2 Tuvalu Logistics Infrastructure

2 Tuvalu Logistics Infrastructure

Air travel in Tuvalu is limited and there is only one airstrip, located in Funafuti. There is no internal air service.  

There are long term concerns for the viability of the airstrip and apron with rising sea levels. Water table levels and sea tidal fluctuations are factors that can cause sub-surface pressures that may lift the pavement surface. Blistering on the surface is observed during spring tides especially when it coincides with heavy rainfall. Remiadial work is ongoing 

There is a small road network (15km) The main road that runs from the length of Funafiti is paved secondary roads are compacted coral and dirt tracks.  

Tuvalu’s usual forms of transport are small pickup trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. 

Due to Funafuti’s small size, transport logistics there are not a major issue, however, the logistics of interisland transportation given the considerable distances, limited berthing options for larger vessels and the absence of airstrips present a significant challenge in the event of a disaster response. 

Through its shipping agent, Trade Pacific Shipping Agency Ltd., the Government of Tuvalu operates an inter-island shipping service, consisting of two passenger/cargo ships and an ocean going barge based at Funafuti 

The ships move cargo and passengers to the outer islands and occasionally call at Suva, Fiji.  

Unloading fuel drums, outer island

Beach access, outer island

2.1 Tuvalu Port of Funafuti

Port Overview

Tuvalu has one port situated on Fongafale Island on the E side of Funafuti atoll. It is the port of entry.  

Funafuti Wharf is on the West side of the North arm of the island, 1nm N of the main town of Vaiaku.  

It handles general cargo almost exclusively containerised, and oil.  Catering to approximately 20 vessels annually. The types of vessels regularly calling at FUNAFUTI are Cargo (14%), Passenger (14%), Passenger/Cargo Ship (14%).   

Max draft: 8, Max LOA: 183, Max DWT: 20375 

Funafuti is the only port but there is a deep-water berth in the lagoon at  Nukufetau 

Key port information can also be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com


Port Location and Contact 



Province or District 

Funafuti Island 

Nearest Town or City 

with Distance from Port 



Port's Complete Name 

 Funafuti Port 


 8.502778  (8° 30' 10" S) 


179.195833 (179° 11' 45" E) 

Managing Company or Port Authority 


Funafuti Port Authority 

Tel: 688 20054 

Email: marine@tuvalu.tv 

Management Contact Person 

Nito Lipine: nlteiaputi@gmail.com 

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures 

Funafuti International Airport (2 km) 

Fiji Airlines 


Port Picture

1 Port warehouse 

2 Funafuti Wharf 

3 Nippon Wharf 

4 Container area 1 

5 Container area 2 

Police Boat at wharf

Container storage outside port 

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

The port, stevedoring services, facilities and equipment are owned and operated by the Funafuti Port Authority, a government department, part of the Ministry of Communication and Transport. 

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List

Port Performance

The port is small but not congested, average waiting time between arrival and berthing is not more than 24 hours. It caters to around 20 vessels per year. Maximum draft is 10m.  

There are no dockside cranes, so all vessels must have onboard gantry cranes for loading and unloading. There are forklifts dockside for moving and unstuffing containers.  

The port’s major limitation is lack of space for container storage additionally the storage area is neither paved nor level resulting in many containers being stacked on both sides of the road outside the port security fence.  

Seasonal Constraints 



Time Frame 

Rainy Season 


During the period November to April heavy rains may result in damage during loading/unloading and transporting perishable goods. 

Major Import Campaigns 



Handling Figures for 2020 

Vessel Calls 


Container Traffic (TEUs) 

5,150 TEU 


Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

Dockage Dues 

(1) Berthing fee of any overseas vessel berthing alongside the wharf and under the control of the Harbour Master must pay a fee, at the rate of Gross Tonnage x $0.20 + $300.00. 

(2) Berthing fee for0 foreign yacht is $5.00 per metre length per day. 

