Durban Harbour

Port Overview

LOCATION Latitude -29.869175° , Longitude 31.034514°

The Port of Durban is South Africa’s premier multi-cargo port and is counted among the busiest ports in Africa, handling over 80 million tons of cargo per annum. The Port of Durban is the leading port in the SADC region and the premier trade gateway between South-South trade, Far East trade, Europe & USA, East & West Africa regional trade. It is the international commercial gateway to South Africa and is strategically positioned on the world shipping routes. It is one of the few ports in the world located in close proximity to the central business district.

The Port of Durban occupies a focal point in the transport and logistics chain with 60% of all imports and exports passing through the port, thus it assumes a leading role in facilitating economic growth in South Africa.
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Port Information & Services

To the Harbour Master, 48 hours prior to arrival, advising ETA, draught freeboard and reasons for calling at the port and any hazardous cargo being carried. To Port Health, between 24 and 48 hours prior to arrival, advising ETA, last port of call, date sailed, number of crew, full inoculation and vaccination status and state of health of crew and requesting radio entry.
King Shaka International Airport is served by major world airlines with scheduled flights to all parts of the globe, either direct or via Johannesburg.
Vessels report to Durban Port Control at 12 Nautical Miles and at 6 Nautical Miles from the Fairway Buoy.
Vessels anchor in the roadstead to the North and East of the entrance. Anchoring is prohibited within an area of 3/4 of a Nautical Mile distance from the Fairway Buoy, in the Entrance Channel to the port, and in other areas as demarcated on Charts SAN 1030 and SAN 1031.

All major South African and international banks are represented in Durban.
Vessels must be adequately ballasted to permit safe navigation within the port. Only clean, locally loaded ballast water, may be discharged within the port.
There are 58 berths ranging from 148m to 350m, with depths up to 12.2m.
The Port of Durban has a dedicated berth for bunkering which is operated by Sapref under the Joint bunkering Services system.

The port deploys a wide range of modern, standard and specialised equipment as appropriate to terminal operations.
Cruise traffic is handled at Durban’s dedicated passenger terminal facility, N Shed, T-Jetty.
The entrance channel is dredged to a depth of 12.8m; the principal interior channels and basins to a depth of 12.2m. For individual berths contact Port Control.
Contact Port Control on VHF Channel 12 or Tel.: +27 31 308 2805.

Quays for commercial fishing operations are located at Maydon Wharf and the Silt Channel.
Fresh water supplies are available via pipeline at all berths. The pumping rate is 50 tph.
Arrangements for the handling of hazardous cargo must be made through the Harbour Master. This includes all IMDG cargoes from Class 1 to Class 9, whether bulk or containerised. Vessels carrying explosives or dangerous goods have restricted arrival and movement within the port.
The Port of Durban is open 24 hours, 365 days a year, although cargo working may be restricted on official public holidays

Durban enjoys a sub-tropical climate with warm winters and temperatures ranging from 15°C-26°C. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures between 22°C and 35°C and periods of heavy rainfall..
Facilities for cruise ships are provided at the port of Durban’s passenger terminal facility at N Shed.
Pilotage is compulsory. Rendezvous point is three nautical miles NE of the port entrance on the leading lights. Pilot transfer is by helicopter, unless otherwise advised. When pilot is embarking by pilot boat, ladders must comply with SOLAS regulations. Durban has two fast pilot boats equipped with radar and VHF telephone.
Off the Fairway buoy

The entrance channel has a depth of 19m (62.3 feet) from Chart Datum, and a width of 222m (728.3 feet) between caissons. Day Maximum length 350m (1 148.2 feet) Maximum beam 51m (167.3 feet) Maximum draught 14.5m (47.6 feet) Subject to Harbour Master’s permission and tidal restrictions. Night Maximum length 200m (660feet) Maximum beam 26m (85feet) Maximum draught 11.6m (38feet) Larger vessels may be accommodated on request to the Harbour Master.
The Port of Durban port control and the signal station are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The port working channel is VHF channel 12 and 2182 kHz frequency is monitored by the Bluff Signal Station only.
The Port of Durban is equipped to handle ship repairs at the Prince Edward Graving Dock, two floating docks and a slipway (see page 82).
Leading South African and world ship’s agents are represented at the Port of Durban.

Stevedoring is varied out by private-sector operators in Durban.
The Port of Durban has a comprehensive range of covered and open storage facilities.
The Port of Durban has direct access to the South Africa trunk road network as well as excellent rail infrastructure connecting with all South Africa’s major cities.
Tidefall at mean high water springs is 1.8m and 0.49m and mean low water neaps.

Durban enjoys a sub-tropical climate with warm winters and temperatures ranging from 15°C-26°C. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures between 22°C and 35°C and periods of heavy rainfall.
Seawater density in the harbour is 1.025g/cm³