The port comprises a deep natural harbour with an 11 kilometre long approach channel which provides safe navigation for vessels up to 75,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT). The main areas of port activity are two wharves; East Wharf with seventeen vessel berths and West Wharf with thirteen vessel berths. The maximum depth alongside the berths is currently 11.3 metres. The two wharves extend in opposite directions along the upper harbour – the East Wharf northeast from Kiamari Island and the West Wharf southwest from Saddar town. The two wharves each include a container terminal:
- Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) opened in 1996 at West Wharf berths 28-30. It has a handling capacity of 300,000 TEUs per annum and handles container ships up to 11-metre draught. The total quay length is 600 metres divided into two container berths. The terminal is equipped with three Panamax cranes and one post-Panamax crane.
- Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) in 2002 at East Wharf berths 6-9. It has a handling capacity of 350,000 TEUs per annum and handles container ships up to 11.5-metre draught. The total quay length is 600 metres divided into two container berths. The terminal is equipped with two Panamax cranes.
- KICT and PICT have a nearby competitor in the privately operated Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT), which opened in 2001 at a site west of the Layari river. AICT is situated next to the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, the new truck stand at Hawkes Bay Road and close to the RCD Highway, Super Highway and the future Layari Bypass.
There are also three liquid cargo-handling berths (oil piers), two ship repair jetties and a shipyard and engineering facility. The shipyard carries out shipbuilding and repair for both commercial and military customers on a 29-hectare (70 acres) site at the West Wharf. The facilities include a large shipbuilding hall, three shipbuilding berths, two dry-docks and three foundries