The harbour on Lake Tanganika is located in Mpulungu and is primarily used to move cargoes into DRC and Burundi across the lake. Kelemie DRC is the main point of delivery. The port is managed by Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited that is fully owned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and incorporated in 2014. The company provides port services only – stevedores for loading and unloading vessels, storage, vessel berths. Challenges are the availability of vessels on the lake and most have Burundian Flags. Approximately 90% of all cargoes are for export. The Government has committed to renovate the harbour within the next few years.
Old Port website: http://www.idc.co.zm/company/mpulungu-harbour-corporation-limited
Harbour Location and Contact
Province or District
Mpulungu District Northern Province
Nearest Town or City
with Distance from Port
Port's Complete Name
Managing Company or Port Authority
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Management Contact Person
Mr Katowa Kabunda; +260 0976 617324
Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures
Lusaka – Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Zambia Harbour Companies Contact List
This is a port on the fresh water Lake Tanganika. The port has been previously owned by private companies that have handed over operations and facilities to the GRZ. The port is busy though not at capacity. There are two berthing areas that can take three vessels each. It has storage capacity inside warehouses and outside. There are three cranes with maximum lift of 20mt. It has a specialized forklift for containers up to 45MT. Total of three 5MT forklifts.
From Oct - Apr
Major Import Campaigns
Export of maize during harvest season Apr – May.
Handling Figures for 2017
Container Traffic (TEUs)
Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017
Break bulk (MT)
Storage: 14 days free storage after which a charge of US$0.25/day/mt is charged for bagged cereals.
Handling: Cement US$12.5/MT; Cereals US$13.5/MT
Berthing Fee: 1500MT Vessel – US$100/day; 800MT Vessel and below – US$40/MT
Vessel Fees: US$35-45 per MT to Burundi and DRC.
Type of Berth
6 – 9m
The lake levels change with climate.
Each berth can take 3 vessels tied side by side for a total of six vessels. The cranes are capable of reaching the most outside berthed vessel.
Mpulungu Berth 1
Mpulungu Berth 2
Port is managed by the GRZ Ministry of Transport and Communications and all equipment is maintained on site. A Maintenance Manager (Mr Kaunda) is present on site coordinating the activities for all infrastructure and equipment repairs and maintenance.
Total Quantity and Capacity Available
Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage
3 – 20MT
All in use
3 – 5MT and 1 container forklift 45MT
All available for use
Mpulungu 2000MT Crane and 5MT Forklift
Mpulungu 45MT Container Forklift
Mpulungu 5MT Forklift in Action
Not applicable to this port
Container Facilities Available
Outside stacking area though not in use for containers
Container Freight Station (CFS)
Refrigerated Container Stations
Other Capacity Details
Harbour has not yet moved containers though has the forklift capacity. Vessels may not be suitable for containers.
Daily Take Off Capacity
Number of Reefer Stations
Emergency Take-off Capacity
Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
ZRA is present in the Harbour area. See Mpulungu Border Post section. Delays occur when documentation is incomplete. Documentation requirements for food (cereals):
Electronic pre-clearance possible and recommended as well as alerts through forwarding agent. Bond is held by the agent for fees. ZRA is the Regulatory Authority. Inspection is required for import and export by Ministry of Agriculture and ZRA.
For more information on customs in Zambia please see the following link: 1.3 Zambia Customs Information
Only break bulk is handled at the moment in the harbour. Containers of 20ft length are possible.
No bagging facility or capability in the harbour. All cargo is break bulk. Storage facilities and areas exist for bagged commodities.
Five storage warehouses are on site. The largest of which contains cement and sugar on an ongoing basis. The remaining small sheds are old and need repairs and hold grain/cereals. There are two outside storage areas in use and two more being constructed. Harbour provides 14 days free storage.
Number of Storage Facilities
5 building and 2 outside areas
Mpulungu Grain Sheds
Mpulungu Storage Shed
Mpulungu Main Storage Shed - Cement & Sugar
Mpulungu - Inside Sugar side of Main Storage Shed
The Harbour manages the stevedores and has the ability to increase and decrease availability based on needs.
All cargo arrives or departs by truck. Roads to and from the Harbour are good tarmac that lead to the main highway system of the country. Closest border is Nakonde/Tunduma One Stop Border Post with Tanzania.
Shipping Companies and Vessels Frequenting in Mpulungu Harbour:
Burundi Based Cargo Vessels
Vessels: Mv Teza 1500MT, Mv Tora 1100MT, Mv Rwegura 500MT
Vessels: Mv Byamwezi 1500MT, Mv Bihanga 570MT
Vessels: B. Buyenzi 550MT, B. Murinzi 860MT, B. Sagamba 1200MT, Mv Ndaje 600MT, Mv Ruremesha 350MT
DRC Based Cargo Vessels
No contact details
Mv Emmanuella 800MT, Mv Asifiwe 900MT, Mv Rafiki 3 650MT, Mv Africa 350MT, Mv Manne 470MT
Tanzanian Based Cargo Vessel
No contact details
Mv Liemba 250MT
Security is provided by the Zambian Police and with Harbour security within the fenced property. The Zambian Airforce provides air surveillance of the Lake and Harbour area. Fire trucks are not present in the harbour.