The Port of Vladivostok is Russia's most southeastern seaport and the administrative center of the Primorsky territory near the country's borders with China and North Korea. Lying on the shores of the Golden Horn Bay (Zolotoy Rog) off the Sea of Japan, the Port of Vladivostok is almost 470 nautical miles north-northwest of Japan's Port of Sakai and about 510 nautical miles north-northeast of the Port of Busan in Korea. The Port of Vladivostok is an important cultural and educational center for the Russian Far East, and students are a major group within the city's population. In 2005, over 586 thousand people lived in the Port of Vladivostok.
The economy of the Port of Vladivostok is largely based on maritime-oriented activities that include shipping, fishing, and the Russian Navy. Commercial fishing contributes most of the Port of Vladivostok's commercial output. The Port of Vladivostok is also home to the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet. The Port of Vladivostok imports food products, clothing and footwear, medicines, automobiles, household items, and ships. Its main exports include fish, timber, metals, and ships.
The land supporting the Port of Vladivostok has belonged to many powers that included the ancient Korean Balhae Kingdom, Manchu Dynasty ancestors (the Jurchen), the Mongols, and China. Russia took control of the area in 1858 under the Treaty of Aigun with China.
Founded as a military outpost by Russia in 1960, the Port of Vladivostok's geographic location made it an important strategic base for Russia's Navy. In 1872, the Port of Vladivostok began to grow when the country's main naval base was located there.
The arrival of the Chinese Eastern Railway in 1903 connected the Port of Vladivostok to Manchuria and gave the port a better connection to the rest of the Russian Empire and enhanced its importance as a major center in eastern Russia. The Port of Vladivostok was important as a military port that received supplies from the United States during World War I.
When the Russian Revolution of 1917 began, the Port of Vladivostok was occupied by foreign forces, primarily the Japanese, who stayed there until the early 1920s. After they left the city, the Port of Vladivostok became important to the new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) government.
The Port of Vladivostok continued to be the home of Russia's Pacific Fleet after the USSR took control. It grew considerably after World War II as a military base, and the Port of Vladivostok was closed to foreign shipping between the late 1950s and the end of the Soviet era in the early 1990s.
During the Soviet period, the city's industries were diversified. Large ship repair yards were constructed, workshops supporting the railways were added, and a plant making mining equipment was built.
After the "fall of Communism" in Russia, the Port of Vladivostok emerged as a commercial port with links to other eastern Russian ports as well as countries of the Far East. It began to import consumer goods from Japan, China, and other nations. Today, the Port of Vladivostok is the eastern last stop on Russia's Northern Sea Route that stretches from on the country's northeastern shores near Finland. It is the principal base for supplies for Russia's Arctic ports to the east of Cape Chelyuskin.
Much of the fish caught or processed in the Russian Far East is sent to the Port of Vladivostok for distribution to the rest of the country. The Port of Vladivostok exports petroleum, grain, and coal.
Today, the Port of Vladivostok contains light industries that make instruments and radios, veneers and furniture, chinaware, and pharmaceuticals. Food industries are important to the local economy, making fish, meat, and flour. A small building industry also arose in the Port of Vladivostok making prefabricated building panels.
After the Soviet era ended, the Port of Vladivostok's industries began to decline. Only the food processing industry continued to thrive, and mechanical engineering first remained busy. Today, the Port of Vladivostok is the eastern end of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.