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The Arab Sea Ports Federation

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Active Members

Berbera port

Port of Berbera.

Working Member

Berbera port in Somalia

Overview​

Berbera port is located on the northern coast of Somalia, on the southeastern end of the Gulf of Aden. It is formed by a low lying sandy spit in the north which acts as a breakwater for the quays located in the south. The entrance channel is 800 m wide and around 16.5 m deep providing two anchorages. It is known for exporting animal hides, ghee, gum and livestock including sheep and goats. Major import commodities comprise cotton products, sugar, rice and dates. Approximately 250,000 tonnes of cargo and more than 130 vessels are handled at the Berbera port every year.

It was established more than a hundred years ago and served as a naval base for the Somali government in the 1990s. Following an agreement between the Somali authorities and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1962, the port’s expansion was financed by the latter. A 350 m linear wharf was built in 1984 by the United States of America when the Somali government strengthened trade ties with the US. Since then, the port has grown manifold and contributed to the economic upliftment of the Somali land community.

Berbera port has 5 conventional berths each measuring 125 m with an alongside depth of 7.3 m. It also has an additional RORO berth covering 100 m with a water depth of 9 m. Capable of accommodating ships with an LOA of 200 m, these facilities mainly receive livestock carriers and huge humanitarian aid cargoes.

New and modern port equipment was obtained in 2014. Berbera port has 10 mobile cranes with a 70-tonne lifting capacity, 2 forklifts, 3 reach stackers and 5 port trucks. Ample storage space is available including a 5760 m2 warehouse area for keeping 120,000 tonnes of cargoes and paved yards spanning 64,000 m2. A separate jetty receives oil from the tankers and is directly connected to the petroleum depot through a network of pipelines.

The Container terminal

The container terminal is a new facility that became operational in June 2021, inaugurated by DP World and the Somali government. The terminal is being developed in phases and after the completion of the first phase, it has an annual container handling capacity of 500,000 TEUs which would rise to 2 million TEUs after the second phase is completed.

This container terminal has a draft of 17 m, a 400 m long quay, a modern container yard and eight rubber-tyred gantries and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, capable of handling the biggest container vessels. A One-Stop service centre is also being constructed.

Financed by DP World, this port development project aims to transform Berbera into a major maritime trade hub of the region and a crucial logistics provider. A Free Economic Zone is also being developed to attract private investments and create employment opportunities.

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