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The Port of Santos is located in the city of Santos, Brazil. As of 2006, it is the busiest container port in Latin America. It is Brazil’s leading port in container traffic. Today it is Latin America’s largest port. Its structure is considered Brazil’s most modern.
It was once considered the ‘port of death’ in the 19th century. Ships tended to avoid docking at the wood plank port, fearing the yellow fever. The floods in the city’s area provoked illnesses and once the bubonic plague almost decimated the population.
In the early 20th century, major urbanization created the port’s modern structure seen today, eliminating the risk of diseases and providing the port with modern, industrial-age infrastructure.
The first railway link from the port to the state capital São Paulo City, 79 km away, and the state’s interior, was completed in 1864. This allowed for an easier transportation of the vast masses of migrant workers who headed to São Paulo and the state’s numerous coffee farms.
Millions of immigrants reached Brazil via the port of Santos in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, proceeding to the country’s interior by railway. Santos was for a few decades the true gateway to Brazil for millions of immigrants.
(Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Santos – acesso em 21.01.2011)