Difference Between Harbour and Port


Main Difference

The main difference between Harbour and Port is that Harbour is a specific residence to store boats, whereas Port is a residence of a dock, and traffic.

Harbour vs. Port

A Harbour is a place on the coast where boats or ships take shelter. A Port is a place where receiving and packing of boats and ships take place. Harbour used to store boats, and Port is used to store stooping, transportation, and storing of boats.

Harbour is an area where we get safety from stormy weather. Ports are usually developed to handle trading among countries like exports and imports. Harbour is a creation of both natural and human-made, and the Port is the creation of man.


The basic purpose of Harbour is to take safe anchorage when the weather is not fit. Port serves for trading facilities from one country to another country. Harbour is heaven for vessels. A Port is a harmless residence for vessels.

Harbour may or may not offer onshore services. A Port has many onshore facilities like repair companies, hotels, restaurants, and so on. Human-made Harbour also performs as a Port.

Comparison Chart

Harbour mentions the place after war to the shore.Port mentions a place where ships and boats exchange passengers and burden from the land.
Protection place for stormy conditions.Exchange of luggage between countries.
Place on the coastLocation on the coast

What is Harbour?

Harbour is a contemporary service of protection for boats and ships. It is the place where ships and boats stay for protection when the weather is not suitable for the trade. Harbour is a place where ships and boats are also stored for future uses.

Harbour places have a dense wall for the safety from the waves. Harbour is defined as storage or parking space sideways the coast, and offer secure dock to several ships and craft. Harbour construction is human-made or natural.

It is the area of water near the land in which ships can stay safely. It has equipment and service for shipping. It provides a vast spacing on his flip side. The term Harbour is used with Port.

It is made up of dropping and picking up passengers and loading and unloading vessels. Harbour plays an important role in civilization. Through Harbour, many people use ships and boats on the sea.


  • Natural Harbour: Natural Harbour is a landform where a quota of sea or ocean is consequently bottomless and sheltered. It allows the vessels to get refuge. A natural Harbour is surrounded on various sides of the land.
  • Artificial Harbour: An artificial Harbour has sea walls breakwaters. It is constructed by dredging that requires maintenance for further periods.

What is Port?

It is a place situated off the sea that connects the land with waterbody. Ports serve in our trading services as for belongings and cargo from one place to another. Port is a specific area or place to load and upload the ships and boats as well.

Port supports ships to control cargo, containing cranes to exchange goods, and docks for ships to attach it. Ports also provide the facilities of hotels, restaurants, and many other custom services, etc. Port is an important factor from economic to tactical points.

Port also load troopships for sailing to war. It also provides custom facilities repair companies, and shipbuilding restaurants, hotels, etc. Port is an area at the shore to attach land through the water. It joins several countries to one another for the trading. The Port plays a basic role in providing trading facilities.


  • Fishing Port: Fishing Port is a Port where distribution and landing fish take place. It is commercial, but the depletion of fish made Fishing Port uncommercial. Port only depends on an ocean product.
  • Warm Water Port: A Warm Water Port is where water does not freeze in winter because it is available year-round. Valdez being and Saint Petersburg is a notable example.
  • Inland Port: Inland Port happens on an inland waterway as a canal, river, and lake and may or may not associated with the sea.
  • Dry Port: A road or a rail connect a dry Port to a Sea Port. Dry Port is the main region for the transshipment of the sea cargo.
  • Cruise Ship Port: A cruise ship is a passenger ship. It usually used for a different destination as for pleasure voyage.

Key Differences

  1. Harbour can be natural or human-made, whereas Port is the man creation.
  2. Harbour is a seaport for the vessels; on the other hand, Port is a secure area for containers.
  3. Harbour may or may not support you onshore; conversely, Port supports you on onshore.
  4. Harbour provides safety from the dangerous weather; on the other hand, Port transfer cargo and passengers from the land.
  5. Harbour is an area along the coast that consists of a thick wall for providing protection from the vessels, cargo container loader, waves, and current for the ships; conversely, Port provides a facility for handling cargo and discharge goods.
  6. Harbour may or may not have the onshore facility; on the flip side, Port provides many onshore facilities like repairing companies, hotels, restaurants, etc.


Harbour and Port look the same from the coastline, but they serve for different purposes. Harbour is a place on the coast, whereas a Port is a location on the coast.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson