Mozambique - 2.1.3 Mozambique Port of Nacala

 Port Overview 

The port of Nacala is located in the province of Nampula within a protected bay with 60 m deep and 800 m 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 9-14 m 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, Cabo Delgado provinces and Niassa. 

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 seven deposits for vegetable oils. It has a general cargo terminal with four docks, one warehouse in a covered area of 9,000 m2 and open-air storage of 60,000 m2

The Port of Nacala returned to Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) management by decision of the Government of Mozambique announced in December 2019, following the end of the concession contract signed with the North Development Corridor (CDN) in 2000. 

Currently substantial investment is being undertaken and includes the complete rehabilitation of the port facilities, dredging, construction of access roads, and investing in equipment. The project "Nacala Port Development Project" include dredging for a quay wall, expanding the harbor by reclaiming land, paving a container pier, installing an access road and on-site rail, and providing equipment to improve the efficiency of cargo handling. The rehabilitation, expansion, and modernization works were financed by the Japanese Development Agency (JICA), which disbursed USD 277.5 million and is expected to be concluded in 2023. 

The port plans to increase its cargo handling capacity of 50 TEU per hour, from 100,000 TEU yearly to 252,000 TEU, a growth of over 150 percent, after the conclusion of the rehabilitation, expansion and modernisation works. Storage capacity is also expected to increase by 8,000 TEU (5,000 TEU previously), as well as berthing of large ships (80,000 DWT - Post Panamax, compared to previous 60,000 DWT).  

At present, most of the traffic is import/export cargo from Mozambique, although the potential for transit traffic is enormous. Transit cargo represents just 4.8 percent in TEUs and 10 percent bulk. However, Nacala Port is expected to be the principal gateway providing efficient logistics services not only for the northern part of Mozambique but also for landlocked countries in its hinterland. It is forecasted to increase the annual cargo volume by ten times in 2030 compared to 2011. Furthermore, the port has the potential to become the hub port which serves for the larger area in south-eastern Africa, taking advantage of its deep-water basin. 

Port website: Porto de Nacala ( 

Key port information may also be found at: Port of Nacala MZMNC map, contact details and vessel arrivals by Maritime Database ( 

Port Location and Contact 



Province or District 


Nearest Town or City 

with Distance from Port 

Nacala, 0 km 

Port's Complete Name 

Nacala Port 





Managing Company or Port Authority 

Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) 

Management Contact Person 

Neimo Induna (+258849012166) 

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures 

Nacala International Airport 

LAM and charter flights 

Port Picture 










Description and Contacts of Key Companies 

CFM Norte, Nacala Delegation manages the port. 

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 

4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List 

Port Performance 

The port has no channel restrictions. 261 vessels called the port in 2022, 16 percent less than 2021 (310 vessels) and 2.740.369 mt were handled.  Mozambique export traffic (mainly agriculture cargo) has the larger share of the traffic.  Berth occupancy rates are around 57.1 percent in 2022. 

Priority for humanitarian cargo is easily negotiable. 

Seasonal Constraints 



Time Frame 

Rainy Season 



Major Import Campaigns 



Other Comments 



Handling Figures for 2022 

Vessel Calls 

261 (310 in 2021) 

Container Traffic (TEUs) 

66,588 (73,915 in 2021) 


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2022 

Bulk (mt) 

2.740,369 mt (2.882,400 mt in 2021) 

Break bulk (mt) 


Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges 

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

Port and Terminal Charges    

Berthing Specifications 

Type of Berth 





Draft (m) 

Conventional Berth 


9 – 14 

Container Berth 



Silo Berth 


7.5 – 10 

Port Handling Equipment 

CFM Norte, Nacala Delegation manages the port. 




Total Quantity and Capacity Available 

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage 

Dockside Crane 




Container Gantries 


2 x 45 tons 


Mobile Cranes 


8 x RTG 




10 x 45 tons 


RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer) 



Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines 


2 x vacuvators 

2 x hoppers 

Several bagging machines 








1x 2.5 tons 

1x 3 tons  

1x 42 tons  

1x 40 tons 



Container Facilities 

The port plans to increase its cargo handling capacity of 50 TEU per hour, from 100,000 TEU yearly to 252,000 TEU, a growth of over 150 percent, after the conclusion of the rehabilitation, expansion and modernisation works. Storage capacity is also expected to increase by 8,000 TEU (5,000 TEU previously), as well as berthing of large ships (80,000 mt compared to previous 60,000 mt). 