4 Port Dues 

(1) Any vessel in port whether plying for hire or within the purlieus of such wharf shall pay port dues at the rate of 100 Gross Tonnage x the number of hours alongside x $1.20. 

(2) Any delays caused by the local port authorities due to equipment failure shall incur a diminution in the port dues prescribed in (1). 

(3) Any overseas vessels that anchors within the port limits shall be charged the   length per metre x $2.00 x number of days. 

(4) Port dues should be levied to overseas yacht in port whether plying for hire or otherwise at the rate of $50.00 per call (not exceeding 30 days) plus $5.00 per day (after 30 days). 

5 Dockage and Port Dues for Local Vessels 

(1) Any vessel owned or registered in Tuvalu shall pay dockage dues at the rate of Gross Tonnage x $0.10 + $100.00. 

(2) Any vessel owned or registered in Tuvalu shall pay port dues at the rate of 100 Gross Tonnage x number of hours x $0.80. 

(3) Any vessel owned and registered in Tuvalu that anchors within the port limit shall be charged by the length of the vessel x $1.50 x number of days. 

6 Wharfage Dues 

(1) Dues known as wharfage dues should be levied on all goods landed or discharged on any vessel including the Nivaga II and the Manufolau within the port when goods are handled by port personnel. 

7 Charges on Vessels being in the Harbour 

(1) Vessel license fee shall be levied on any vessel whether plying for hire, at anchorage or berth at the sum of $100.00 per visit. 

(2)  Environment levy fee should be charged to any vessel in port whether playing for hire or at anchorage at the rate of GRT x $0.05 per visit. 

(3) Security fee at the rate of $50.00 per day shall be applicable to all vessels. 

(4) Light dues shall be levied on all overseas vessels at the rate of $50.00 per visit. 

(5) Port users and shipping agencies shall pay the fee of $200.00 per annum for business conducted within the harbour vicinity. 

(6) Visitors to the port shall pay the fee of $2.00 per day for entering the area. 

(7) Vehicles other than Government vehicles shall pay the fee of $5.00 per day for entering the harbour. 

(8) Stevedoring charges shall be made against Master or Owner at rates set out in Schedule 1. 

(9) Equipment hire charges shall be made against Master or Owner, Importers and the public in general at rates set out in Schedule 3. 

8 Area 

(1) No storage charges shall be levied on inward cargoes (excluding perishable cargoes/goods). 

(2) Inward Cargoes must be cleared within 5 working days (28 days for transhipment) after which cargoes shall be charged for storage as per rates prescribed in Schedule 2. 

9 Dangerous Goods 

All kind of dangerous goods shall be cleared within 24 hours after arrival at the wharf after which dangerous goods shall be charged at $100.00 per tanktainer, cooking gas cylinder and 200 litres petrol drum containers. 


(Regulation 7 (8)) 


Rate ($) 

Discharging or loading of FCL S 

$150.00 of max weight (25 tonnes) 

Containers more than 25 tonnes 


Discharging or loading one empty container 

$80.00 per container 

Restowing (Shifting) on board ship: 


 (b) Loose Cargo 


$100.00 per container 

$15.00 per cubic metre 


$70.00 per container 

Discharging full tanktainer 

$200.00 per unit 

Loading empty tanktainer 

$100.0 0 per unit 

Timber flat pack 

$150.00 per pack 

Iron steel product 

$20.00/cubic metre 


(Regulation 8 (2)) 



Rate ($) 


$8.00 per cubic metre/day 

Steel products/iron rods 

$10.00 per cubic metre/day 

Cement. Gravel, Sand 

$12.00 per cubic metre/day 

Reefer Container 

$50.00 per /day 

Full Container 

$50.00 per metre/day 

Loose Cargoes 

$10.00 per cubic metre/day 



(Regulation 7 (9)) 


Charges ($) 

Lift ($) 

Truck & Trailer 

150.00 per trip 


Forklift 25 tonnes 

100.00 per hour 


Forklift 4 tonnes 

30.00 per hour 


Forklift 3 tonnes 

30.00 per hour 


Container Ram 

20.00 per hour 




Berthing Specifications 

Type of Berth 





Draft (m) 


