at expanding the port's position as an international multi-purpose port and making the Urado Gulf a natural conservation area and open water space.
In 1996, the Port of Kochi served 7856 vessels including 78 foreign trading ships, 4686 domestic trade vessels, and 1977 fishing vessels. In 1995, the Port of Kochi handled a total of 11.2 million tons of cargo, including exports of 6.2 million tons and imports of 5 million tons.
The major commodities handled in the Port of Kochi include mining products like lime and olivine and industrial chemicals like cement and petroleum products. Other cargoes include metals and machinery products and wood products. Ferries also transport trucks to/from Kansai and Tokyo. Containerized cargoes include imports of frozen foods and vegetables from Busan and Qingdao and exports of industrial products and polishing materials. In 1996, the Port of Kochi main trading partners were China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.
Located just 113 kilometers from the busy trade routes between East Asia and North America, the Port of Kochi has a tremendous and competitive advantage in providing reliable services to support international container transportation.
The Port of Kochi contains two areas: Urado Wan and an area of open ocean known as the new port. Some local industries own and operate private berths to support their plants related to cement, minerals, shipbuilding, timber, and distribution of petroleum.
The Urado Wan area covers 150 hectares of land and 800 hectares of water surface. In the Port of Kochi's Urado Wan area, more than seven thousand meters of berth boat berths are available with alongside depth of 7.5 meters. There are open storage areas of 28.1 thousand square meters and warehouses of over nine thousand square meters in the Urado Wan area.
The new port area in the Port of Kochi contains two 240 meter long berths, one with alongside depth of 8 meters and the other with alongside depth of 12 meters. The new port's container yard covers more than 55.5 thousand square meters and contains 60 reefer power points and two disinfection units. Next to the public area, the a semi-public Kochi Trade Service Company Limited operates general warehouses that include general warehouses of almost four thousand square meters, almost five thousand square meters of refrigerated warehouse, and over 2.9 thousand square meters of transit sheds.
The current master plan for the Port of Kochi includes enlarging the area for containerized ships and moving half the current cargo-handling capacity to Kochi New Port. Separating the port functions will make the port more competitive. The Port of Kochi will transfer distribution functions currently in the Urado Wan to the new Port of Kochi to better connect transportation routes and provide high-quality timely services.
The Port of Kochi operates two ferry routes to/from Osaka and Tokyo that run every two days. About 200 thousand people a year use the ferry services. Two international container lines operate weekly Kochi/Busan and Kochi/Qingdao connections that deliver 200 to 300 TEUs per trip.
The Port of Kochi is also popular for people who enjoy water recreation, wind-surfing, fishing, and swimming in and around the Port of Kochi. In 1997, over five million people came to the Port of Kochi for recreation, and about one thousand small leisure boats moored at the port's sea walls.