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Port Overview

One international container and general cargo terminal at Nuku’alofa and some domestic wharves serving inter-island ferries. The main port at Nuku’alofa was corporatized in 1999, as a statutory authority. Facilities for international shipping are in generally good condition.

Nuku’alofa harbour is the only deep-water harbour of the islands; it is the central hub for boats to the outer islands. There are usually two boats to ʻEua each day, and two to Haʻapai and Vavaʻu each week. In addition to these regular services by shipping companies, private boat owners provide less regular services to smaller islands such as Nomuka and ʻEueiki.

Nuku’alofa port is a fairly deep harbor basin of approximately 3 by 10 kilometers surrounded by fringing reefs. There are two main channels into the alongside berth, one from the north available to all vessels and the other from the east for vessels of less than 110 m LOA. The Marine and Ports Department provide and maintain good solar powered navigation aids. There are two alongside berths and a mooring dolphin for discharge of oil and LPG cargoes. Nuku’alofa, as the major port of Tonga, supports container, ro-ro, general cargo and tanker traffic. 

Approximately 200 vessels per annum use the port ranging in size from 4,000 to 50,000 GRT for passenger ships and from 1,500 to 14,000 GRT for merchant ships. 

Stevedoring and transport services operate efficiently.

Tonga Port Authority Website

Key port information may also be found at: 

Maritime Database


Port Location and Contacts

Country

Tonga

Province or District

Tongatapu

Town or City (Closest location) with Distance (km)

Name : Nuku'alofa

2 Km

Port's Complete Name

Port of Nuku’alofa

Latitude

-21.135

Longitude

-175.1889

Managing Company or Port Authority (If more than one operator, break down by area of operation)

Tonga Port Authority

Management Contact Person

Hakaumotu Fakapelea

Closest Airport and Frequent Airlines to / from International Destinations

Airport Name:  Fuaʻamotu International Airport 

Airlines: Fiji, Air NZ, Virgin

Port Picture

1. Queen Salote Domestic Berth #4                    2. Queen Salote Domestic Berth #3       

3. Queen Salote International Berth #2              4. Queen Salote International Berth #1     

5 Touliki Navy Base, breakwater wall.                 6. Tug Berth

 

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

Port Authority Tonga (PAL) manages the port operation. There are 3 companies PF, Nuku’alofa Stevedoring and KVL providing stevedoring services. Key clearing and shipping companies are Dateline Transam, Royco Shipping and Kagent Ltd. Transportation ex-port is by owner operator truckers of which there are over 20.

For information on Tonga Port of Nuku’alofa contact details, please see the following links: 

4.4 Tonga Port and Waterways Company Contact List

4.1 Tonga Government Contact List

Port Performance

Port is run efficiently with quick turnaround times There is generally no waiting time, pilot is on call except Sundays (until midnight).

Limitations are draft in the Main Channel (10 - 15m draft) and width for the Narrow Channel, it has a draft of 27m but width dictates maximum ship length of 320m.

There is priority for humanitarian shipping using domestic berths and in emergency it can use the international berth as priority. 

Seasonal Constraints

 OccursTime frame

Rainy Season

No

n/a

Major Import Constraints

No

 n/a

Handling Figures 2014

Vessel Calls

161

Container Traffic (TEUs)

14,751

 

Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk 2014

Bulk and Break Bulk (MT)

250,664

 

Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link:

http://www.portsauthoritytonga.com/phocadownload/ports%20authority-tariff%20fees%20dec2013.pdf

 

Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth

Quantity

Length (m)

Maximum Draft (m)

Conventional Berth

1

320

15

Container Berth

2

93 (Q1)

110 Q2)

12

11

Silo Berth

n/a

n/a

n/a

Berthing Tugs

2

45

8

Water Barges

n/a

n/a

n/a

Cruise ships132015

General Cargo Handling Berths

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

Queen Salote 1 & 2

Exports - Bagged Cargo

Queen Salote 1 & 2

Imports and Exports – RoRo

Queen Salote 1 & 2

 

Other Imports

Queen Salote 1 & 2

Port Handling Equipment

Port of Tonga Ltd operates Port equipment.

Stevedoring companies are responsible for moving cargo ship to dockside only.

 

Equipment

Available

(Yes / No)

Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane

No

n/a

n/a

Container Gantries

No

n/a

n/a

Mobile Cranes

No

n/a

n/a

Reachstacker

3

45T

Good condition; new.

They can stack containers full to 2 high, empty to 6 high.

RoRo Tugmaster (w/ Trailer)

No

n/a

n/a

Grain Elevator w/ Bagging Machines

No

n/a

n/a

Transtrainer

n/a

n/a

n/a

Forklifts

Yes

18 x ranging 3T – 26T

Good condition

Container Facilities

Facilities

20 ft.

40 ft.

Container Facilities Available

 Storage for up to 700 containers

Yes Storage for up to 700 containers

Container Freight Station (CFS)NoNo

Refrigerated Container Stations

Plugs for 63 containers

Other Capacity Details

Limited to stack 3 high in windy conditions

100m x 200m area for stacking
Daily Take Off Capacity (Containers per day)12 – 14 per hour
Number of Reefer Stations (connection points)Plugs for 63 containers
Emergency Take-off Capacity (Give an indication)12 – 14 per hour
Off take capacity of gang shift (in Containers per shift)12 – 14 per hour

Customs Guidance

Customs are generally very efficient, normal processing time is around one hour. Customs officials are available 24 hours (except Sundays) located adjacent to the port.

For humanitarian goods, if notified well in advance, most of clearance paperwork can be completed prior to cargo / ship’s arrival.

 

For information on Tonga Port of Nuku’alofa customs details, please see the following link:

1.3 Tonga Customs Information

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

Queen Salote Berths 1 & 2 are multi purpose and can handle RoRo berthing vessels up to 110 m with 11m drafts.

Grain and Bulk Handling

Port is not equipped to handle bulk grain. There are no companies available for bagging and no silo storage facilities.

Main Storage Terminal

There is one covered warehouse of approximately 3,500m2. There is generally space for short-term food storage. It is generally full to capacity mid to late December but otherwise available.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo

1

 150

General Cargo

1

 150

Refrigerated CargoNone0

Stevedoring

The private stevedoring companies are responsible for getting the goods off the ship on the quay and vice versa. Tonga Port Authority are responsible for getting containers, and general cargo to the storage area or onto transporters.

There are 3 private companies who provide stevedore services. They can provide up to 23 men per shift as required. There have been no issues with availability or performance and they work in well with the TPA.

Port master will coordinate stevedoring services as required. They will operate at all times as necessary, except Sundays.

Hinterland Information

Private trucking operators move items from the port. They are owner operated and the Port Master coordinates this service. There are over 20 trucks capable of shifting containerised cargo (side lifters) in addition to a wide variety of other freight vehicles. There is sufficient capacity for current and possible surge requirements. 

Port Security

Tonga Port Authority employs and manages port security. Security personnel are on site 24/7. Critical areas are security fenced.

There are no current security issues.

Security

ISPS Compliant

(Yes / No)

yes

Current ISPS Level

1

Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional

Police Boats

1

Fire Engines

Nuku’alofa Fire Service