Conventional Berth 




Comprises 2 docks 70m+ 50m +30m gap (see port picture) 

Container Berth 





Silo Berth 





Berthing Tugs 





Water Barges 






General Cargo Handling Berths 

All berths are general cargo/container handling 

Cargo Type 

Berth Identification 

Imports - Bagged Cargo 

See above 

Exports - Bagged Cargo 


Imports and Exports - RoRo 


Other Imports 


Port Handling Equipment 

The port equipment is managed and owned by the Funafuti Port Authority, a government entity.    





Total Quantity and Capacity Available 

Dockside Crane 



Container Gantries 



Mobile Cranes 






RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer) 



Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines 








1 x 30MT, 1 x 25MT,  

2 x 5MT, 2 x 3MT 

25MT forklift, Funafuti Port 

Container Facilities 


There are no specialist container facilities. Port is general cargo. 


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  

Dependant on ship’s capability using onboard gantry cranes 

Off take Capacity of Gang Shift  
(Containers per Shift)  

Dependant on ship’s capability using onboard gantry cranes 

Customs Guidance 

Customs are based in nearby township offices and work 0830 to 1700 Monday to Friday but present for all vessel arrivals. Clearance can be expected same day if notice is given prior to arrival. 

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

Terminal Information 


The terminal has been designed for multipurpose, general passenger, container and tankers 

No ro-ro facilities available 


No facilities for grain and bulk handling 


Covered storage is secure CGI shed with concrete floors. 

Storage Type 

Number of Storage Facilities 

Area (m2) 

Bagged Cargo 

Cargo shed 


Refrigerated Cargo 

1 reefer container 20ft 


General Cargo 

Cargo shed (as above) 


Cargo Shed, Funafuti Port 


Stevedoring is not a private company; labourers are employed as casual under the government. Manual labour is used for unstuffing containers. 

Hinterland Information 

Goods are moved from port by private pickup trucks  

Port Security 

The area surrounding the docks is fenced although not totally secure and may be accessed from adjoining building. Security personnel are present 24/7 

Planned to improvements include paving and extension of the container storage area into the lagoon side. 


ISPS Compliant 


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

Level 1 

Police Boats 


Fire Engines 


2.2 Tuvalu Aviation

The aviation sector consists of an International Airport located in the main town centre, it services up to two ATR-72 flights per week from Suva as stipulated under the agreement between Fiji Airways and Tuvalu Government, and a supplementary flight to be staged once the travelling demand for both sectors have increased.   

Periodic weekly flights from Tarawa were started in early February 2018 for a period of two years under the Tuvalu and Air Kiribati contract, until early 2020 when Air Kiribati terminated their service.   

The Funafuti airstrip is the only airstrip in Tuvalu that is still operational and it’s the main gateway in and out of the country.   

The airstrip was constructed by the United States government during World War II. The runway has a length of 1,535 meters and a width of 30 meters, the surface was tar sealed in 1992 with a capacity of 50 tons that was reduced due to damage resulting from water covering part of the runway during very high tides. Resurfacing of the runway was done in 2017 under the Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project funded by the World Bank, additionally there were other supporting services procured under this project, including the Delivery of an Airport Rescue Fire Fighting Vehicle.  

A new terminal building and a Flight Service Tower Building were officially opened in 2018.  

The Ministry of Transport, Energy & Tourism (MTET) through the Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) manages the airport operations and is responsible for compliance with national and international civil aviation requirements.  

