2.1.1 Samoa Port of Apia


Key port information can also be found at: Website of the Maritime Database on the Port of Apia

Port Overview

Apia Port is a solely commercial port, handling about 97% of all foreign trade cargoes for the country, and is regarded as the lifeline of a country largely dependent upon imports and transportation by sea.
The Portis connected with Southern Pacific countries such as New Zealand and Australia, and Northern Pacific countries including Japan and the United States, as well as Europe. 
Neighbouring island countries are served with container and Ro-Ro ships, and other irregular services are provided by small cargo vessel and oil tankers. Passenger cruise liners cruising the South Pacific call at Apia Port several times a year.
Apia Port also handles around 5,000 mt per annum of the domestic inshore fishing industry catch.


The Samoa maritime sector has set high standards and is widely regarded to be a leader in the maritime sector in the region. Fixed infrastructure is generally in good condition, appropriate for needs, and with capacity to absorb further growth, however, other than mobile cranes operated by the stevedoring companies, there are no dockside cranes. This means that loading and unloading facilities for containers are generally limited to using ships cranes at dockside, and moving containers to storage areas using trucks, trailers and container lifters. The port area is secure and held to ISPS standards.

The Samoa Ports Authority (SPA) is responsible for the management of the port; it is a government-controlled entity, financially stable and complies with relevant international standards.


Key port information may also be found at:


Port Location and Contact



Province or District

Apia, Upolu Island

Nearest Town or City

with Distance from Port


0.5 Km

Port's Complete Name

Apia Port


Latitude: 13° 49′ 42″ S


Longitude: 171° 45′ 45″ W

Managing Company or Port Authority

Samoa Ports Authority

Management Contact Person

Taulapapa M Lealaiauloto Tafai Toilolo

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures

Faleolo International Airport

Air NZ, Samoa Airways, Virgin Australia

Port Picture

 1 Main berth                              2 Container storage                    3 Refrigerated container storage

 4 Warehouse storage               5 Proposed cable storage          6 Fishing boats & small cargoes

 7 Tug & police berthing            8 SSC ferries berthing                 9 ?

10 Tanks to be removed to provide additional container storage   11 SSC operations area

12 Port vehicle entrance


Description and Contacts of Key Companies


Oversight for operations within the Port rests with the Samoa Ports Authority (SPA).  Samoa Shipping Corporation (SSC) operates Ro-Ro ferries and landing craft. Stevedoring is carried out by 3 companies contracted to SPA: Bethem Brothers Enterprises (BBE), Pacific Forum Line (PFL) and Apia Stevedoring Ltd (ASL). The main transporters responsible for moving containers out of the Port are Silva Transport Ltd, Ah Liki (BlueBird Transport) and Bethem Brothers Enterprises (BBE).

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 

4.3 Samoa Port and Waterways Company Contact List

Port Performance

Channel draft is 12m but max draft at the wharf is 10.5m. The main limiting factor to performance is the port’s exposure to swells from the open sea at certain times of the year. This can cause disruption to loading and unloading and berthing. It can also result in vessels having to leave the port until swells subside. The port is not congested and there is generally no waiting time between arrival and berthing. Vessels should give 48 hours notice of arrival to ensure quick berthing and turnaround. The port is efficiently run, and turnaround times are generally quick with abundant stevedore labour available. There is no priority for humanitarian cargo under normal circumstances, but this shall be amended in emergency situations.

Seasonal Constraints



Time Frame

Rainy Season



Major Import Campaigns



Other Comments

 ‘Swell’ season occurs from October to March. Sea swells in the port may cause delays to berthing, or require removal of ships from the port (up to 4 days a week).

Handling Figures for 2016

Vessel Calls


Container Traffic (TEUs)


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2016

Bulk (mt) Includes container volume


Break bulk (mt)


Berthing Specifications

There is only one berth.  

Type of Berth





Draft (m)


Conventional   &

Container Berth


305 m


One berth only

Silo Berth


Berthing Tugs


28 m

2.5 m

Gross 121 MT each

Water Barges


Other Comments

Fuel discharges to tank farm at main terminal

LPG discharged from mooring


General Cargo Handling Berths

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

Main berth

Exports - Bagged Cargo

Main berth

Imports and Exports - RoRo

Main berth

Other Imports

Main berth

Port Handling Equipment

Contracted stevedoring companies manage the port equipment. There is limited equipment available with dockside container loading done by ship’s crane. There are 2 mobile cranes; small and large forklifts in the container storage stacking area.




Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane



Container Gantries



Mobile Cranes


1 x 50 mt

2 x 30 mt






RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)



Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines








4 x 15 mt

7 x 30 mt

Owned by stevedoring companies

Container Facilities

Containers are stacked on asphalt area, are well-organised and tidy.



20 ft

40 ft

Container Facilities Available

2,800m2 area for stacking


Container Freight Station (CFS)



Refrigerated Container Stations



Other Capacity Details


Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)

150 - 200

Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)


Emergency Take-off Capacity

400 in a 24 hour period

Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)

150 - 200

Customs Guidance

Customs offices are located adjacent to the port. Customs office hours are 0900 – 1500, however, officials are available for all arrivals. Port authorities should be notified 48 hours prior to vessel arrivals to ensure efficient turnaround and most vessels will be cleared in a few hours, unless there is risk of bio-security in which case vessels will be required to anchor offshore so that customs inspections can be completed before vessels enter the port.


For more information on customs in Samoa, please see the following link:

1.3 Samoa Customs Information

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

There is a single berth available for all unloading, Roll on Roll off, containerised and bulk palletised cargo.

Grain and Bulk Handling

There are no facilities available for handling grain at the port.    

Main Storage Terminal

There are two warehouse facilities within the port area, approximately 2,000 m2 each; these are generally 80% full. Facilities are basic but secure. Of the two available facilities, 50% of one is leased to a fishing company and that space is fully utilised by them.


Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo



Refrigerated Cargo



General Cargo




Three private companies carry out stevedoring activities. There is a plentiful supply of labour available locally. The majority of cargo arrives containerised and is loaded directly onto trucks to be either stacked in the port area, or is transported directly out of the port.

Hinterland Information

Private transport companies move cargo items from the port. There is an ample supply of well-maintained trucks with side lifting capability to handle 20’ and 40’ containers, and the road network allows efficient delivery of containers to nearby Apia and the hinterland. Similarly, there is a sufficient local supply of flatbed trucks for the carriage of bulk and break bulk cargo in either loose, or palletised form.

Port Security

The port is well-fenced, and security is present within this secured area and at the entry point 24/7. All traffic is monitored entering and exiting. There is a manned police post inside the port compound. New Zealand and Australian safety codes are the standard, and are monitored by port authorities. There are no obvious areas of security concerns.


ISPS Compliant


Current ISPS Level
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional)


Police Boats

Yes (1)

Fire Engines

Not on port site.

Distance to Apia Fire Station is approximately 0.5 Km

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