The Port of Malakal is the main port of Palau, and is situated on Malakal island, adjacent to Koror Island. The port is situated in a protected lagoon area and is serviced by shipping companies Kyowa, Matson Navigation and PIL/ Mariana Line routes from Guam and Asia. The port has two main docks, each able to handle vessels up to 500 ft in length. Access to the port is via channels through the outer reef. There are 2 docks of 164m and 154m respectively with a safe draft of 9m and with a self-imposed draft of 7m.
The port is owned and operated by a private company who also undertakes all terminal services and cargo handling. Freight movement is predominantly containerised, with 200-400 containers received each month, and approximately 100 mt of bulk break cargo per month.
Malakal port lies adjacent to the fisheries port, owned and operated by Tan Holdings. This neighbouring dock facility is for the exclusive purposes of unloading fishing vessels and packaging for export, and does not handle general cargo.
Key port information can be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com
Port Location and Contact
Republic of Palau
Province or District
Nearest Town or City with Distance from Port
Koror, 3 Km
Port's Complete Name
Port of Malakal
Managing Company or Port Authority
Belau Transfer and Terminal Company
Management Contact Person
Aric Nakmura- Operations Manager
Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International
Palau International Airport
Gantry crane unloading containers Secondary dock with refuelling point
Belau Transfer and Terminal Company (BTTC) is a private operator and undertakes all terminal services and stevedoring activities at the port. BTTC leases the port premises from the Koror State Government and is responsible for all activities and operations at the port, providing freight delivery services to customers.
For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List
The Port of Malakal is the main shipping port in Palau. The port handles approximately 200 containers per month but this volume can double at peak times. 50% of the containers imported are for the 3 major supermarket chains: WCTC, Surangel and Payless. Approximately 20% of the containers are refrigerated. The port itself handles approximately 6-8 cargo vessels per month that are almost exclusively container freight; Kyowa line and PIL Eurasia/MIL lines provide scheduled services to Koror.
Container arrival per month varies depending on the time of year and infrastructure projects being undertaken. Historically, freight volumes increase during November to April, due to Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. During major infrastructure programs, maximum handling has previously reached 500 containers per month, not including tonnage moved for bulk break.
Containers must all be unloaded by gantry crane, as no container cranes are available at the dock. Depending on the ships’ gantry crane and operator capacity, containers can generally be unloaded at a rate of 6-10 per hour.
The port is generally not congested, and even at peak times, handling equipment availability has not caused any major bottlenecks. Port handling equipment is in a fair to good condition but only a small amount of equipment is available.
Handling Figures for 2017
Container Traffic (TEUs)
4000 - approximately 25% of containers are 40’
Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017
Break bulk (mt)
|July to December but has minimal or no effect on port operations.|
Major Import Campaigns
Adhoc - import volumes increase as infrastructure projects occur in and around Palau.
For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link: http://www.belautransfer.com/
Type of Berth
Maximum Draft (m)
1 x Main Berth
9 (7m safe draft)
Due to sediment build up following tropical cyclones in 2012/13, 7m is
9 (7m safe draft)
Pilots are used.
For more information see: http://ports.com/micronesia/malakal-harbor/
|Cargo Type||Berth Identification|
|Imports - Bagged Cargo|
Exports - Bagged Cargo
Imports and Exports - RoRo
There is no specialised RoRo facility at the Dock - Kyowa Lines
The port equipment is owned and managed by the private operator BTTC. The handling equipment is in good condition with two top loaders and a heavy forklift available. Smaller forklifts for movement of palletised freight are available and in good condition. The top loaders move all containers from dockside to storage, and load all tractor trailers for delivery. While 40ft containers are handled regularly, an ideal maximum of 20mt deadweight is requested due to limitations on the equipment handling capacity.
There are no tug masters and all containers are stacked and loaded directly onto the delivery equipment (being trailer chassis) by top loaders or forklifts. BTTC maintains 5 prime mover/tractors for deliveries that are all in a fair to good condition.
|Equipment||Available||Total Quantity and Capacity Available|
Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage
RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)
Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines
|Fuel transtainers handled the same as containers|
| Forklifts |
32 mt top loader and heavy forklift 42 mt top loader
Container trailers Prime mover/tractor for container delivery
While almost all freight moves through the port in containers, the port has no dedicated container facility and operates as a general port. Bulk break goods are stored adjacent to the secondary wharf and transit warehouse.