Key airport information may also be found at:http://worldaerodata.com/ 

For more information on government agency and airport company contact information, please see the following links: 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.5 Airport Companies Contact List 

Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft 

Aircraft registration  

  1. The Director shall establish and maintain a system for the national registration of civil aircraft in Tuvalu.  
  1. A civil aircraft shall not operate in Tuvalu unless it is registered in Tuvalu or is registered under the laws of a foreign country.  
  1. An aircraft shall be eligible for registration if and only if it is not registered in a foreign country and, unless otherwise permitted by the Director by regulation, it is owned by —  
  1. a citizen of Tuvalu.     
  1. the Government of Tuvalu or a political subdivision of Tuvalu; or  
  1. a body incorporated under the laws of Tuvalu.  
  1. An application for registration shall be in such form, be filed in such manner, and contain such information as the Director may require.  
  1. On the registration of an aircraft, the Director shall issue to the owner a certificate of registration.  
  1. An aircraft shall acquire Tuvalu nationality when registered under this Act but a certificate of registration issued under this section shall not be considered evidence as to ownership in any proceeding under the laws of Tuvalu in which ownership of the aircraft by a particular person is or may be in issue.  
  1. The Director may suspend or revoke a licence issued under this Act for any cause if the Director finds the suspension or revocation to be in the public interest. 


The full legislation can be viewed at  


Permits for journeys other than scheduled journeys  

An application for a licence shall be in the form hereunder set out and shall be addressed to the Licensing Authority by registered post.  

I hereby make application for a licence to operate an air service, and declare that the particulars concerning my application are hereunder truly set out —  


  1. Name and address of applicant.  
  1. Places between which passengers or goods are to be carried.  
  1. Places at which intermediate landings are to be made for the purpose of loading or landing  passengers or goods.  
  1. Frequency of the service (including proposed time-tables).  
  1. Number and types of aircraft proposed to be used on the service.  
  1. Whether the service is to carry passengers or goods or both.  
  1. Maximum fares to be charged to passengers in respect of any journey or portion of a journey for which separate fares are charged.  
  1. Charges to be made in respect of goods and excess baggage. 
  1. Date on which service is to commence. 
  1. Period for which the licence is desired. 


Full details can be viewed at: 



2.2.1 Tuvalu Funafuti International Airport

Airport Overview

Airport Overview 

Funafuti Airport was originally built by the United States Navy in 1943 during World War II. 

The airport is at an elevation of 9 feet (3 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway which is 1,524 metres (5,500 ft) in length. The absence of runway lighting, minimal VHF radio and air navigation equipment means that operations are restricted to daylight hours. 


The Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project (TvAIP), largely funded by the World Bank, is intended to improve the runway so that it achieves a minimum pavement classification number (PCN) of 16 to provide a load-carrying capacity of the pavement that rates the runway for emergency flights. TvAIP also involves improvements of navigational aids and other safety and security facilities to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements. 

Fiji Airlines (trading as Fiji Link) operates services 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) between Suva (originating from Nadi) and Funafuti with ATR 72-600 aircraft, which has a capacity of up to 72 passengers. 

Air Kiribati provides one flight a week to Funafuti. The flight departs from and returns to Tarawa on Wednesday. The service uses a Bombardier Dash 8 100 series aircraft, which has the capacity to take up to 35 passengers. 


Airport Location and Contact 



Province or District 


Nearest Town or City  
with Distance from Airport 


Surrounds airport 

Airport’s Complete Name 

Funafuti Atoll International Airport 





Elevation (ft and m) 

3m (9ft) 

IATA Code 


ICAO Code 


Managing Company or Airport Authority 

The Ministry Transport, Energy & Tourism (MTET) through the Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) 

Management Contact Person 

Mr Uinga Paelate – Director Civil Aviation 

Mr Telaulini Niuatui – Airport Manager 

Open From (hours) 

0800 Mondays - Fridays 

Open To (hours) 

1600 Monday - Friday 


Airport Picture

1 Terminal building (customs & Immigration) 

2 Apron 

3 Meeting house (possible emergency storage) 

4 Department of Works yard 

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

The Ministry of Transport, Energy & Tourism (MTET) through the Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) manage the airport operations. Fiji Air and Air Kiribati service the airport   

For more information on airport contacts, please see the following link:4.5 Airport Companies Contact List 

Information on some aviation service providers can be found at:http://www.azfreight.com/  

Passenger and Cargo Performance Indicator


Performance for 2019 


Per Year 

Per Month 

Per week 

Total Aircraft Movements 




Total Passengers 




Total Capacity of the Airport (MT) 




Current Activity of the Airport (MT) 




Current use by Humanitarian Flights (UNHAS) 


PHAS conducted flights during COVID pandemic in 2022 to deliver medical supplies. 



