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Port Information - Durban, South Africa


Latitude: 29% 52 S

Longitude: 31% 04 E

Time Zone: GMT +2

The Port of Durban is South Africa's major Port and serves not only the industrial hinterland of Johannesburg and surrounding areas, but it is also the gateway to neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and other regions like the landlocked Kingdoms of Swaziland and Lesotho.
This Port is the busiest in Africa and covers a wide range of exports as well as imports; exports outweighing the imports.

The Port is home to Africas biggest Container Terminal as well as numerous Private Terminals and various Transnet Port Terminals. Dry Docking, Ship Repair Services and Bunkering facilities are also readily available. Durban Harbour Radio operates 24 hours a day on VHF Channel 16. A Pilot is usually picked up about 2 miles north-east of the breakwater. A helicopter service has been introduced which has reduced the awaiting Pilot's time drastically.

The entrance channel draft is currently an average of 11,9m (excluding tide) and permission from the Port Captain is required for vessels up to 12,5m. A project is however already underway to increase the width and depth of the Port entrance channel, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. Berthing and sailing is generally on a 24 hour basis, weather permitting.

The Port works 7 days a week, on a three shift system during week days and a two shift system on weekends. Vessel movements are subject to the following restrictions:

Daylight Night
Max length of vessel 265m Max length of vessel 200m
Max beam of vessel 32.5m Max beam of vessel 32.5m
Max draft 11.9m Max draft 11.9m
Max draft subject tide 12.5m Max draft subject tide 12.5m

Terminal information:

DCT Durban Container Terminal:

Berth Length Draft Commodities Load/Discharge Method
200 236m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes
201 216m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes
202 216m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes
203 305m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes
204 305m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes
205 305m 11.9m Containers Container Gantry Cranes

Durban Container Terminal is the biggest and busiest in Southern Africa, handling about 65% of South Africas container traffic. Approximately 2.3 million TEUs where handled through Durban in 2007, with current expectations well over.

3 million TEUs that will be handled per year by 2010. Various projects are on going in order to increase the capacity off Terminal, including the New Pier 1 Terminal, which is expected to handle around 600 000 additional TEU per year, helping take the pressure off the main Terminal.

Maydon Wharf Terminals:

Maydon Wharf has a unique history and position in the Port. It accommodates 15 berths, most of which are on long term lease with privately owned facilities. Some of the Maydon Wharf Terminals are as follows:

SA Sugar Terminal (Maydon Wharf 2):

3 Silos with Storage capacity of: 520 000tons

Bagged Sugar warehouse capacity of: 57 000tons

Load Rate: 900 1000mt / hour

Draft: 9m

RBT Rennies Bulk Terminal (Maydon Wharf 5):

Berth Length Draft Commodities Load/Discharge Method

MW 5 201m 9.6m Agri & Mineral Products 1 x Belt Loader

2 x Mechanical Unloaders

Load / discharge rate: 800mt / hour (Load) / 1100mt / hour (Discharge)

Max LOA: 201m

Max Beam: 36m

Owned and operated by South African Bulk Terminals, RBT can store 62,000 tons of cargo in silos and another 88,000 tons of cargo in Flat Storage Bins. Products imported/exported by RBT include fertilizer, fluorspar, maize, rice, wheat, oil cake, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Combined planning of vessel calling at RBT and DBS (South African Bulk Terminals Island View Terminal) helps enhance overall performance.

Grain Elevator (Maydon Wharf 8):

Storage capacity: 68 000 tons

Load rate: 1000 1200mt / hour

Draft: 10.3m

Normal port working hours (12 hours with extensions if required).

Brunner Mond Soda Ash Appliance (Maydon Wharf 14):

Storage capacity : 32 000 tons

Discharge rate : 85 120mt / hour

Draft : 9.6m

Bulk Connections Terminal:

Berth Length Draft Commodities Load/Discharge Method

BC 2 185m 10m Coal, Manganese 4 x Ship loader/unloaders

BC 3 185m 8.8m Met Coke

BC 4 225m 10.3m Copper Concentrate

Bulk Connections is a multi-product bulk terminal. It specializes in handling degradation-sensitive cargoes on Handymax vessels and has a terminal capacity of around 3.5 million tons per year. Container equipment has been uniquely adapted to be able to export and import bulk materials. Special storage areas have been created for different commodities. The Terminal currently handles exports of sized and unsized coal, anthracite, manganese ore and copper concentrate. Metallurgical Coke is currently the main import cargo being handled. The Terminal currently achieves and average load rate of close to 10 000m/tons and an average discharge rate of around 5000 6000m/tons per day.

DBS Durban Bulk Shipping:

Berth Length Draft Commodities Load/Discharge Method

Island View 3 167m 12.5m Chrome Ore, Minerals, 1 x Belt Loader

Maize, Rice, Wheat, 2 x Pneumatic Unloaders

Oilcake, Soya Beans,

Sunflower seeds

Load / discharge rate: 1200mt / hour (Load) / 640mt / hour (Discharge)

Max LOA: 255m

Max Beam: 36m

Owned and operated by South African Bulk Terminals, DBS can store 69500 tons in silos. DBS is the only Sub-Saharan grain terminal capable of handling fully-laden Panamax vessels.


Berth Length Draft Commodities Load/Discharge Method

Ship Repair Jetty West 300m 7.8m Ship Repairs only n/a

Ship Repair Jetty East 300m 7.4m Ship Repairs only n/a

Dormac Repair Quay 195m 8m Ship Repairs only n/a

There are a number of large engineering and ship repair firms active in Durban, capable of undertaking most major repair work. There are ship building facilities where Tug Boats and Double Hulled Bunker Barges have been constructed. Divers for underwater repairs, hull cleaning and surveys are also available.

Docking Facilities:

Transnet Port Authorities operates a Dry Dock, a Floating Dock and a Slipway for small craft. The Transnet Dry Dock can be divided into 2 compartments of 206.9m and 138.7m respectively and can be emptied within 4 hours. There are 5 electric cranes ranging from 10 to 50 tons SWL to service the vessels in dock. The Floating Dock has a lifting capacity of 4500 tons and has two 5 ton electric cranes. The Slipway can accommodate vessels up to 19.8m LOA and with a draft limit of 2.7m.

Ship repair company Elgin, Brown & Hamer, operates the privately owned ELDOCK Floating Dock, which has a lifting capacity of 8500 tons and can accommodate vessels up to 140m LOA and with a draft limit of 6.3m.


Fuel oil, gas oil and marine diesel oil is available. Unfortunately there are no longer shore pipeline bunkering facilities available, but there are a number of bunker barges available for bunker delivery. For safety reasons, all bunkering has to be done with the vessel alongside a safe berth no bunkering at anchorage is permitted.


There are a number of reputable Ship chandlers available in the Port and a launch service for off port limits deliveries is also available.


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