Owing to a dangerous bar at the mouth of the Magdalena the trade of the extensive territory tributary to that river, which is about 60 ho of that of the entire country, must pass in great part through Barranquilla and its seaport, making it the principal commercial centre of the republic. Savanilla was used as a seaport until about 1890, when shoals caused by drifting sands compelled a removal to Puerto Colombia, a short distance westward, where a steel pier, 4000 ft.
Barranquilla, the principal port of the republic, is situated on the Magdalena, and its seaport, or landing-place, is Puerto Colombia at the inner end of Savanilla Bay, where a steel pier 4000 ft.
The bay is slowly filling up, however, and two other landing-places - Salgar and Savanilla - had to be abandoned before Puerto Colombia was selected.
In 1906, according to an official statement, these lines were: (r) The Barranquilla and Savanilla (Puerto Colombia), 172 m.