Arutanga Harbour is the only mainstream operation port that serves Aitutaki internationally. It is managed by the Cook Islands Ports Authority, they also own and manage the equipment used dock-side and the barges.
It is a small harbour inside the reef with a narrow pass (about 30m wide) and shallow (about 1.6m)
Large ships anchor off and all cargo is shipped to dock by barge.
A concept proposal for the Port of Aitutaki involving the enlargement and deepening of the Aitutaki main entrance channel to accommodate local inter-Island ships and visiting yachts, and deepening the area in front of the existing fishing club for use as a marina, is to be undertaken as a long term project. No dates have been set for this work.
Port website: No port website
Key port information can also be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com
|Port Location and Contact|
Province or District
Nearest Town or City
with Distance from Port
Port's Complete Name
Managing Company or Port Authority
Cook Islands Ports Authority
Management Contact Person
Nooroa (Bim) Tou
Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures
Rarotonga International Airport
Air NZ, Jetstar, Virgin Australia
1 CIPO office and storage 2 Container stacking area
3 Barge berth and container unloading area
4 Container stacking area
Description and Contacts of Key Companies
The port is is managed by the Cook Islands Ports Authority, they also own and manage the equipment used dockside and the barges used to transfer from larger ships to wharf. Stevedoring services are supplied by Baxter Boys Seana B Ltd.
For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: HQ staff will input a link to section 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List here.
The port links Aitutaki to the main Island Rarotonga and New Zealand. The port is not congested and receives ships on average every 6 weeks. The shallow channel draft means all shipping anchors off and cargo is transferred to wharf by barge. General turnaround time is 20 containers per day (2/barge trip/hour) however in rough or windy weather unloading may be restricted or not possible at all.
Major Import Campaigns
Handling Figures for 2018
Container Traffic (TEUs)
Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for
Break bulk (MT)
Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges
For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link: www.ports.co.ck
Type of Berth
A 1.6 m draft at harbour entrance means no ships enter.
General Cargo Handling Berths
Imports - Bagged Cargo
Exports - Bagged Cargo
Imports and Exports - RoRo
Port Handling Equipment
The port handling equipment, including barges, is owned and operated by the Ports Authority
Total Quantity and Capacity Available
Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage
RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)
Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines
Container Facilities Available
Uncovered stacking areas dockside for approximately 60 TEU
Container Freight Station (CFS)
Refrigerated Container Stations
Other Capacity Details
Daily Take Off Capacity
Number of Reefer Stations
Emergency Take-off Capacity
Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
Customs have an officer based full time on the island who will be available to clear any shipping arrivals. Generally ships pass through the Port of Avatiu (Rarotonga) en route so customs clearance will have taken place there. They are capable of immigration and quarantine duties as necessary.
For more information on customs in the Cook Islands, please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information
There are no multipurpose terminals available. Large ships are anchored off and unloaded to wharf via barge 2 x 20’ containers maximum load at a time.
Grain and Bulk Handling
There is no bagged or bulk grain handling facilities.
Main Storage Terminal
There is a covered and secure storage building that also houses the Port Authority offices on a mezzanine floor.
Number of Storage Facilities
There are no refrigerated container points
1 (same as for bagged above)
Stevedoring services are supplied by Baxter Boys Seana B Ltd. a local firm. Local labour is sourced. They are responsible for operating shipboard cranes used to load cargo onto the barges. The Ports Authority employees are responsible for stacking and marshalling container and break bulk cargo once it has been unloaded from the ship to the barge and then wharf. No unloading can occur on a Sunday due to religious beliefs.
There is one side lifter truck available for transportation of 20’ containers around the island. Generally cargo is unloaded from containers in the dock area and transferred to small trucks for distribution.
Whilst security is not heavy at the port, due to the isolated and compact nature of the island and its population it is not overly required. However the Ports Authority have ensured it is ISP compliant.
Current ISPS Level