Cargo handling is carried out by manual labour. There are forklifts available at the adjacent works yards and the port. The terminal building has no storage space however there are open areas close to the runway where MSU’s could be set up if required. 


There are some areas of depression and surface bubbling. An assessment by the supervision engineer working with the World Bank and the Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project determined that depressions in the surface had resulted from venting of air pressure in voids under the pavement caused by intensification of tidal movements due to climatic changes. Remedial work on this is ongoing 

Runway #1 

Runway Dimensions 

1,524m x 30m 




Paved (Coral/bitumen) 

Helicopter Pad(s) 

There are no specified helicopter pads but there is ample space to land on the apron or bare land adjacent to the runway 

Helipad #1 



Largest Helicopter that can Land 


Width and Length (m) 



Asphalt and/or grass 


  Airport Infrastructure Details 




JET A-1 fuel 




AVGAS 100 


Terminal Building 


Single Point Refuelling 


Passenger Terminal 


Air Starter Units 


Cargo terminal 


Ground Power (mobile) 


Pax Transport to Airfield 


Ground Handling Services 


Control Tower 


Latrine Servicing 


Weather Facilities 


Fire Fighting Category (ICAO) 


Catering Services 


De-icing Equipment 


Base Operating Room 


Parking Ramp Lighting 


Airport Radar 


Approach & Runway Lights 










Airport Operating Details 

Operating Details 

Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Bulk Cargo 


Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Pallet 


Total Aircraft Parking Area (m²) 


Storage Area (m3 and MT) 


Handling Equipment 

Elevators / Hi Loaders  


Max Capacity (MT) 


Max Height 



Loading Ramps 


Other Comments 

Handling equipment (Forklifts) are available from adjacent Department of Works yard. 

Customs Guidance 

Customs are available during airport operating hours and on hand for all arrivals and departures  

For more information on customs in Tuvalu please see the following link:HQ staff will input a link to section 1.3 Customs Information here.   

Storage Facilities 

There are no storage facilities available at the airport, however there are sheds and meeting houses adjacent that could be used in an emergency 

Airfield Costs 


  No information on charges available  




Price per Litre USD - $ 

Jet A-1 





No information on charges available  


There is no air-bridge available. 


The airport is unfenced. The airport is somewhat unusual in that due to limited space on the island, the runway is used as a common area for sporting and social activities when it is not in use. Sirens sound when a plane is about to land, warning residents to stay off the runway. 


2.3 Tuvalu Road Network

The total surfaced length of the upgraded road network is 15.5 km with an average width of 5 meters. The traffic loading is generally light and the total number of vehicles on the Island is approximately 1,200 units. The spectrum consists mainly of motor bikes (75%), motor vehicles (20%) and the remaining 5% light medium and heavy commercial vehicles. 

The main roads on Funafuti are paved, but other roads and on other islands are generally unpaved. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous.  

King tides and storms can result in debris on roads due to the country’s low topography. 

Due to the small size of Tuvalu the road network is adequate for its needs. Resurfacing work of the main roads was carried out in 2017. 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List 

Road Security 

There are no security issues with the road network in Tuvalu.

Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits 

There are no weighbridges, axle load limits or land border crossings in Tuvalu.

2.5 Tuvalu Waterways Assessment

There are no ‘internal’ waterways in Tuvalu however inter-island water transport is the main form of transportation for people and goods in the country. 

Many of the outer islands do not have docking facilities for large ships and therefore landing craft are the preferred option for transporting heavy cargo/vehicles, otherwise transhipment using small boats from ships anchored off the beach is the norm.  This can be challenging in the case of narrow entrances though the reefs particularly if any size of sea is running. 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List

Company Information

There are no private companies active in the market. Inter-island transport is mainly provided by government ships 

 For more information on waterway company contact details, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List.