20 ft 

40 ft 

Container Facilities Available 



Container Freight Station (CFS) 



Refrigerated Container Stations 



Daily Take Off Capacity  
(Containers per Day)  



Number of Reefer Stations  
(Connection Points) 

96 + 210  


Emergency Take-off Capacity  



Off take Capacity of Gang Shift  
(Containers per Shift)  



Customs Guidance 

Guidance from the manual “Rules and Procedures for Customs clearance of Goods donated for Humanitarian Assistance”, prepared by INGD, Mitigation Division, Customs clearance Sector - Ver12December 22: 


6.1. Conditions for Customs Clearance 

25. Advance shipment (after shipment and before arrival in the national territory) by the exporter/Donor of the following documents: 

  1. Commercial Invoice; 

  1. PackList; 

  1. Certificate of Analysis (Drugs and vaccines) or Quality (Consumables and other medical products); 

  1. Bill of Lading (Bill of lading) for sea and Waybill for air; 

  2. Processing schedule for the Pharmaceutical Specialty Inspection Bulletin (BIEF), in accordance with Annex 2.

26. Immediate Issuance (within no more than 2 days) of the Accounting Note, in cases of lack of financial coverage, an early exit authorization would be issued for products subject to Customs Charges (most consumables). If the Accounting Note is not issued within 2 days, the products destined for the MISAU (medicines, medical products, equipment and vehicles) will enjoy early departure without any restrictions. 

27. Existence of financial availability within the limit communicated in the State Budget for the payment of MCNet Fee up to the maximum amount equivalent to sixty-four American dollars (USD 64) in accordance with paragraph 30, and expenses of Private agents of cargo handling (airport tax, storage, parking, deposit and Kudumba) upon arrival of the Goods.

28. For perishable products such as vaccines and reagents, the request for Exit Authorization must be made at the respective customs office, with a maximum of two (2) days in advance, under the responsibility of the Manager or his Representative. Clearance of vehicles and other vehicles.

6.2. Clearance of vehicles and other vehicles 

29. The attribution of license plates for vehicles and other vehicles must be made before issuing the Accounting Notes, through Early Departure, in case of delay in this process. 

6.3 Payment of the MCNet Fee 

30. Bearing in mind that MISAU imports goods with high values, you must pay an MCNet fee up to a maximum amount equivalent to sixty-four American dollars (USD 64), regardless of the FOB value of the goods. 

6.4 Payment of port fees 

31. Private operator agents must allow the collection of goods intended for Health under a Term of Commitment, with the guarantee that the amounts due are paid within a period to be agreed between this agent and any Ministry authorized to receive or import emergency goods or humanitarians. 

32. If the above conditions are met, the time for withdrawing the goods from the port area may be between: 

  1. Maximum 2 days for air and land cargo; 

  1. Maximum 7 days for sea cargo. 

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

1.3 Customs Information 

Terminal Information 


The container and multi-purpose terminal has a 372 m long quay with a 14 m depth alongside.  


The Liquid Bulk Terminal, forms part of Quay 4, the General Cargo Terminal, has a depth of 9,7 m and is connected to the fuel tanks (BP Mozambique (12,000  m3 ), Petromoc (28,000  m3 ) and Camel (32.000  m3 )) and to the vegetable oil tanks with a storage capacity of 13,111  m3 (CFM, SanOil) through a 3,5 km pipeline. 

  • Quay Bridge Features: rectangle shaped with a length of 120 m and 25 m wide;

  • Major Anchor Commodities: Fuel (Diesel, Petrol and Jet A1); Vegetable Oils (Palm Oil and PFAD). 

The Bulk Liquids Terminal registered an increasing trend in the national imports of liquid bulk with major incidence to fuel as a result of increased storage capacity and the commissioning of new Terminal - Camel, Lda with 32.000  m3 capacity for fuel. 



Storage Type 

Number of Storage Facilities 

Area (m2

Bagged Cargo 



Refrigerated Cargo 



General Cargo 




Stevedoring labour force exclusively supplied by Portos do Norte (PN). 

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 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 and Niassa. 

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 

Yes (1) 

Fire Engines 




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