What is the Difference Between Port and Harbour?

By Ritika Pant|Updated : August 2nd, 2022

There is a massive difference between a port and a harbour. A Port is a water facility that is used commercially for the transportation of ships and their shipments. It is supplied with cranes, forklift trucks, storehouses, and dockyards. Moreover, a port offers many suitable facilities for ships.

On the other hand, Harbour is a passage along the coastline where the ship and other water crafts are parked or reserved. A harbour can either be naturally developed or created artificially by human beings.

Major Differences Between Port and Harbour With Examples

Ports and harbours often perform similar purposes relating to administration, development, industry, and commerce. So look at the table below to briefly understand the difference between port and Harbour.



A Port is an arrangement where boats and ships downs and transfer passengers and cargo to/from land.

Harbour indicates an area next to the coast, where water yachts are landed to get safety from stormy weather.

It is a zone for docking, traffic, and storage of boats.

It is a location for storing ships.

Ports are created artificially by man. 

They can be natural or man-made.

They play a significant role in importing and exporting goods and cargo to countries.

They are aiming for protection from nasty weather conditions.

It is a safe place for ships.

It is a shelter for ships.

Available easily.

It may or may not be available.

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FAQs on Difference Between Port and Harbour

  • There is a wide difference between port and habour. A Port is a place for laying ships, traffic, and storage of boats. In contrast, a harbour is a location for securing boats. Furthermore, ports are created by man, whereas harbours can be man-made or created naturally on their own.

  • The fundamental similarity between port and Harbour is they are man-made. But, harbours can be both natural and man-made. Though ports are responsible for trading goods and cargo to countries, harbours are areas where water vessels are landed to get safety from stormy weather.

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