Passenger Carrying Capacity 



Number of 

Passenger Vessels 

< 20 Passengers 

HMTSS Te Matail  

(Aust. Patrol boat) 



Number of 

Passenger Vessels 

< 50 Passengers 


(40 pax) 

Number of 

Passenger Vessels 

< 100 Passengers 


Number of 

Passenger Vessels 

> 100 Passengers 

Nivaga lll 

(400 pax) 


(250 pax) 



Cargo Carrying Capacity 




Number of Boats 

1 Nivaga lll 

2. Manufolau 

3. Talamoana 


Tonnage / Volume 

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3) 

1337 MT 

582 MT 

239 MT 


Number of Barges 

1 Moeiteava 

Tonnage / Volume 

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3) 

403 MT 


Number of Tugs 


Tonnage / Volume 

Carrying Capacity (MT / m3) 


Travel Time Matrix 

 Travel Time between islands on Nivaga III (approx. 9 knots) in hours 
























6 hrs 










7 hrs 

10 hrs 









16 hrs 

21 hrs 

28 hrs 








17 hrs 

14 hrs 

23 hrs 

10 hrs 







21 hrs 

15 hrs 

8 hrs 

34 hrs 

28 hrs 






25 hrs 

19 hrs 

9 hrs 

37 hrs 

31 hrs 

7 hrs 





30 hrs 

22 hrs 

12 hrs 

40 hrs 

35 hrs 

9 hrs 

5 hrs 




8 hrs 

4 hrs 

10 hrs 

23 hrs 

15 hrs 

13 hrs 

18 hrs 

21 hrs 


2.6 Tuvalu Storage Assessment

There is no commercial storage. Public sector storage consists of a number of buildings and sheds in various states of repair that could be used in an emergency situation The port has 1 large (1,000m2) secure shed that would be available. Other potential temporary storage options range from meeting houses to schools and churches. Although not all are fully secure, security on this small island is not a major concern. 

The outer islands have storage options, consisting of Public Works Department sheds, schools and meeting halls. 

The Red Cross has containers on each of the outer Islands for prepositioning NFI disaster preparedness stocks.   

For more information on storage company contact details, please see the following link: 4.6 Storage and Milling Companies Contact List 

Commercial Storage 

There are no commercial storage facilities available   

Storage Used by Humanitarian Organizations 

Red Cross is the only humanitarian organization with prepositioned stocks on all of the islands using containers as storage facilities 



Sharing Possibility 



(MT / m² / m³) 

Type [1] 

Access [2] 

Condition [3] 

Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niu. Nukufetau, Niutao, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu  

Red Cross 







Red Cross 



2 x covered containers 



Red Cross storage facility, Funafuti

Meeting House, Funafuti Airport

Public Sector Storage 

 The secure public storage facilities are limited to the cargo shed at the Port. 


Ministry / Agency 

Use Possibility 


(MT / m² / m³) 

Type [1] 

Access [2] 

Condition [3] 

Funafuti Port  




CGI with concrete floor 



Storage shed at Funafuti Port

Cold Chain 

The only cold chain storage options are refrigerated containers.  

Princess Margaret Hospital has vaccine fridges  

- 4 x TCW 2000 AC, capacity 60L 

- 2 x TCW 4000 AC, capacity 240L 

- 1 x Haier (-80°C) for covid vaccines 

- 1 x Ice-line, capacity 40L 

Disclaimer: Inclusion of company information in the LCA does not imply any business relationship between the supplier and WFP / Logistics Cluster, and is used solely as a determinant of services, and capacities.  

Please note: WFP / Logistics Cluster maintain complete impartiality and are not in a position to endorse, comment on any company's suitability as a reputable service provider. 

2.7 Tuvalu Milling Assessment

Tuvalu has no milling capability.