The northern part of the town, Sangley Point (one of the two forks of the main peninsula), is the principal coaling station of the U.S. fleet in Asiatic waters.
The Messageries Maritimes Company use the port as a coaling station and provisioning depot for their South American trade.
The port is a coaling station of the British navy and is connected by telegraphic cables with Zanzibar and Mauritius.
For many years after its foundation it depended entirely upon the traffic of the canal, being the chief coaling station of all ships passing through and becoming the largest coaling station in the world.
The islands are regularly visited by vessels of the Messageries Maritimes fleet, and a coaling station for the French navy has been established.
In 1877 the American consul hoisted his country's flag, but the action was repudiated by his government, which, however, in 1878 obtained Pago Pago as a coaling station and made a trading treaty with the natives.
The Bermudas became an important naval and coaling station in 1869, when a large iron dry dock was towed across the Atlantic and placed in a secure position in St George, while, owing to their important strategic position in mid-Atlantic, the British government maintains a strong garrison.
It serves as a coaling station for men-of-war and as a highroad to Abyssinia.
Its importance as a port of call for steamers and a coaling station has grown immensely since the opening of the Suez Canal.
Algiers is the chief coaling station in the Mediterranean, having become so largely at the expense of Gibraltar.