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Updated in Dec. 2017 by Capt. Wolf Lampe, Consultant seconded by BLG LOGISTICS, Bremen/Germany

Iraq Port Assessment

Iraq’s main port is Umm Qasr North Port. Additionally Umm Qasr South Port and – to a lesser degree - Al Maqal Port at Basra offer professional port services.  

Minor ports are present along the Shatt al Arab. These river ports were not assessed in recent years.

The satellite image shows the river delta of Shatt al Arab. Dredging the Shatt al Arab estuary is inhibited by political reasons since 30 years – the border between Iraq and Iran is situated at mid-river – vessel’s max. draught is limited to 5 m. The access to Umm Qasr is maintained at a depth allowing max. vessel’s draught of 11 m.

Pilots are stationed off the coast. Tidal range is 3,0 to 3,4m.

Approaches to Basrah and Umm Qasr

4.4 Iraq Port and Waterways Company Contact List

NOTE: The following comparison was provided by the private NAWAH Port Management (NPM)  

The comparison highlights the lead time differences between the Port of Basra and other alternative ports and borders of entries into Iraq.

Al Maqal Port, BASRA (Iraq)

UMM Qasr  Port (Iraq)

Seaborne from UAE to Port: 3 days

Customs Clearance: minimum 3 days (note: depending on the commodity and the necessity of sampling and analysing food items 3-5 days average seemed more likely in 2017)

Ground Transit to Basra: 1 day

Total Transit Time: 5-6 days

Total Distance to Basra City Center: 0 km

Sailing from UAE to Port: 2-3 days

Customs Clearance:  minimum 3days

Ground Transit to Basra: 1  day

Total Transit Time: 6-11 days

Total Distance to Basra City Center: 60 km

AL SHUWAIK Port (Kuwait)

MERSIN Port (Turkey)

Sailing from UAE to Port: 2 days

Customs Clearance:  4-6 days

·  (2-3 days at AI Shuwaikh Port;

2-3 days at Safwan Gate) Ground Transit to Basra: 1  day Total Transit Time: 7-9 days *

Total Distance to Basra City Center: 168 km

Sailing from UAE to Port: 12 days

Customs clearance:  8-12 days

(5-7 days at Mersin, Turkey;

3-5 days at Zakho, Iraq) Ground Transit to Basra: 5-6 days

(2 days to Zakho border;

1  day transit to lrbil;

2-3 days to Basra)

Total Transit Time: 25-30 days *

Total Distance  to Basra City Center: 1,940 km

Port OF AQABA  (Jordan)

Sailing from UAE to Port: 1 1  days

Customs Clearance:  4 days Ground Transit to Basra: 6-8 day Total Transit Time: 21-23 days *

Total Distance to Basra City Center: 1,442 km

* Total transit time may be longer due to unexpected  border closures between countries

Key port information can also be found at:

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