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International Cargo Seaport: Port of Durban

Posted in International Seaport - 21 Mar 2022, 1:10 PM

Known as one of the busiest ports in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Port of Durban is a vital sea trading facility in South Africa. Combining the facilities for container vessels, commercial sailing, passenger ships, and other maritime activities, the port is an integral part of the growing economy in South Africa.

About Port of Durban

Port of Durban is situated in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on the eastern coast of South Africa. The facility covers the Durban natural expanse, with 122 meters’ width for the entrance channel. It has 59 berths used by various vessels and ships, along with other facilities such as tugboats, pollution boats, floating cranes, and ship repair facilities.

The total distance around it is about 21 km, and it is a location of over 20 terminal operators. This port serves around 4,500 vessels each year, supported by land facilities such as bus terminals and railway tracks. The container terminals are among the largest in Southern Hemisphere, and they handle cargo from the trade with the Middle East, North and South Americas, Asia, and Australia.

The History

The Port of Durban started its history in 1824 when a British party from Cape Colony set up a trading post. This area later grew into a busy port and a popular place for British colonists to travel for leisure, thanks to its beautiful sceneries. The port became a famous seaport for trading sugarcanes, which became necessary for the British traders.

The modern development of the port began in 1994 when South Africa had its first democratic election after being free from Apartheid. The political revitalization made more people move into Durban, finding employments in and around the port and making it busier. The government of South Africa has also made an expansion plan to develop the Port of Durban in a 10-year plan.

The port is also a part of a naval base established during the Second World War. However, the naval base only received a modern renovation in 2012 to accommodate the facilities of the South African navy.

Volume of Transactions in Port of Durban

It is the most critical container port in South Africa and the second largest one in Africa after Egypt’s Port of Said. In 2019, it boasted the ability to handle 4.5 million TEUs of container traffic in a year, which is expected to rise.

Interesting Facts

Visitors to South Africa continue the tradition of British colonists to enjoy the view around the Port of Durban. Many passenger ferries depart from the passenger terminals in Durban Bay, giving tourists sightseeing trips. The Port of Durban also has special berths for cruise ships.

The Port of Durban is the main starting point for travelers to find various maritime attractions in the bay area. One of them is the Maritime Museum, where visitors can see photos and artifacts that display the history of the bay, including the port’s historical development. The water area around the port is also important for yacht sailing, canoeing, and kayaking.

The rapid rise of South Africa’s economy cannot be separated from the Port of Durban. Combining strategic location and rising development, the port is one of the most important international trading facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

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