During World War II it consisted only of a jetty, two shipping berths, a railhead and warehouses and a civilian settlement some miles distant. It was at time that, among others, the German ship Hohenfels fell into British hands and became Empire Kamal.
Thereafter it was administered by the US Army 482nd Port Battalion and served as a critical supply point for Allied military aid for Russia. The port facilities were also used for merchant and military vessel layup and repair. Three additional berths were built during the war..