The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity. It is a major point of entry for both cargo and tourists in and out of Israel, as well as imported military equipment. Ships carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip also unload their cargo at the port.
The need to open another deep water port arose in Israel's early years, when it became clear that the expansion of the existing ports of Haifa and Eilat could not ensure efficient handling of the increasing volume of export and import cargoes. The decision to start the new port was based on a number of considerations:
The port meshes with the concern for population dispersal and the establishment of urban centers in the southern part of the country.
The port substantially shortens the overland transport of cargoes to and from the southern and central parts of the country.
The distance from the citrus groves of Rehovot to the Port of Ashdod is 102 km shorter than to Haifa's port and the transport of potash from Sodom to the Port of Ashdod is 120 km less than to Haifa.
The port is close to the existing transport arteries with the possibility of developing new routes in the future.
The port is situated near the industrial and production centers of the country, as well as to Tel Aviv, the commercial center.