Natal is the starting-point of the Natal and Nova Cruz railway, and is a port of call for coastwise steamers, which usually anchor outside the bar.
Its harbour affords ample accommodation for the largest fleets, it is a coaling station for the British navy, the headquarters of the British military forces in West Africa, the sea terminus of the railway to the rich oil-palm regions of Mendiland, and a port of call for all steamers serving West Africa.
Its importance as a port of call for steamers and a coaling station has grown immensely since the opening of the Suez Canal.
The products of the surrounding district, however, cause the town to increase steadily, and it is a regular port of call for the main Levantine lines of steamers.
It is a port of call for ships trading with the north of Europe as well as for vessels outward bound to the Arctic regions, Hudson Bay and Canada.
The trade of Singapore is chiefly dependent upon the position which the port occupies as the principal emporium of the Federated Malay States and of the Malayan archipelago, and as the great port of call for ships passing to and from the Far East.
Bluff Harbour is the port of call and departure for steamers for Melbourne and Hobart.
It is a regular port of call for several intercolonial lines from Sydney and Melbourne, and for lines from London to New Zealand.
Cherbourg is a port of call for the American, North German Lloyd and other important lines of transatlantic steamers.
The harbour is small, and closed to large vessels by a bar of sand; but it is a port of call for the Austrian Lloyd steamers, and annually accommodates about 1500 small vessels, the majority of which are engaged in the coasting trade.