The Port of Dock Sud is located on the shores of the Rio de la Plata lagoon about seven kilometers south-southeast of the Port of Buenos Aires and about 49 kilometers west-northwest of the Port of La Plata in Argentina. The Port of Dock Sud was established to lessen the congestion in the Buenos Aires port and to take advantage of direct rail connections with the Port of La Plata. For information about the city and Port of Buenos Aires, please refer to that World Port Source article.
The Administracion Portuaria Bonaerense is the port authority for the Port of Dock Sud through a specific delegation by Buenos Aires Province. The Argentine Port Council (Spanish) was created in 1993 by the Sub-secretary of Ports and Navigable Channels. The Port Council is an umbrella association containing all the ports and related personnel and organizations within the country. The council encourages development and expansion of maritime port activities and represents the ports in dealings with national, provincial, and municipal authorities and with other State or private organizations. Furthermore, the council conducts studies on appropriate laws and regulations that promote productive inter-sector relations and organizes conferences and meetings to assure disparate organizations pursue similar interests and objectives.
In 2007, the Port of Dock Sud welcomed 4379 vessels, including 3510 cabotage vessels and 461 overseas vessels. The Port of Dock Sud handled 16.8 million tons of cargo in 2007, including 11.8 million tons of exports and almost 5 million tons of imports.
The access channel to the Port of Dock Sud is 60 meters long and 8.2 meters deep; however, dredging is in process to widen the channel to 90 meters and deepen it to 9.8 meters.
The Port of Dock Sud's East Basins 1 and 2 are primarily used for dry-dock and ship repairs, although part of the East Basin is used for dredgers and hoppers as well as fishing vessels and small draft. The East Basin offers 1400 meters of wharfage with alongside depth of about 4.3 meters and four berths of 220, 178, 149, and 148 meters in length.
The South Basin in the Port of Dock Sud contains the terminal for passenger ferry services to Montevideo and Colonia and the terminal used by the Naval Transport Command for limited-draft naval vessels serving the Patagonian coast.
The Port of Dock Sud's Gas Carrier Terminal, called Darsena de Propaneros, is located on the south side of the channel. It has a 83.2 square meter basin that is protected on the north and south by breakwaters. A 280-meter finger pier at center basin allows vessels to berth on both sides, and the terminal has a 651 square meter central loading platform with mooring dolphins with alongside depth of 9.1 meters. This Port of Dock Sud terminal can accommodate vessels of up to 45 thousand DWT and up to 220 meters long.
The Port of Dock Sud's Tanker Basin, called Darsena de Inflamables, has two parts: a new external finger pier of 336 meters in length with a central loading platform and berthing dolphins and the original internal basin that is 616 meters long with an entrance of 103 meters width with four T-head jetties with adjacent dolphins. The discharge rates at these berths are a crude maximum of 2000 cubic meters per hour and gas-oil maximum of 600 cubic meters per hour. Ordinarily, the maximum vessel size is 55 thousand DWT or length of 230 meters.
The Port of Dock Sud's Section 1 on the south side of the channel has a 75-meter wide entrance, and the turning basin is about 200 meters wide for a length of 387 meters. Maximum vessel size is about 150 meters for vessels loading or discharging chemicals. Vessels are not allowed to berth at the Port of Dock Sud's South Dock, section 1.
The Exolgan Container Terminal is on the west side of the Port of Dock Sud. This privately-owned terminal began operations in 1995. The terminal covers 25 hectares, but it is being extended to 45 hectares. This Port of Dock Sud terminal has adjoining rail service. The quay is currently 625 meters with alongside depth of 8.5 meters, but it is being extended to about 1000 meters. Maximum vessel length is 210 meters, and maximum beam is 32 meters.
The Exolgan Terminal's Container Freight Station and bonded warehouse in the Port of Dock Sud covers 13.5 thousand square meters and is equipped for truck tailgate loading/unloading. Current capacity is seven thousand TEUs, and the storage space is being extended to accommodate 10 thousand TEUs. The 6-hectare empty container yard, which is also being extended, can accommodate six thousand units at present.
The reception and distribution center for the Port of Dock Sud's Exolgan Container Terminal covers 22 hectares, including 36 thousand square meters of covered warehousing and 300 reefer plugs for reception, stuffing, exporting, and delivery of imported cargoes.
The Port of Dock Sud's Section 2 has a 896 meter long, 90 meter wide entrance. The South Dock Section 2 contains nine T-head jetties equipped to handle petroleum products, chemicals, and fats. The dock has adjacent storage tanks and pipelines. All berths are equipped with fire-fighting equipment and supplies.
On the west side of the Port of Dock Sud, Section 9 is used by sand barges. Sections 9 through 14 are used for general cargo, fruit, and bulk cargo. Berth 13 includes a grain elevator with capacity for 15 thousand tons. The dock includes two berths with alongside depths from 7.3 to 11 meters. This is an older area of the port, used primarily when other berths are not available. These two Port of Dock Sud berths can accommodate vessels to 175 meters long.