Friday, 18 May 2012



Durban is Africa's busiest general cargo port and home to one of the largest and busiest container terminals in the Southern Hemisphere. The port has a total of 59 effective berths excluding those used by fishing vessels and ship repair. A single buoy mooring at Isipingo caters for very large crude carriers (VLCC) that are too large to enter the port. In response to demand the port of Durban is creating more container handling facilities including a second container terminal, but space will continue to be reserved for breakbulk and bulk cargo. The port has excellent rail and road links to neighbouring industrial zones and hinterland. The largest ships to have entered Durban harbour are in the region of 230,000 dwt but even larger vessels are catered for in the outer anchorage.

2. PORT OF RICHARD BAY, SOUTH AFRICA (largest coal export terminal in the world)

The Port of Richards Bay, the largest coal export terminal in the world, is located approximately 160km north-east of Durban and 465km south of Maputo, on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. The establishment of the port 30 years ago has transformed a small fishing village into a dynamic industrial city, and a new berth has opened every second year. To date the port has handled in excess of 1.3 billion tonnes of coal and a further 500 million tonnes of other raw materials and cargo. The average throughput is over 80 million tonnes annually, which represents an impressive 60% of South Africa's total seaborne cargo. There are five dedicated cargo-handling terminals at which approximately 1700 vessel calls are made each year. Port of Richards Bay has an entrance channel 300m wide with a permissible draft of 17.5m, and open storage for 6.7 million tonnes of coal.


Kenya's Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, serving Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the eastern gateway for the Democratic Republic of Congo, is one of the most important ports in East Africa but struggles to cope with heavy throughput traffic. However, a rehabilitation programme is currently underway. Kenya enjoys an extensive, if deteriorating, infrastructure. Mombasa is the best and most important deepwater port in the region, despite deteriorating equipment and problems with inefficiency and corruption. The Port of Mombasa, with a rated annual capacity of 22 million tonnes, is Kenya's main seaport and features 21 berths, two bulk oil jetties and dry bulk wharves that can handle modern deep draft ships. The port offers specialised facilities, including cold storage, warehousing, and container terminals. Mombasa serves most international shipping lines and has an average annual freight throughput of about 8.1 million tonnes, of which 72% are imports.


The principal sea port of Tanzania has a dedicated container terminal equipped with two ship-to-shore gantry cranes (SSG), each with a lifting a capacity of 35.6 tonnes. These are supported by six rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTG) for stacking containers in the yard.  The port benefits from being situated at the conversion of the two railway lines (Tanzania Railways and Tanzania Zambia Railways) serving the hinterland, and the international airport is located just 11km away. There is also an inland container depot located 2km outside the port.


The port of Beira in Mozambique is situated at the mouth of the Pungue River. The port is directly linked to the hinterland (Zimbabwe and Zambia) by road and rail networks, and currently by road only to Malawi. However, the Sena railway line linking Beira with Malawi and the Tete Province is currently being rebuilt. A pipeline constructed in 1960 links the port with Zimbabwe. Beira also has direct sea links to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The facility at Beira has a total of 11 berths stretching over a total length of 1994 metres, excluding fishing berths.


DP World secured the management contract for Djibouti Port in June 2000. A 20 year concession provides long-term commitment from DP World to the development of the port at Djibouti. The links with the Middle East are further enhanced as Djibouti Free Zone (DFZ) is managed by Dubai's JAFZA. With a capacity area of 17 ha, DFZ serves 39 national and multinational companies and will accommodate more when fully operational. Djibouti lies on the main east-west trade route with minimal journey deviation, and provides a secure hub within the region for transhipment and relay business. Djibouti serves as a primary gateway for the strong transit trade to Ethiopia, being the only port in the region connected to the Ethiopian capital by rail. The terminal currently has a container handling capacity of 350,000 TEUs per annum


A state-of-the-art facility has emerged at Port Said East as a transhipment centre serving the Mediterranean at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. The facility is ideally located at the entrance of Suez, which allows for zero deviation of vessels catering to European trade from the Middle East, Asia and East Africa. The container terminal is one of the newest in the whole of Africa, having begun operations in 2004, and its inclusion in the Top Ten African Ports is warranted on the back of its outstanding development rate.


The Port of Lagos is Nigeria's primary seaport and is split into three main divisions: Lagos Port, Apapa Port and Tin Can Port, all located on the Gulf of Guinea and operated by the Nigerian Port Authority. Lagos handles significant trade from neighbouring Benin, Niger and Cameroon. Nigeria itself is home to 140 million people, making it the largest single market on the continent. The terminal handles imports of consumer goods, foodstuffs, motor vehicles, machinery, and industrial raw materials for Africa's most populous nation. Despite declining export trade in timber and agricultural products, such as cacao and groundnuts since the early 1970s, the port has handled growing crude oil exports.


Walvis Bay is the principal port of Namibia and is situated on the west coast of southern Africa. The port has a concrete quay of 1400 metres and the channel and waters alongside berths 1, 2 and 3 have been dredged to 12.8 metres, with berth 4 deepened to 10.6 metres. Walvis Bay is a general cargo port and is being aggressively marketed as an alternate port of choice to South African ports further south and east. There are good road and rail connections with the rest of Namibia while the Trans Kalahari Corridor links the port with Botswana and Gauteng province in South Africa.

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