The port is on the Strait of Dover 49 miles to the northwest of Lille between the Belgian frontier and Calais. It is the third largest port in France, it was originally built as an artificial port and was largely rebuilt in 1945 after World War 2. It was made famous on 6th June 1944 when one of the D-day landings occurred at the beach there - and there are many memorials to the many soldiers who died there in addition to the other nice features of this traditional French town.
The port offers 8.5 miles of quay and is able to fit all sizes of ship, from the smallest up to a giant tanker. The port also contains four dry docks as well as two more floating docks for repairs along with storehouses for grain, fruit and refrigerated products. The docks of Belgium and all important points in Northern France are connected to Dunkerque by a complex system of canals and railways. The major imports into the port are coal, phosphates, fuel oil and minerals, whilst exports are cement, sugar and chemical products.
Dunkerque offers great shopping facilities. There are modern supermarkets and also colourful weekly markets. Shoppers are offered a wide variety of crafts, including crystal, pottery, lace and much more. The shopping centres and specialised shops sell first-rate wines and foods. Add this to the duty free nature of the shopping and it's all quite an offering. Should all this tire you out, you can go to the wide range of bars and restaurants existing in the town and nearby.
There are 6 main terminals at Dunkerque. The Western Bulk terminal is operated by Sea-Bulk and can simultaneously service up to two large coal or ore carriers of 180,000 dwt in size and with draughts up to 60ft in addition to an aluminium-ore carrier. The container terminal has some expansion work going on at the moment, and will open in early 2004 as long as it keeps progressing on schedule. There will be two new seaside berths in the 600m quay extension which will be able to take in some of the world's biggest container ships up to those drawing up to 15.50m at any tide level. The ro-ro terminal increased it's traffic recently by 29%. The steel terminal specialises in shipping metallurgical products and is dedicated to handlings spools, plates, slabs and coils. The Multibulk terminal completes the facilities for dry bulk at Dunkerque. At the Eastern Port there are general cargo terminals which can handle conventional cargoes like copper, timber, tubes and heavy machinery, in addition to a range of manufactured products.