The Office of Merchant Navy and Ports is the port authority for the Port of Rades. The Port of Rades plays an important role in Tunisia's transportation network, as it is the country's main port for container and roll-on/roll-off traffic. Handling about a quarter of the country's overall traffic, the Port of Rades handles 87% of the volume of containerized goods and 80% of its rolling cargo.
In 2008, the Port of Rades handled a total of 5.9 million tons of cargo, including 5.8 million tons of foreign cargoes and over 63 thousand tons of domestic cabotage. Included in this total is 2.1 million tons of containerized cargo. The major cargo categories handled in the Port of Rades included hydrocarbons (1.2 million tons) and cereals (642 thousand tons) as well as other liquid and solid bulk cargoes and general merchandise. The Port of Rades received 1540 ships in 2008.
The canal basin for the Port of Rades covers 63.6 hectares separating port facilities on the northern and southern banks. It includes the 370-meter diameter turning circle dredged to 12 meters, a turning basin of 300-meter diameter at the specialized docks on the southern bank, and the main basin in the Port of La Goulette providing access to the terminal through a channel dredged to 12 meters.
The terminal basin at the Port of Rades is a man-made lake with a surface of 80 hectares and a 400-meter turning circle dredged to 10.5 meters. The Port of Rades' customs-controlled zone of the container and roll-on/roll-off terminal includes six hangars covering 50 hectares, three hectares of which are warehouses. The berths at the Port of Rades total 1770 linear meters.
The terminal for containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes has berths a total of 1130 meters long with depths ranging from 6.8 to 9.15 meters. Berths 1 and 6 serve only containers. Berth 1 is 150 meters long with alongside depth of 7.5 meters, while Berth 6 is 200 meters long with alongside depth of 6.8 meters. Berths 2, 3, and 4 all serve containers and rolling units, and each is 150 meters long. Berth 2 has a depth of 8.3 meters, Berth 3 is 9.15 meters deep, and Berth 4 is 9 meters deep. Berth 7, which also serves both containers and rolling units, is 180 meters long with alongside depth of 9.15 meters.
The terminal also has four specialized berths with a total length of 640 meters. The berth handling hydrocarbons and other liquid bulk is 170 meters long with alongside depth of 9.45 meters. The cereals berth, which includes a silo, is 190 meters long with alongside depth of 9.75 meters. The K.D. Multi-bulk berth, handling solid and liquid bulk cargoes, is 160 meters long with alongside depth of 9.45 meters. A final berth receiving conventional bulk carriers handles a variety of goods. It is 120 meters long with alongside depth of 7.2 meters.
The Port of Rades is connected to the hinterland and the region's industrial estates by the MC33 highway. The container terminal and specialized berths are also linked to the rail network by both metric and normal tracks.