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The Arab Sea Ports Federation

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Active Members

Merca port

Port of Bossaso

Working Member

Merca port in Somalia


The Port of Merca is situated in southern Somalia, on the Indian Ocean, just 70 kilometres southwest of the country’s major port of Mogadishu. It consists of an open roadstead and offshore coral reefs, making it mandatory to transport goods by lighters.

It is a jetty class port and is known for the export of Bananas. In the early 1900s, it was a small fishing village but was rebuilt into a real functional port by the town’s Italian governor who named it Porto di Merca. With the coming up of an Italian settlement in the port city, its infrastructure was improved and it was nicknamed ‘Porto bananiero’ or the port of bananas as even during this period, Bananas from Somalia were exported to almost all European countries.

The port city witnessed economic growth in the mid-1980s due to growing commerce, construction of railways and increased agricultural production. However, it was destroyed during the civil war and port infrastructure was burnt. Since then, the port has not seen major expansion works and has been abandoned by the authorities. Only small fishing vessels and local fishermen can be seen in the rudimentary facility.

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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