The Port of Busan (also known as Pusan) is on the southeast Korean peninsula facing Japan's western coast about half-way between the ports of Hiroshima and Fukuoka. It is Korea's gateway to the Pacific Ocean and its leading port.
As Geochilsan-guk, the Port of Busan was a chiefdom of Jinhan in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD. Nearby burial mounds indicate a complex chiefdom ruling the area between 300 and 400 AD. From the 10th to 14th Centuries, it was called Pusanpo. The Korean government designated the Port of Busan a trading post in the early 15th Century and allowed Japanese to settle there. The Japanese settlement at the Port of Busan was called Waegwan, and it continued to exist until Korea's modern diplomatic era began in 1876 when the Port of Busan became Korea's first international port.
The Port of Busan was opened to the Japanese in 1876 and to foreign trade in 1883. During the Japanese occupation (1910-1945), the Port of Busan became a trading hub with Japan. The Japanese developed the modern port and transportation routes from to Japan, China, and Russia.
It was one of two cities never occupied by North Korean Communists during the Korean War, thus it became a major refugee camp site. It was the temporary capital of the Republic of Korea, and the UN established a defensive area around the city in 1950. Since that time, Busan has been a self-governing city.
The Port of Busan (Pusan) was opened for the first time in 1876, and the Busan Maritime Organization was established in 1883. In 1905, pier construction began. In 1946, the Port of Busan's business affairs agency was opened, and its name was changed to Busan Maritime Affairs Bureau in 1949. In 1950, the UN army landed at the Port of Busan. In 1974, Pusan embarked on a major port development effort, and the Busan Port Coastal Passenger Terminal was completed in 1978. In 1995, railway service between Shinsundae and Jasungdae terminals was opened.
About 50 thousand vessels call at the Port of Busan every year. The Busan Port Authority (BPA) is responsible for developing, managing, and operating the Port of Busan and surrounding areas. The BPA manages the quay wall, open storage yards, silo, and facilities for oil storage, distribution and sales, loading/unloading, and passengers.
Total throughput in 2006 was 229 million tons of both import and export cargo. Major cargo groups included textiles, machinery, electronics, chemical products, steel and steel products, prepared food stuffs, petroleum products, and plastics and rubber.
Opened in 2002, the Dongbu Pusan Container Terminal (DPCT) has a capacity to handle 1.2 million TEUs of containerized cargo per year. It offers over 800 meters of quay with draft of 15 meters. The U-AM Container Terminal is the first private terminal in Korea. Offering two berths and over 500 meters of quay and a depth of 11 meters of draft, it covers over 18.2 hectares and can stack 8000 TEUs of containerized cargo.
Opened in the late 1970s, the Hutchison Korea Terminals handled over 20 million TEUs of containerized cargo in 1997. The Hutchison Busan Container Terminal (HBTC) offers quay of over 1600 meters. It covers .8 hectares and can stack over 40 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. The HBTC contains railroad connections and is equipped to handle hazardous container cargo.
Busan New Port is under construction. By mid-2009, it will offer nine berths and .8 hectares of quay with up to 11 meters of draft. Busan New Port already offers state-of-the-art facilities and is directly linked to both road and rail to Seoul and other industrial areas throughout the Republic of Korea. In 2006, the container storage yard covered 19 hectare with storage capacity for over 46 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. By 2009, Busan New Port will cover almost 50 hectares including storage