Kenya - 2.1.2 Kenya Port of Lamu

Port Overview 

Port of Lamu came into being as an alternative port to complement the existing Port of Mombasa as contained in Economic Sessional Paper Number 10 of 1965. It is one of the flagship infrastructure projects identified by the Government in Kenya Vision 2030. It is part of the development of a new transport corridor linking a new and modern Port of Lamu with Garissa, Isiolo, Maralal, Lodwar and Lokichogio and branching at Isiolo to Moyale at the border with Ethiopia and proceeding to the border with Southern Sudan. This development will include the long-term physical planning of Lamu Metropolis area and once completed, the corridor will comprise of. 

  1. Standard gauge railway line 

  1. Special Economic Zone (SEZ) 

  1. Warehousing facilities 

  1. Road network 

  1. Oil pipeline (Crude & product) 

  1. Oil refinery (Isiolo/Lamu) 

  1. International Airports (Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichogio) 

  1. Port at Lamu (Manda Bay). 

  1. Resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana) 


The LAPSET Corridor 



Project Description 

The proposed port site at Kililana in Manda Bay at 40o 55' East and 2o 11' South was selected because it has deep and sheltered bay and a wide navigable entrance channel. Hydraulic and geotechnical surveys have confirmed that the area is suitable for port construction. The projected 10Km shore length has the capacity to accommodate up to Twenty-Three (23) berths each with a length of 400 m. 

The Port has two harbour channels: 

  1.  Southern Channel (Sub channel) Dredge depth of 12.5m & 300m wide  

  1. Eastern Channel (Main Channel) Dredge depth of 17.5m & 600m wide 


Project Benefits 

The port is expected to attract larger cargo ships and aims to provide benefits within the region by passing on savings derived from lower marine costs due to faster ship turnaround time and at the same time of reducing the cost of doing business. 

More information and updates on the project can be found at:  

Kenya Vision 2030 Website  

Wikipedia Port of Lamu Website 

Port website: 

Key port information may also be found at:


Port Location and Contact 



Province or District 

Lamu County 

Nearest Town or City 

with Distance from Port 


341 km 

Port's Complete Name 

Port of Lamu 


2° 16' 5" S 


40° 54' 9" E 

Managing Company or Port Authority 


Kenya Port Authority 

Management Contact Person 

Managing Director - Capt. William K. Ruto 

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures 

Manda Airport   

Jambo jet - Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta 

Safari link - Kiwayu, Nairobi–Wilson 

Skyward Express - Mombasa, Nairobi–Wilson 

Capacity of the terminal 

The first three berths of Lamu port are completed with marine salvage operation (LOF) and Marine Terminal (MT).  

Total Quay length 1.2km, Water depth: 17.5m at Lowest Tide (LAT) and 20.5m at High tide 

STS span is 30.5m from seaward to landward rail, 1,200,000 TEUs Capacity 200 Reefer Points 3040m sq. Customs Warehouse. 




Key Milestones 


  • Commissioning of the 1st Berth on 20th May 2021 



  • KPA deployed 5 harbour mobile cranes.  

  • 4 Rubber tyred gantry cranes  

  • 4 terminal tractors 

  • one 25 mt forklift  

  • Harbour tug for craft assistance (guiding ships in the harbour, berthing/unberthing, towage)  

  • Pilot boat for compulsory pilotage services  

  • Mooring boat for making fast the ship alongside berth. 

  • One storage facility (shed) wit capacity of 3000mt. 


Seasonal Constraints 



Time Frame 

Rainy Season 



Major Import Campaigns 



Other Comments 



Handling Figures as May 2023 

Vessel Calls 

Not available 

Container Traffic (TEUs) 



Conventional handling - 244.5 MT (Fishing 31.5) and 22,684 Livestock 

Number shipments called Lamu 22 


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2022 

Bulk (MT) 

Break bulk (MT) 

Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges 

Port of Lamu is on Promotional Tariff. 

Promotional Tariff in place to attract vessels and cargo (Transit & Transhipment traffic) to the new Port. 

Marine Services 

  • Call Based Dues (Light, Port & Harbour & Security Dues) charged once at the first port of call. 

  • GT Based Dues (Pilotage, Tug Service, Mooring) charged 50% for the second port call. 

