Somalia has the longest coastline of any country in Africa at over 3,300 kms and is at the entry / departure point of one of the most important international commercial shipping lanes (the Suez Canal and via the Cape) in the world, through which the bulk of global sea-borne trade moves. Four major ports with sheltered deep water facilities handle practically all of Somalia ocean transport. They are Mogadishu, which imports much of the country’s general cargo and exports bananas, Berbera, which exports mostly livestock, Bossaso which handles livestock and general cargo and Kismayo which exports bananas, livestock and seafood
Most of Somalia’s international trade is handled by foreign vessels, supplemented by vessels from the state owned Somali Shipping Agency, which was established in 1974. Transport by coastal shipping within Somalia is limited despite the long coast line. Due to oil exploration in Somaliland and Puntland the Port of Berbera is seeing an increase in oil exploration equipment.
Somali Ports Authority (SPA) which is responsible for the administration, operation and maintenance of the country’s ports was created in 1962. Planning for the expansion and development of the ports as well as the execution of the ports infrastructural developments is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works and the finances of these projects are incorporated in the Governments Centralised Capital Investment Budgets. All cargo operations, except for the delivery and receipt of cargo at storage areas, are undertaken by SPA at all three ports using daily labour from labour cooperatives. Cargo handling equipment and the productivity is low as a result of insufficient mechanical handling equipment and the shortage of skilled workers. The standard of maintenance of port facilities and equipment is poor and workshop facilities are inadequate.
For information on Somalia Shipping, please see the following document:
For information on Somalia Port Tariffs, please see the following document:
Port information can also be found at the following link: Maritime Database Information on Somalia