ROLE OF HERAKLION PORT IN SEA TRANSPORTATION In Local Terms The Port of Heraklion is very receptive for developments and to this effect we mention : a) Its location on the island that is halfway between the centers of economic and transportational activities.
b) Its placement on the road system of the island.It is in the middle of the main highway system of the island (Kastelli of Kissamos-Siteia) and at the start of the Heraklion-Tympaki highway,that constitute the basic traffic system of the island and the spinal cord of road transportation. c) The lack of a railway system and the impossible of its construction due to the morphology of the terrain of the island that entails great difficulty in long distance transportations e.g.Messara - Hania or Siteia. d) The dynamic immediate mainland which is the richest of Crete and the one that has big potential in development in all sectors,agricultural (Messara),industrial (Heraklion),and touristic (Malia). e) The lack of competitive ports on the island and the incapacity of constructing contemporary port facilities. Souda is situated in a remote place with limited possibilities for development from its immediate mainl and and with additional limitations that exist due to the naval base. The other ports have a different destination and it is impossible to develop. On National Scale The Port of Heraklion plays an important role in the sector of sea transportations,exports,tourism and travel.It is not rivalled by other national ports and it serves purposes that are unable to be achieved by other means.Additionally,with the regular ferryboat lines it is a necessary junction on the extension of the national highway system Salonica - Athens- Heraklion. On International Scale The Port of Heraklion plays for the time being a secondary role because of the small rates of business,as a result of its limited mainland (approximately 3/4 of Crete),which is the main reason for this.Beyond this disadvantage there are certain advantages like : a) Its placement on the section of the international navigational lines that connect America - South Europe - Middle East - North Africa - Balkans countries of the Black Sea - South Russia. b) The important place that it has as far as the most important tranrportational centers of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea are concerned,they have circular position (around Heraklion) with a possibility of immediate conect ion without deviations. c) The existing of a small but very dynamic immediate mainland with increased export trade,important touristic infrastructure and with the fast developing city of Heraklion that can support activities in the wider area of transportations not only concerning the bulk of the goods and passengers but also regarding the number of a wide range of facilities relative torepairs,transformations,resupply,managing and,generally speaking,facilities of any kind. d) The existing port infrastructure facilities that can be put to use immediately without long term programming and big capital investment. This advantage is very important due to the change of the strategy in trans- porting that imposes the establishment,in short time, of a port of the area as a transportational trade center. e) The possibility of extending the port facilities in combination with other basic infrastructure works(slanted airport runway) that will create proper ground for expan- sion in the shipbuilding sector,transformation,etc., in which case additional ground areas will be added.
f) The immediate contact with the airport facilities that can create development factors in the area of combined transportation.