The State of Eritrea

Ministry of Transport & Communications

Massawa Port Authority

office bar

Massawa Port - Head office

About Us



1.1 Infrastructure and Superstructure

The infrastructure of the port is controlled by the Massawa Port Authority and is defined as all water areas within the published port limits, all lands and quays including, in the port, the berth foundations and face and the port pavement. Underground structures including pipes cables and cranes rail supports are considered to be part of the port infrastructure.

The superstructure of the port is controlled by the Port Management and includes all buildings and fittings plus all equipment and facilities necessary for the efficient operation of the port as a commercial entity.

1.2 Berths

The port has six cargo berths with a total length of 1007 meters. Four of these berths form a continuous length, with berths No.1 and 2 set off by about 15 meters each to northwards.

Berth No.1 : Length 176 meters, draft alongside 4m- 6.2m, used for coasting vessels. Berthing is usually head-in, port side to.

Berth No.2 : Length 150 meters, draft alongside 6.2m- 8m, used for coasting and Ro-Ro vessels. Berthing is usually head-in, portside to.

Berth No.3 : Length 137 meters, draft alongside 8.7m - 8.3m, used for general cargo. Berthing is usually head - out, starboard side to.

Berth No.4 : Length 137 meters, draft alongside 8 m, used for general cargo. Berthing either side to.

Berth No.5 : Length 198 meters, draft alongside 8.2 m, used for general cargo and bulk shipments. Berthing either side to.

Berth No.6 : Length 209 meters, newly reconstructed and fitted, designed as a multi purpose berth, primarily intended for containers. Draft alongside 11.5 m.

1.3 Working Areas

  • Each of the berths is backed by a wide and open apron, suitable for the direct delivery of cargo. Further storage facilities are provided enclosed open areas, by open sheds and by secure storage sheds.

  • The newly developed container terminal has areas designated for import and export cargo, the storage of empty containers and facilities for the connection of refrigerated containers.

  • In the container terminal area there is a large open shed (CFS), which is used for inspection and as container Freight Station, for the staffing and stripping of containers.

  • The port Management has designated an area for the temporary storage of hazardous goods, which will be accepted and stored without any assumption of liability on the part of the port Management.

1.4 Marine Equipment

The port has two operational tug boats and two operational pilot boats.

Equipment Capacity Quantity
Tug Boat (Sawa) 2600 HP 1
Tug Boat (Adulis) 1800 HP 1
Pilot Boat/Mooring boat 2

1.5 Cargo Handling Equipment

The Port has a range of cargo handling equipment suitable for most types of cargo and size of vessel.

Equipment Capacity Quantity
Rail mounted Shore Crane 20 Ton 3
Reach Stacker 45 Ton 4
Reach Stacker 10 Ton 1
Mobile crane 50 Ton 1
Mobile crane 30 Ton 1
Mobile Harbour crane(MHC115) 65 Ton 2
Mobile Tower crane 100 Ton 1
Terminal Tractors(TT) 70 Ton 8
Trailors 60 Ton 30
Forklift 15 Ton 1
Forklift 8 Ton 2
Forklift 6 Ton 4
Forklift 4 Ton 4
Forklift 3 Ton 3
Bagging Machine (Double line) 4

1.6 Inland Connections

  • The port and the city of Massawa are connected to the world through the opening of a large Massawa International Airport capable of handling the largest of jet planes.

  • The other international airport for passengers is in the capital, Asmara, which is situated at a height above sea level of over 2000 meters and at about 115 km distant from the port, reachable in 2 - 3 hours drive by small cars depending on traffic.

  • The main connection to the hinterland is by road, which although twisting and turning on its way up the hills, is in good condition and constantly maintained.

1.7 Shipping Services

The port of Massawa, as the main service port for Eritrea, is served by national registered coastal vessels and by liner feeder container ships from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Djibouti and the Yemen. Other general cargo and bulk vessels use the port delivering food, grains, cement and a range of construction and consumer goods. Containerization of cargo is increasing steadily, and the port has responded to that demand by the development of a new multi-purpose terminal with enough space for the handling and storage of containers, including refrigerated and hazardous goods.

1.8 Calling Lines

  • Container : PIL, WEC, MESSINA, NSCSA,
  • Tankers : Saudi Shipping, Sommet Shipping, Benelux over seas
  • Trump : Thorco Shipping, Mur Shipping, Mitusi OSK, African Halcyon

2. Working Hours

2.1 Office and Administration

The standard working hours for the port and Managements:-

  • Monday to Friday 0700 to 1400 LT
  • Saturday 0700 to 1200 LT

2.2 Port Labor

For port labour, the port operates a three shift system covering 23 hours a day and 365 days in the year.

  • 1st shift 07:00 to 14:00 LT.
  • 2nd shift 14:00 to 22:00 LT.
  • 3rd shift 22:00 to 06:00 LT.

All cargo tariffs include an inclusive charge for the port labor, based on the tonnage or cargo handled, which is the same for every day of the year and for all shift working hours. Arrangements for the supply of equipment and labor are made at the daily operational meeting, which is attended by port departmental managers and representative of agents, customs, and other stakeholders.

3. Measurement Units

  • Measurement units used in the port of Massawa are the standard metric units of length, area and volume and are generally counted to the nearest whole units.

  • Weight of cargo or unit is described in metric tons of 1000 kgs.

  • Time is counted in calendar days of 24 hours, and in hours and part thereof.

  • Special individual items, such as cars, containers and animals, may be counted as units, heads and are charged accordingly.

4. Other services Available

The Port of Massawa is a thriving fishing port and a wide range of additional services are available, subject to commercial arrangements. These includes:-

  • Slipway facilities for minor ship repair
  • Diving and underwater inspections
  • Ship chandlery and the supply of provisions
  • Supplies of bunkers fuels, via road tankers
  • Supplies of Fresh water, via road tankers
  • Protection and Indemnity correspondents
  • Hospital, clinic and Medical services

All requests for additional services should be made through the appointed ships agents.

Copyright © 2016 , Massawa Port Authority
All Rights Reserved