Tanzania, United Republic of
2.1.5 Tanzania Port of Kigoma

Port Overview

The Port of Kigoma is located on Lake Tanganyika in the West of Tanzania, and borders Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Burundi. The Port of Kigoma is a gateway for traffic flow originating from Tanzania and/or the Port of Dar es Salaam. Cargo may be road-hauled or railed from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma, then transshipped onto lake vessels to the port of Mpulung (Zambia), various destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Uvira, Kalemie, Baraka, Moba),, and the Port of Bujumbura in Burundi. 

Key port information may also be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com

Port Location and Contact



Province or District


Nearest Town or City with Distance from Port

Kigoma (8 km)

Port's Complete Name

The Port of Kigoma





Managing Company or Port Authority


Management Contact Person

Ag. Port Manager Yudas Sabigoro

Mobile: +255 756739130

Tel: +255 282802275

Email: pmkigoma@ports.comyudas.sukanyi@ports.go.tz

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures

Kigoma Airport

The Airport is at national level thus it has no frequent International Arrivals/Departures.

Port Picture

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

There are different companies operating port activities at Kigoma. The main marine service companies are Marine Service Company Limited (MSCL), SNCC, ARNOLAC and FALCONY operating at the port through Lake Tanganyika (See ANNEX). Also, the company Usafirishaji Afrika is offering stevedoring services within the port while the SUMA JKT Company is offering security service at the port.

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List.

Port Performance

Lake Tanganyika is one of the deepest lakes in the world; the deepest point of the lake is 1,436 meters. The draft ranges from 2.5 to 4.5 meters. Currently, the port is not congested but there are some circumstances that can cause certain delays, such as political crisis on the other side of the lake specifically to port of Uvira and Baraka in DRC. This crisis context limits the outflow of the cargo since the port has small storage capacity. At Kigoma port, the priority is given to the humanitarian cargo.

The major port’s limitations/bottlenecks are classified into internal limitations and external limitations.

Internal limitations:

  1. there is insufficient storage area for both open and closed storage. However, a new warehouse is being constructed at the port;
  2. port’s infrastructure is old. For example, there is a 2000 MT capacity storage building which is not used because of its obsolescence.
  3. railway sidings are in poor condition.

External limitations:

  1. Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) encounters problem to offer a regular service to transport cargo in/out of the port despite that more than 70% of cargo handled at the port is brought by TRC;
  2. regional context can affect port operations, such as the political instabilities to other neighbor countries like DRC and Burundi.
  3. Slow offloading capacity at the destination ports of DRC, Burundi and Zambia can also cause congestion and backlog at Kigoma port


Seasonal Constraints


Time Frame

Rainy Season


From October to March

Major Import Campaigns



Other Comments

There is another expected constraint of decreasing of the volume of the lake, because of presence of outlet channel which is known as river Malagarasi.

Handling Figures for July 2016 to June 2017

Vessel Calls

307 Vessels – 149.39 GRT

Container Traffic (TEUs)

36 TEUs – 334 tons

Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for July 2016 to June 2017

Bulk (MT)


Break bulk (MT)


Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link: Port of Kigoma Tariff Book.

Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth


Length (m)

Maximum Draft (m)


Conventional Berth



4 to 4.5

 Full utilized

Container Berth



4 to 4.5

 Not used frequently

Silo Berth





Berthing Tugs





Water Barges





Container berth have Rail mounted gantry (RMG) which have 35 tons capacity.

General Cargo Handling Berths

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

Passenger and general cargo berth

Exports - Bagged Cargo

General cargo berth – Kibilizi dhow terminal

Imports and Exports – RoRo


Other Imports

Port Handling Equipment

Port equipment are managed by the government through the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane


There are 3 dockside cranes. 2 of them are 3 MT 1 is a 30 MT.

2 Dockside cranes of 3 tons are old but are functional. 1 Dockside crane of 30 tons capacity is new.

Container Gantries


There is 1 RAM of 35 tons.

It is an old one but currently is well improved.

Mobile Cranes


There is 1 groove of 25 tons.

Cargo runner has been destroyed thus the crane is not used.



RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)


Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines






Total 5 Forklifts.  4 are of 3 tons, 1 is of 5 tons

4 Forklifts of 3 tons are designed in a modern technology. One of the 5 ton-capacity cranes is old, but all 5 forklifts are functional.

Container Facilities

Container facilities at Kigoma port are rail mounted gantry (RMG), terminal tractor (TT) and yard which is open for stacking of containers.


20  and 40 ft

Container Facilities Available


Container Freight Station (CFS)


Refrigerated Container Stations


Other Capacity Details


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)


Dockside crane – 30tons

Rail Mounted Gantry (RAM) – 35tons

Groove – 25tons

Forklift – 3tons

Dockside crane – 3tons

Customs Guidance

Customs activities at the port entail the regulation of importation and exportation of goods at the port. The port management work with customs officials through the tracking integrated system TANCIS. Currently, customs clearance activities are completed within the short period of time if the required documents are submitted accordingly.

Customs offices are located within the port and operate for consecutive 12 hours, during day time. Usual documents are required for the custom clearance: invoice, packing list, permits, authorization letter, Bill of lading and the contract signed between the customer and the clearance agent, if any. Note that the goods could be subject to examination upon entering country and also the certificate of origin can be required if the goods are from the country within the same regional integration such members countries of SADIC so as to get reduction of taxes. 

For more information on customs in Tanzania, please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information. 

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

The port of Kigoma has a terminal for loading and off-loading general cargo, a container berth and a conventional berth. It has no RORO (Roll-on/Roll-off) facilities.

Grain and Bulk Handling

There is no grain and bulk handling facilities at the port since grains like maize are handled in break bulk bags by stevedores and cranes on pallets.

Main Storage Terminal

The port has one main storage facility (closed storage facility) which is currently used. There is another closed storage facility building which is not used due to its poor condition. There is an area of 12,200 MT available for open storage.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (MT)

Bagged Cargo

There are 2 bagged cargo storage areas but only one is used.


Refrigerated Cargo


General Cargo

There are 2 general cargo storage areas but only one is used.



The main stevedoring activities in Dar es Salaam port are to discharge and load general cargoes from/to the vessels. Stevedoring activities at port are organized and provided by private entity known as Usafirishaji Africa. The stevedore services depend on the nature and the amount of handled cargo. Usafirishaji Africa has more than 100 stevedores to supply to the port for handling cargo.

Wages and incentives for stevedores is administered by the company in collaboration with the port management.

Hinterland Information

Items are moved out of the port by various modes of transport, such as road and railway transport which are used to move items out from the port to other areas within the country. Trucks companies are available to move the cargo, such as Ibhitungwa Transport Company (30 tons), Saratoga Transport Company (30 tons), Marine Service Transport (more than 200 tons). For rail transport, TRL is the only option (more than 500 tons capacity).

Port Security

Security of stocks and facilities at port is provided by Government agency known as SUMA JKT, which provides adequate personnel for ensuring security at the port.

Security of stock and facilities at port is managed by personnel only, without using advanced tools like metal detectors and others security equipment. Tanzania Port Authority recognized the weaknesses in safety and security at the port and they plan to implement improvement measures. It is a 5-year plan which should start to be implementing over the next month. The port management expects to have zero accident and safety incidents within the port after the implementation of safety and security improvement.


ISPS Compliant


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


Police Boats

Yes, available 24 hours.

Fire Engines

Yes, available 24 hours.


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