  • RoRo, Pure Car Carriers and Passenger vessels charged 50% of the GT Based Dues 

Cargo Handling Services 

  • Stevedoring of cargo –40% discount 

  • Stevedoring Coasters’ cargo – 40%discount 

  • Shore Handling/Wharfage – 40%discount 

Berthing Specifications 

Type of Berth 





Draft (m) 


Conventional Berth 




can handle both containers and conventional 

Container Berth 




can handle both containers and conventional 

Silo Berth 




no silo yet 

Berthing Tugs 



Water Barges 




Not available 

General Cargo Handling Berths 

Cargo Type 

Berth Identification 

Imports - Bagged Cargo 


Exports - Bagged Cargo 


Imports and Exports - RoRo 


Other Imports 



Port Handling Equipment 




Total Quantity and Capacity Available 

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage 

Dockside Crane 


Not available 

Not available 

Container Gantries 


Not available 

Not available 

Mobile Cranes 


Not available 

Not available 

Reach stacker 


Not available 

Not available 

RoRo Tug master (with Trailer) 


Not available 

Not available 

Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines 


Not available 

Not available 



Not available 

Not available 



Not available 

Not available 


Container Facilities 


20 ft 

40 ft 

Container Facilities Available 

3 berths 

same for 20ft 

Container Freight Station (CFS) 



Refrigerated Container Stations 


same for 20ft 

Other Capacity Details 

as under equipment 

as under equipment 

Daily Take Off Capacity  
(Containers per Day)  

data no available 

data not available 

Number of Reefer Stations  
(Connection Points) 


same for 40ft 

Emergency Take-off Capacity  

Give an indication 

Give an indication 

Off take Capacity of Gang Shift  
(Containers per Shift)  

data not available 

data not available 

Customs Guidance 

Customs clearance formalities start with shipping line lodging ship’s manifest with customs immediately before departure from the last port of call. Upon approval of manifest by customs, the Clearing agent can lodge an entry in the ICMS system for a consignment within the ship. The consignment is inspected by various relevant regulatory agencies and released by customs online after payment of the various duties. If exempted from duty, for exempted consignment approval is done online before final release. Upon clearing with customs, the agent proceeds to settle port charges and release consignment with KPA. Once completed, the port gives a “Pick up Order”/PUO which is effectively the gate pass to allow cargo exit from port. The whole clearing process takes on average 2 working days hence possible to have all clearance in place by time of ship arrival to facilitate direct delivery upon discharge. 

For additional customs information, please see the following link: 1.3 Kenya Customs Information 

Terminal Information 

The terminal is multipurpose a can handle both conventional and containerised. 


A warehouse storage shed is available and can handle 3000mt. 

Storage Type 

Number of Storage Facilities 

Area (m2) 

Bagged Cargo 

one shed 

30 x40  

Refrigerated Cargo 

Not available 


General Cargo 

animals and fresh products 



Stevedoring activities in port constitute discharge and loading activities for containerised, loose/break bulk, bulk liquid grain etc. The port authority offers all stevedoring activities except for bulk grain which is handled by private. Liquid discharge/loading activities not applicable in Lamu for now 

Hinterland Information 

Goods are only released out of port after payment of all port dues, customs duties and when they meet other import conditions ascertained by other Government regulatory agencies. Exit from port and onwards into the hinterland is mainly by rail or road. There is more reliance on deliveries by road over 90%, due to decreased capacity of rail, run down infrastructure, and rolling stock.  

To speed up evacuation from port to deter demurrage and punitive port storage charges, cargo is also shunted ex-port by trucks onto warehouses or transit yards out of port from where it is then dispatched either by road or rail to its destination in the hinterland.  

Port Security 

Kenya has implemented the maritime security requirements contained in Chapter XI-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code through the Merchant Shipping Bill 2004 and the Maritime Security Regulations 2004. These regulations apply to all seaports in Kenya and passenger ships, cargo ships of 500 GRT or more and mobile offshore drilling units on international voyages.  

Security Level 2 applies in Kenyan territorial waters and seaports. Any change of security level or its area of application will be communicated by notices to mariners, navigational warnings, circulars, VHF communication or any other appropriate means.  

Port Security in Kenya has been tightened considerably following the events of 11 September 2001 and the sharp rise in terrorist incidents worldwide and lately in Kenya. Until recently KPA was concerned mainly with cargo security. But now in common with other port authorities around the world KPA is focusing its attention on the security of everyone visiting its ports and using their facilities.   

KPA has introduced several measures to make the port a safer place for business which includes:  

  • New electronic surveillance equipment including CCTV.  

  • A fully-fledged police station within the port headed by an Officer Commanding Police Division/OCPD Port.  

  • Coastguard surveillance of waters in port area  

  • New search and rescue centre set up jointly with the IMO to supplement sea surveillance.  

  • Plain-clothes and uniformed security officers on patrol in port areas  

  • Strict controls on port entry with all port users and visitors required to display biometric passes and to weigh reflector jackets when accessing the quayside.  

  • Restricted entry to container terminal and other key sections such as oil terminals.  

  • Continuously manned watch towers in car handling area and container terminal  

  • A rapid response team to deal with urgent security matters in or near the port area.  

  • A centralised verification area at the container terminal, car handling area and the CFS  

  • Physical and electronic operated Barriers at port gates to deter forced entry and ensure proper security checks.  

  • Mandatory scanning of all export containers.  

  • Random targeting of import containers for scanning without stripping – thus helping to reduce pilferage.  




ISPS Compliant  

(Yes / No)  



Current ISPS Level  


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

Police Boats  



Fire Engines  






Jump to top