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Poland currently has several sea ports of which three: the Szczecin - Swinoujscie port agglomeration, Gdansk and Gdynia are first class ports of world renown.
Last year Polish longshoremen handled more than 34 million tons of cargo.
Szezocin - Swinoujscie has for years led all the other Baltic ports in the amount of cargo handled.
Modern port means miles of quays equipped with cranes, transporters, railway tracks, warehouses, cold-storage facilities, storage areas.
Tugs and floating cranes move around the basins.
Scores of enterprises working in the ports are linked by a uniform communications system.
Guidelines for the 6th Congress of Polish United Workers' Party call for the expansion of Polish ports to include facilities for handling ships up to 100 thousand tons, meeting the needs connected with servicing Polish coal exports and oil imports.
Here are the practical steps for turning this programme into reality.
New harbour facilities are being added in Gdansk. These will be capable of handling large-capacity ocean-going ships.
The so-called northern port is, by its scope, the equivalent of building Gdynia, the largest port investment in pre-war Poland.
Loose cables, cranes, pile-drivers and rubble are the only indication of the place between Westerplatte and the old port where ships of up to 100 thousand tons will be able to dock in a few years. A base for sulphur shipments is also being established there.
Second vast base for handlong ocean-going giants is under construction in Swinoujscie, the avanport of Szczecin.
Swinoujscie is becoming a major base for handling bulk cargoes - coal, metal ores, pyrites, chemical raw materials and fertilizers.
Last year the Szczecin - Swinoujscie port agglomeration handled more than 6 thousand ships of 31 different countries.
Expansion and building of new ports is proceeded by very comprehensive research and testing.
Laboratory port in Gdansk is capable of answering questions concerning the behaviour of particular port facilities under various conditions - during storms, strong wind, high waves and strong current.
Guidelines for the 6th Party Congress also call for the creation of special bases for handling container vessels, large-crate cargoes and ferry traffic.
Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin are the home ports for vast fleets of Poland's two shipping companies - Polish Ocean Lines /PLO/ and Polish Steamship Company /PZM/
Swinoujscie is the home base for a fishing flotilla of the ODRA distant fishing company, Szczecin the base for its sister company GRYF and Gdynia the base for DALMOR, Ocean Fishing Co,
Ports are one of the foundations for Polish maritime economy.
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