The importance of Batumi’s harbour grew steadily during the last quarter of the 19th century. A key factor was the transit shipping of oil from Baku and infrastructure investments made by the Nobel brothers and Baron Rotschild. Oil tankers were in operation already at the end of the 19th century with oil export to distant international destinations via the Suez Channel. The Baku-Batumi pipeline was completed in 1900. In this period, at the turn of the century, 26% of the world’s oil export passed through the Batumi Sea Port (http://www.batumiport.com).
In the Soviet period the port continued its development, both a major hub for sea cargo and for passenger transportation.
Since 2008 the company KazTransOil acquired the exclusive rights to management of the Batumi Sea Port, which underlines the importance of Batumi port in oil and cargo transportation from Central Asia over the Caucasus to the Black Sea.