East London Harbour

Port Overview

LOCATION Latitude 33˚ 01’ 26’’S, Longitude 27˚ 54’ 50’’E

The Port of East London is located approximately 950km east of Cape Town and 460 km south of Durban on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. The Port of East London is situated at the mouth of the Buffalo River and is the only commercial river port on the South African coast line. Centrally located both nationally and internationally, the port is strategically positioned to act as the gateway between Africa and the global market. The Port of East London‘s geographical position gives its customers easy access to world markets, while a reputation for excellent turnaround times is renowned.

More Information

Port Information & Services

Confirmation of ETA is required 72, 48, 24 and 12 hours prior to arrival. Vessel should call East London Port Control on VHF Channel 12/16 when 10 n.m. from the pilot station for instructions.
East London Airport is served by major airlines with scheduled flights to all parts of the globe, via Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban
Approximately 1 n.m. due east of the south breakwater. The anchorage is exposed and caution should be exercised. Approximate depth 35 m., with sandy bottom
Entrance Channel Width 180 m., draft 11.0–14.0 m. Turning Basin Width 360 m, draft 10.4 m. Vessels with draft up to 10.4 m. can be accommodated subject to tides and prior arrangement with Harbour Master

Vessel must be sufficiently ballasted to permit safe navigation within the harbour. Minimum ballast requirements for particular vessel sizes: · Maximum trim of vessels alongside berth to be 2,5m · Ballast water management plan required from vessels
All major South African banks are represented in East London.
There are 11 commercial berths ranging up to 250m in length. See following page for specific details.
Fuel and gas oil are available by road tankers.

The port deploys a wide range of modern, standard and specialised equipment as appropriate to terminal operations.
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Although no dedicated berth for cruise liners, a number of berths are made available for this purpose. G berth is generally used for ease of passenger and vehicle movement as well as location to city center and beachfront.
The depth at the entrance channel ranges from 11 to 14m, 170m width at narrowest part and ranges from 8,5m to 10,4m at quaysides.

Contact Port Control on Channel 12 & 16 or Contact Harbour Master. Tel: +27 (43) 700 2100, +27 (43) 7002142.
East London has a limited base for the fishing industry which is privately operated.
Available at all berths on request.
24 hours (excluding Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and 1 May) General Cargo Mon to Fri: 24 hours (excluding Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and 1 May) Sat: 07:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 22:00 on request Sun: 08:00 – 16:00, 18:00 – 22:00 on request Public holidays: 08:00 – 16:00 Container Terminal 362 days (excluding Christmas Day, New years Day and 1 May ) Port office hours 08:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays as above) Tankers If carrying hazardous cargoes, berthing and unberthing only during daylight hours.

Arrangements for the handling of hazardous cargo must be made through the Harbour Master. Vessels carrying explosives or specified dangerous goods are restricted to arrival and movement within the port during daylight hours.
The Port of East London operates from 06:00 to 22:00 for marine services. On request 24 service is available. Working hours at individual terminals and facilities are:
Weather bulletins and reports available from Cape Town Radio/ZSC. Coastal weather bulletins via Navtex at 12:20 and 16:20 hours.
The Port of East London is a compulsory pilotage area in terms of Port Rules and this service is provided by the port authorities. Masters of vessels less than 70.0 metres LOA may apply for pilotage exemption.. The pilot boarding area is approximately two nautical miles north-east of the main breakwater. Request for pilotage services to be done by agent of vessel.

The area of the sea bounded by a line drawn from Nahoon Point, position Lat. 32° 59′ 50" S, Long. 027° 57′ 07.5" E to position Lat. 33° 00′ 13.9" S, Long. 027° 58′ 12.8" E thence 216.5°(T) to position Lat. 33° 03′ 14.46" S, Long. 027° 55′ 37.18" E, thence to the coast, position Lat. 33° 02′ 36" S, Long. 027° 53′ 57" E. For charter party purposes, vessel is considered to have arrived when entering port limits. For harbour revenue purposes, a vessel ``arrives'' when it passes into the harbour proper.
East London Port Control is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The calling frequency is VHF Channel 16, thereafter general communication is carried out on VHF Channel 12. A world class Port Control Centre situated on Signal Hill, supplies relevant information to ensure the safe navigation of vessels through areas of high-density traffic, channels and the approach to the port. Port Control plays a significant role in the dissemination of information within and around the port and is the core of the information chain with the exchange of information between vessels and the wider port community. Vessels calling at the Port of East London are required to call Port Control when they are 10 miles from the port, thereafter when they are 4 miles from the port
Ship repairs are undertaken in the East London Graving Dock which has a docking length of 200 meters. Private contractors undertake repair and maintenance. A repair quay of 106 meters is available adjacent to the dry-dock. Facilities include: Floodlighting for 24-hour working, compressed air shore power, fresh and salt water, telephone lines, ablution facilities. The dock is equipped with cranes ranging from 4 to 15 ton. DIMENSIONS : + Overall Docking Length 200,0 m (210m in emergency cases) + Length on Keel Blocks 193,1m + Length on Bottom 198,5m + Width at Coping 31,2 m + Width at Entrance Top 27,2m + Maximum beam of vessels 24,8m
Leading South African ship’s agents are represented at East London and are required to be registered with the Port

East London stevedoring companies offer services including cargo stowage, lashing and securing, cargo breakout, stowage planning, and operation of ship’s equipment, hatch and tank cleaning. Contact details available on request. All stevedoring companies to be registered with the Port.
1.67m (Highest Astronomical Tide is 2.04m)
Seawater density in the harbour is 1.025g/cm³
Weather forecasting is provided by the SA Weather Bureau and on channel 26 VHF A weather monitoring system - IPOSS – which is maintained by the CSIR, has been implemented by the Port

The Port of East London is a compulsory pilotage area in terms of Port Rules and this service is provided by the port authorities. The port is equipped with 2 x 43 ton bollard pull Z-peller tugs to assist in docking and undocking of vessels. A 18 ton twin screw work boat serves as a pilot boat Request for towage services must be pre-arranged by the vessel agent.
The port is ISPS certified and operated on ISPS level one. Port activity is monitored by a comprehensive CCTV network encompassing cameras monitored by a security control room. All access points are manned 24 hours and a strict permit system is in place for port users and visitors. All terminals are ring-fenced and access to these terminals is controlled.
Only licensed waste service providers are permitted to operate in the port for the removal of slops, normal waste and galley waste. All vessels arriving in South Africa from international or national waters are required to submit an all-inclusive and fully completed Ballast Water Report and comply with relevant section of IMO Guidelines for waste removal.

USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS (when telephoning from outside South Africa, replace the ‘0’ in the national area code with +27)  
Port Manager 043 700 1186
Port Control 043 700 2142
Harbour Master 043 700 1176
Port Security Officer 043 700 2421
Port Engineer 043 700 2408
Property Manager 043 700 2203
CRM 043 700 1034
Corporate Affairs 043 700 1043
Dry-dock bookings 043 700 1176
Access control permit 043 700 2421
Flying Squad 10111
Ambulance 10177
Fire/Disaster Management 043 705 9000
Sea Rescue 043 700 2100
Police 043 700 2233