Tuesday, April 23, 2024

10 most efficient ports in sub Saharan Africa


Maritime transport forms the foundation of global trade and the manufacturing supply chain. The maritime industry provides the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and dependable mode of transportation for long distances. 

But if the maritime transport industry is to realize its full potential, then ports efficiency must be top notch.  In this article, we look at 10 most efficient ports in sub Saharan Africa according to World Bank ranking.


Djibouti port is the most efficient port in Sub Saharan Africa measured by minutes per container move, according to the latest ranking from world Bank. The latest Container Ports Performance Index also places Djibouti at number 26th globally. Over the past 15 years, Djibouti has tried to capitalise on its strength and location to become a hub for international trade and logistics. The country also aim to be the Singapore of Africa. The Port of Djibouti Container Terminal has a handling capacity of 350 000 TEU Per annum.

Djibouti port is emerging to be an important port dur to its strategic location enabling the port authorities to turn the port into a regional hub for the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, as well as for Europe, Africa and Asia.


At number 2 is Berbera port located in Somaliland is the only prominent multipurpose port in Somaliland, working as the new integrated maritime, logistics and industrial hub in the Horn of Africa. It focuses on contributing to Somaliland’s economy and those of surrounding local communities in neighbouring countries. The port is being managed by DP World. By implementing new digital systems, sustainable business practices and through its increased, trained staff complement, vessel waiting times have been reduced from days to mere hours. Berbera Port’s now has a capacity for 500,000 TEUs a year.


The Port of Conakry is Guinea’s largest and major port, situated on the southern coast of Guinea, in the country’s capital and biggest city serving as the nation’s financial, trade, cultural and administrative centre. The capacity of the Conakry Terminal is 8,000 TEU and 2,000 vehicles. It was ranked first port of West Africa in 2021 by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.


Also in the list of the most efficient ports in Sub Saharan Africa is Matadi. It is the chief sea port of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the capital of the Kongo Central province, adjacent to the border with Angola.

Matadi Port is the most important maritime port of DRC with 90% maritime traffic (not including oil tankers). It has a handling capacity of 2,500,000 metric tons of cargo per year. Matadi Port has started upgrading its installation according to ISPS code. The port is connected with Kinshasa by railroad.The port is 1,610 meters long and equipped with 10 quays, this may allow “parking” of ten big ships at the same time.


The Port Of Tema is the largest port in Ghana. Situated on the eastern coast of the country, it stretches over a 3.9 million square metres of land area. The port receives an average of over 1511 vessel calls per year. These comprise container vessels, general cargo vessels, tankers, Ro-Ro and cruise vessels amongst many others.

85% of Ghana’s trade is done through the ports (Tema and Takoradi ) with shipping routes and vessel calls to and from all continents through both direct and transshipment services.
Set within the industrial city of Tema and 30 km from the capital city of Ghana, the port’s environs serve as a logistic point for activities of Inland Clearance Depots (ICDs), Warehouses, Transport and Haulage companies, Freight Forwarders, Factories and related service centres.



The Port of Mogadishu, also known as the Mogadishu International Port, is the official seaport of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Classified as a major class port, it is the largest harbour in the country. The port has been operated by Albayrak since 2014. As a major East African port and a significant asset to Somalia, improvements will focus on facilitating increased trade flows, a new terminal operating system and a new revenue share agreement


The Port of Beira is situated on the north bank of the Pungue River and is an important centre for shipping and logistics in the central Mozambican and Central African regions, while serving as a gateway to the neighbouring African states by road and, rail and pipeline to Zimbabwe, and road and rail to Botswana, Zambia, DR Congo, and Malawi. The city of Beira is the third largest in Mozambique.

The port has 11 berths extending along 1,994 metres of quayside, excluding berth 1 which is reserved for fishing vessels.


The Port of Freetown, the principal commercial port in Sierra Leone, is the most important entry gate for trade and commerce to the country. The Freetown Port (Queen Elizabeth II Quay) is located within the busy and congested eastern end of the city. It serves as the major logistics hub for Sierra Leone’s imports and exports. As an essential component of the country’s economic prosperity, this land is valuable in terms of its limited area and the need to maximize its efficiency


he Port of Toamasina is situated on the east coast of Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world.  The port faces into the Indian Ocean.  Toamasina is connected by rail with the country’s capital city of Antananarivo.

With the advent of concessioning of terminals the port has become modernised and boasts an efficient container terminal, operated on a 20-year concession by Philippines’ International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), awarded in 2005 and operating as MICTSL (Madagascar International Container Terminal Services Ltd.).

The concession involved the operation, management, financing, rehabilitation and development of the container terminal by the concessionaire. The concession consisted of a bid of €36.80 for the variable concession fee to be paid to the port authority for each TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) that will transit through the terminal.

The port of Toamasina now handles 90 percent of Madagascar’s container traffic and more than 80 percent of all other commodities.


Port of Takoradi, I also one of the most efficient ports in sub Saharan Africa. It is Ghana’s premiere commercial Port was commissioned for business in 1928 to facilitate Ghana’s international trade. The Port is strategically located on latitude 4°532’north, 1°345’west and is 225km west of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The strategic location of the Port makes it a very cost effective route to and from Europe, America and Asia. It is positioned to service the northern hinterland of Ghana and the international trade of the three Sahelian landlocked economies of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.  In 2021, the Port handled 25% of Ghana’s seaborne traffic, 61% of Ghana’s seaborne exports and 18% of Ghana’s seaborne imports. Major commodities handled through the Port are manganese, bauxite, clinker, wheat, bulk and bagged cocoa, quicklime, contanerised cargo, equipment for the mining and oil/gas industry.

Traffic through the Port is facilitated by leading shipping lines like Maersk, MSC, Grimaldi, Delmas, and CMA CGM  which have extended the trading influence of our clients globally. The Port’s wide range of equipment stock, with the support of the private sector offers a range of services to facilitate the efficient and cost-effective delivery to clients.

The Port of Takoradi, since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities offshore in Ghana in 2007, about 70 nautical miles from the its location, has contributed significantly to Ghana’s economy  and continues to be the main strategic logistics support base for the offshore exploration and production of oil/gas in Ghana and beyond. Indeed, vessel calls have increased from a little under 600 per annum (pre oil discovery in 2007) to over 1000 calls per annum since 2010 upto 2020, before dropping to 918 vessel calls in 2021 largely because of slowdown in operations in the offhore oil fileds due the to the knock-on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity and oil prices. Offshore supply vessels calls as a percentage of total vessel calls of the Port, increased from 11% in 2007 to an annual avearge of 60% from 2011 through to 2019, before declining to 49% and 48% in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

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