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Key port information can also be found at: Website of the Maritime Database on the Port of Nacala

Port Overview

The port of Nacala is located in the province of Nampula within a protected bay with 60m deep and 800m wide at the entrance. It features exceptional navigability conditions, allowing the movement of ships 24 hours per day without restrictions, except along the pier with a 7mts draft, and is the only deep-water port of Mozambique and the largest in the entire East Africa coast.

The port is connected to Malawi and to Niassa province by rail and offers a key access route for import and export cargoes from Malawi, Zambia and the Tete province (mainly coal exports).  The road network serves other national destinations in Nampula, Zambézia and Cabo Delgado provinces

At present, most of the traffic is import/export cargo from Mozambique, although the potential for transit traffic is enormous.  Transit cargo represents just 7% in TEUs; 2% in break bulk; and 32% bulk.

It has a general cargo terminal with four docks, eight warehouses in a covered area of 21,000 sqm and open-air storage of 800,000 sqm.

A renewable 15-year concession to manage and develop the port was awarded to an international port management consortium (Vale do Rio Doce from Brazil and Mitsui from Japan).

The main components of the port are: (i) general cargo berths; (ii) container berth; (iii) Liquid Bulk Terminal, connected to a fuel tank through a pipeline with 3.5 km and two deposits for vegetable oils; (iv) and the Coal Terminal, on the other side of the bay (Nacala-a-Velha).

Currently substantial investment is being undertaken mainly to improve break-bulk and container handling facilities and to build new facilities that will prompt increased levels of transit traffic.

Port website:

Key port information may also be found at:


Port Location and Contact



Province or District


Nearest Town or City

with Distance from Port


Distance 0 km

Port's Complete Name

Nacala Port





Managing Company or Port Authority

Corredor do Norte (CDN)

Management Contact Person


Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures

Nacala International Airport

LAM and charter flights

Port Picture

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

The port is managed by CDN (Northern Development Corridor) who retains commercial, technical and infrastructure management, whilst the operations are under the responsibility of the subsidiary “Portos de Norte”.

CFM still holds some warehousing capacity. 

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link:  4.3 Mozambique Port and Waterways Company Contact List

Port Performance

The port has no channel restrictions. 177 vessels called the port in 2017, 1.4% less than 2016 and 1.666.663 MT were handled, 1.9% more than the previous year.  Mozambique export traffic (mainly coal) has the larger share of the traffic.  Berth occupancy rates are around 50%.

Priority for humanitarian cargo is easily negotiable.

Seasonal Constraints



Time Frame

Rainy Season



Major Import Campaigns



Other Comments


Handling Figures for 2017

Vessel Calls

277 (281 in 2016)

Container Traffic (TEUs)

70,931 (71,142 in 2016)

Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017

Bulk (MT)

1,225,406 (1,123,442 in 2016)

Break bulk (MT)

1,021,706 (1,022,444 in 2016)

For additional information on port performances and capacities, please select the following document: Mozambique Port of Nacala Additional Information 

Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth




Maximum Draft (m)


Conventional Berth



7.5 – 10


Container Berth





Silo Berth



7.5 – 10


Berthing Tugs




Water Barges




Port Handling Equipment

The port and all equipment is managed by CDN, the concessionaire.



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane


1x20T + 1X10 + 4x5T


Container Gantries




Mobile Cranes








RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)


2xtractors + 4xtrailers


Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines


2xvacuvators + 2xhoppers + several bagging machines







3 x 2.5T + 1 x 4T + 1 x 32

+ 4 x 42T + 2 x 16T


Container Facilities


20 ft

40 ft

Container Facilities Available



Container Freight Station (CFS)


Refrigerated Container Stations


Other Capacity Details


Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)


Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)



Emergency Take-off Capacity



Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)



Customs Guidance

Customs regulations are, by their nature, complex and change regularly.  This is also the case in Mozambique where SADC regional integration requirements combine with existing local procedures depending on the cargo being cleared. Principal legislation, contacts and other useful customs-related information are available from the Mozambican Customs Authority (

The process of application for exemption of duties comprises following steps:

  • Accreditation and licensing to operate in Mozambique with special diplomatic status for duty free imports
  • Before the arrival of the cargo submission of:
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing List
  • Application to Customs with justification for exemption
    • Customs clears the goods that can be exempted from duties, through the JUE (“Janela Única Eletrónica” or Electronic Single Window)
    • For the submission to JUE, the following is required:
    • Commercial invoice
    • Transport document (original)
    • Packing List
    • Customs clearance document
      • JUE issues a notice of payment (AP)
      • Deduction of import duties at JUE:
      • The AP is taken physically to Tax Department to apply respective deduction of the value of the import duties
      • Once this step is finalised, the customs clearance process can be completed


For more information on customs in Mozambique, please see the following link: 1.3 Mozambique Customs Information

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

The container and multi-purpose terminal has a 372 mts long quay with a 15 mts depth alongside. The terminal has 6,000 TEU storage capacity. Currently the terminal handle 100,000 TEU per year.

Main Storage Terminal


Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities 

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo



Refrigerated Cargo


General Cargo



Stevedoring labour force exclusively supplied by TN (Terminais de Norte).

Hinterland Information

The port was primarily designed as a main gateway for the import and export cargoes from Malawi that uses the railway line. In recent years, the north of Mozambique has shown significant development that also generates cargo for the Port of Nacala; hence increased influence of domestic traffic at the port vis-à-vis transit cargo.  The railway line to Malawi and beyond to Zambia, DRC and Tete province (coal) offers today a good and reliable link.  The other domestic traffic is moved by road, covering mainly the provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado and the northern part of Zambézia province.

Port Security

Nacala Port was registered and accredited in 2007 as being compliant of the ISPS security code. The port has gate checks all people working in the port are well identified with specific uniforms for better identification.


ISPS Compliant


Current ISPS Level
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional) 


Police Boats


Fire Engines




The container and multi-purpose terminal has a 372 mts long quay with a 15 mts depth alongside. The terminal has 6,000 TEU storage capacity. Currently the terminal handle 100,000 TEU per year.