The maritime, river and lake network irrigates the entire country with 16,238 km of navigable waterways.The country has both inland ports and seaports that are interconnected with the rail and road networks. However, due to poor infrastructure conditions these networks remain inefficient.
The current situation is a serious drawback for the country to boost its local economy.
The country counts around forty rivers and lake ports (E.g., Kinshasa, Ilebo, Kalemie, Kisangani, Mbandaka, Ubundu, Kindu) and three seaports (Matadi, Boma and Banana).
The West corridor: Matadi Port (DRC) and Pointe Noire Port (Congo)
The Northern Corridor: Mombasa Port (Kenya) to the Great Lakes Region
The Central Corridor: Dar Es Salaam Port (Tanzania) to the Great Lakes Region
The Eastern DRC region counts several land border entries with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia that are alternative routes to supply from Mombasa and Der Es Salaam ports.
Port of Banana (SCTP) Kongo Central
The Banana deep-water port's construction is the most important infrastructure project officially launched by the government last January 2022.
The future port will feature an initial 600-meter quay with an 18-meter draft, a container handling capacity of 450,000 TEUs and a 30-hectare yard to store containers. The $1.2 billion project will be built by a private operator with a target to complete a first phase in 2025.
As a result of a low draft approach in Matadi (8 m), only a few types of vessels can pass through (e.g., Panamax type with 4,000 TEU capacity maximum) and they require a transshipment in the port of Pointe Noire. Therefore, having a national deep-water port would result in more independent logistics as well as reduced transit costs. Furthermore, the government would also need to complete the 143 km train connection from Banana to Matadi to discharge cargo from the port as the road capacity is insufficient for future demand.
Although ports are partially controlled by the state-owned companies Société Commerciale des Transports et des Ports (SCTP) and Société Nationale des Chemins de fer du Congo (SNCC), they are now in competition with a multitude of private ports that emerged over the last years.
Private ports offer both passengers and/or cargo transportation with additional services such as storage, trucking and providing handling equipment (e.g., forklift, crane).
A privite port in Bukavu - Sud Kivu
Although private, the port stays under the control of the local authorities who control both passengers and/or cargo arrivals and departures. Authorities present are the following:
Direction Générale des Douanes et Accises (DGDA),
Office Congolais de Contrôle (OCC),
Direction Générale de Migration (DGM)
Programme National de l'Hygiène aux Frontières / Service de Quarantaine Animale et Végétale (PNHF/SQAV)
For information on Democratic Republic of Congo Port contact details, please see the following link: 4.4 Democratic Republic of Congo Port and Waterways Company Contact List.