2.1.1 Zambia Mpulungu Harbour

Port Overview

The harbour on Lake Tanganika is located in Mpulungu and is primarily used to move cargoes into DRC and Burundi across the lake. Kelemie DRC is the main point of delivery.  The port is managed by Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited that is fully owned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and incorporated in 2014.  The company provides port services only – stevedores for loading and unloading vessels, storage, vessel berths. Challenges are the availability of vessels on the lake and most have Burundian Flags. Approximately 90% of all cargoes are for export. The Government has committed to renovate the harbour within the next few years.


Old Port website:

Harbour Location and Contact



Province or District

Mpulungu District Northern Province

Nearest Town or City

with Distance from Port


0 km

Port's Complete Name

Mpulungu Harbour





Managing Company or Port Authority

Ministry of Transport and Communications

Management Contact Person

Mr Katowa Kabunda; +260 0976 617324

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures

Lusaka – Kenneth Kaunda International Airport

Port Picture

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Zambia Harbour Companies Contact List

Port Performance

This is a port on the fresh water Lake Tanganika. The port has been previously owned by private companies that have handed over operations and facilities to the GRZ.  The port is busy though not at capacity. There are two berthing areas that can take three vessels each.  It has storage capacity inside warehouses and outside.  There are three cranes with maximum lift of 20mt. It has a specialized forklift for containers up to 45MT. Total of three 5MT forklifts.

Seasonal Constraints



Time Frame

Rainy Season


From Oct - Apr

Major Import Campaigns



Other Comments

Export of maize during harvest season Apr – May.

Handling Figures for 2017

Vessel Calls


Container Traffic (TEUs)


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017

Bulk (MT)


Break bulk (MT)

10,000 MT/month

Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

Storage: 14 days free storage after which a charge of US$0.25/day/mt is charged for bagged cereals.

Handling: Cement US$12.5/MT; Cereals US$13.5/MT

Berthing Fee: 1500MT Vessel – US$100/day; 800MT Vessel and below – US$40/MT

Vessel Fees: US$35-45 per MT to Burundi and DRC.

Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth





Draft (m)


Conventional Berth



6 – 9m

The lake levels change with climate.

Container Berth




Each berth can take 3 vessels tied side by side for a total of six vessels.  The cranes are capable of reaching the most outside berthed vessel. 

Mpulungu Berth 1

Mpulungu Berth 2

Port Handling Equipment

Port is managed by the GRZ Ministry of Transport and Communications and all equipment is maintained on site.  A Maintenance Manager (Mr Kaunda) is present on site coordinating the activities for all infrastructure and equipment repairs and maintenance.



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Mobile Cranes


3 – 20MT

All in use



3 – 5MT and 1 container forklift 45MT

All available for use

Mpulungu 2000MT Crane and 5MT Forklift

Mpulungu 45MT Container Forklift

Mpulungu 5MT Forklift in Action

Mpulungu Weighbridge

Container Facilities

Not applicable to this port


20 ft

Container Facilities Available

Outside stacking area though not in use for containers

Container Freight Station (CFS)


Refrigerated Container Stations


Other Capacity Details

 Harbour has not yet moved containers though has the forklift capacity.  Vessels may not be suitable for containers.

Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)


Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)


Emergency Take-off Capacity


Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)


Customs Guidance

ZRA is present in the Harbour area.  See Mpulungu Border Post section.  Delays occur when documentation is incomplete.  Documentation requirements for food (cereals):

  1. Waybill
  2. Export permit (dependant on commodity)
  3. Certificate of Origin (COMESA/SADC)
  4. Fumigation certificate
  5. Export schedule (in case of Maize)
  6. Invoice
  7. Phytosanitary certificate

Electronic pre-clearance possible and recommended as well as alerts through forwarding agent.  Bond is held by the agent for fees. ZRA is the Regulatory Authority. Inspection is required for import and export by Ministry of Agriculture and ZRA. 

For more information on customs in Zambia please see the following link: 1.3 Zambia Customs Information

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

Only break bulk is handled at the moment in the harbour.  Containers of 20ft length are possible.

Grain and Bulk Handling 

No bagging facility or capability in the harbour.  All cargo is break bulk.  Storage facilities and areas exist for bagged commodities. 

Main Storage Terminal 

Five storage warehouses are on site.  The largest of which contains cement and sugar on an ongoing basis.  The remaining small sheds are old and need repairs and hold grain/cereals.  There are two outside storage areas in use and two more being constructed. Harbour provides 14 days free storage.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Capacity (MT)

Bagged Cargo

5 building and 2 outside areas


Refrigerated Cargo



General Cargo




Mpulungu Grain Sheds

Mpulungu Storage Shed

Mpulungu Main Storage Shed - Cement & Sugar

Mpulungu - Inside Sugar side of Main Storage Shed


The Harbour manages the stevedores and has the ability to increase and decrease availability based on needs.

Hinterland Information

All cargo arrives or departs by truck.  Roads to and from the Harbour are good tarmac that lead to the main highway system of the country. Closest border is Nakonde/Tunduma One Stop Border Post with Tanzania.

Shipping Companies and Vessels Frequenting in Mpulungu Harbour:

Burundi Based Cargo Vessels

  1. Bartralac Shipping Company – Contact Phone +257 2222 2312

Vessels: Mv Teza 1500MT, Mv Tora 1100MT, Mv Rwegura 500MT

  1. Rad Marines Company – Contact, Phone: +257 5777 9999

Vessels: Mv Byamwezi 1500MT, Mv Bihanga 570MT

  1. Anorlac Shipping Company – Contact Phone: +257 7623 5008/ +257 7596 6178

Vessels: B. Buyenzi 550MT, B. Murinzi 860MT, B. Sagamba 1200MT, Mv Ndaje 600MT, Mv Ruremesha 350MT

DRC Based Cargo Vessels

No contact details

Mv Emmanuella 800MT, Mv Asifiwe 900MT, Mv Rafiki 3 650MT, Mv Africa 350MT, Mv Manne 470MT


Tanzanian Based Cargo Vessel

No contact details

Mv Liemba 250MT

Port Security

Security is provided by the Zambian Police and with Harbour security within the fenced property.  The Zambian Airforce provides air surveillance of the Lake and Harbour area. Fire trucks are not present in the harbour.


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