Ocean Liner Services

Port Overview

Walvis Bay has been a strategic port and gateway to landlocked countries in Southern Africa since the earlier 18th century. The Port of Walvis Bay is considered the number one port in Africa in terms of efficiency. With minimal to often no congestion, modern berthing facilities and temeprate weather, Walvis Bay remains one of the preferred ports to call on along the west coast of Africa.

About the Port of Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay is Namibia's largest commercial port with direct access to principal shipping routes and is a natural gateway for international trade. Walvis Bay offers sheltered, deep water anchorage enhanced by temperate weather conditions, easy access by road and air, good telecommunications, road and financial infrastructure. Namport has been in operation since 1994 and manages the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. Walvis Bay receives about 3,000 vessel calls per year and handles about 5 million tonnes of cargo. It is a sheltered deep-water harbour with a temperate climate, which means no delays are caused by bad weather. The port implemented a Vessel Traffic Control System in 2004 to improve the flow of shipping traffic and to minimise congestion.

The container terminal at the port can accommodate grounds slots for 3,875 containers with provision for 482 reefer container plug points. The container terminal can host about 250,000 containers per annum and includes a tanker berth, bulk terminal, cold storage and break bulk berths. Namibian Ports Authority also manages a Syncrolift (dry dock facility) and operates three floating docks with lifting capacity of more than 8,000 tonnes each.

The port offers a thriving ship repair facility to the shipping industry. A wide range of ships, including many vessels employed in the offshore sector, are able to save valuable steaming time using the Port of Walvis Bay for dry docking and repairs instead of going on to Cape Town. The port shipyard comprises 3 floating docks, several cranes, floating crane, with fully equipped on-site workshops. Local services include: Valves, Rigging, Piping, Coatings, Mechanical, Machining, Fabrication, Carpentry, Electrical, Propulsion, Hydraulics etc.

Port Expansion

Aerial of Walvis Bay Port expansion projects.
Namibian Port Authority (Namport) embarked on an expansion program of the Port of Walvis Bay, which serves as a gateway linking some of southern Africa’s major trading regions to international markets. The objective was to raise the container throughput capacity from 355,000 TEUs to 1,005,000 TEUs in response to increased trade-related traffic volumes. We provided our services as part of the project contract and supervisory services for the strategic expansion of the container terminal. The Phase 1 port development consists of 27,5ha land reclamation into the bay, and construction of a 600m quay.

Quick Facts

  • Port Facilities
  • Syncrolift
  • Dry Docks

GPS CoordinatesS22°56’08’’ E014°29’07’’
Depth14 chart datum
quayside depth of 12m
HandlesUp to 50 vessels per month
Port Control ServicePort Control directs all shipping movements within port limits.
Keeps 24-hour VHF radio watch (channel 16)
Operates on channel 12 and 14.
Marine Services HoursWorking hours Mondays to Fridays 06h00–22h00 Saturdays 06h00–12h00, Sundays and public holidays 08h00–12h00 and 13h00–17h00. Overtime is available on request.

Liftvessels up to 2,000t displacement
Dimensions80m in length, 12m in width
Cranestwo 140m cranes do alongside repairs.
Piers 2 x 100m and 2 x 85m at max. draught of 7.5m.

Width at Entrance 23.50m 23.50m 32.90m
Width between inner walls 25.00m 25.00m 33.50m
Length over keel blocks 139.50m 139.50m 195.00m
Vessel draft maximum 5.80m 7.20m 8.50m
Lifting capacity 8,000Mt 6,500Mt 15,000Mt
Cranes 4T, 7T, 10T 2 x 5T 2 x 10T
Thrust well / dock pit 8.5m x 8.2m x 2.4m None 10m x 6.4m x 4m
Aft swim platform well None None 2.55m x 5.55m x 2.5m