Container marshalling and storage area Container storage area dock side
|Facilities||20 ft||40 ft|
Container Facilities Available
|Container Freight Station (CFS)|
Refrigerated Container Stations
Other Capacity Details
Daily Take Off Capacity
Number of Reefer Stations
Emergency Take-off Capacity
Dependent on vessel
Dependent on vessel
Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
Malakal port has no reefer stations for the siting and temporary powering of refrigerated containers. Unloading and dispatch from the port for customers with reefer containers (e.g. main supermarkets) are synchronised and planned, to ensure containers are dispatched to the consignees site directly upon unloading from the vessel. It is often the case that reefer containers are unloaded within 4-6 hours of discharge from the vessel.
In case of emergencies, generators can be provided for temporary power solutions.
The Bureau of Customs, Revenue and Taxation (BCRT) office is located adjacent to the port gate entrance. The office houses customs inspectors whose responsibility it is to inspect all incoming goods and containers prior to clearance.
The main customs office is situated across the main road 1km from the port entrance on Malakal Island This is where processing of the payment of taxes and revenues is undertaken once goods have been inspected by the port officers. Customs officers inspect 98% of all goods coming onto the Port. It is becoming more common for the majority of containers arriving in country. This requires customs officers to be at the point of unloading, once delivered. BCRT has 8 customs inspectors as part of a mobile team to undertake this task.
The process for clearing goods is firstly to advise the main customs office at Malakal of incoming goods and provide all necessary documentation. All details of the consignment are then entered on the data base and once unloaded goods can be inspected by Customs inspectors at the port. Once the accuracy of content has been confirmed and all have been taxes paid (if applicable), the main office will authorise release.
The process can be completed within 1-2 days and during a time of emergency can be reduced to several hours.
For more information on customs in Palau, please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information
There are no specialist facilities at the port, and the port operates as a basic general container and handler of bulk break goods. The port only operates ground handling equipment of top loaders and forklifts to move items once unloaded.
There are no bulk handling facilities.
There is only one main storage warehouse at the port which is currently used for bulk break and LCL goods. Whilst the area is small, the space is available for the storage of goods in a disaster as a transit area.
Number of Storage Facilities
1 used for commercial LCL and Bulk break goods
LCL and bulk break goods in storage in transit warehouse Transit warehouse
All terminal and stevedoring services are provided by a single, private company, BTTC. BTTC also provide services as a shipping agent for Kyowa and local transport services. BTTC Offices are located adjacent to the security gate opposite the Quarantine Offices at the port.
All ships operating at the port require gantry cranes to load/unload all container freight. The Kyowa line uses RoRo vessels for the shipment of vehicles which also fall under the responsibility of BTTC.
Stevedoring services are mechanical, as are terminal services; the labour component is for the unstuffing of containers. During an emergency, additional labour can be provided by BTTC if needed.
Containerised freight is moved out of the port by container trailers and prime movers by BTTC. BTTC has no side unloading trailers, therefore any containers being unloaded from the trailer require a crane to be used. This is charged at an hourly rate. BTTC has 40 trailers, 15 of which can handle 40’ containers.
Refrigerated containers are treated as a priority, as no reefer stations are available at the port. As such, prime movers and trailers are directly loaded for dispatch to customers, and the major customers unload the container in a matter of hours. For the most part, the trailers are returned well within the demurrage-free period.
Consignees have 7 days after vessel departure to unload containers. BTTC owns 5 x prime movers /tractors. Contact BTTC directly for demurrage rates.
Palau has been a signatory to the IMO ISPS Code since 2011. The port is fenced, with access permitted through a manned security gate. All visitors to the port require photo ID which must be left at the security gate upon entry.
Appointments for meetings for first visits are essential, otherwise access is likely to be denied.
Current ISPS Level
Not dedicated (marine surveillance patrol boats