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TNPA > Our Ports > East London > Berths

East London: Berths



Name Speciality Length Depth Vessel reception capacity Size of storage Capacity
Motor Vehicle Terminal 555m (N Berth 305m,R Berth 250m) N Berth 8.5m, R Berth 10.7m Maximum LOA 245M, maximum draft 10.4m (MLWS), no beam restriction, entrance channel 180m at its narrowest width 2800 fully

Enclosed bays.

1100 quayside bays.

1200 additional open bays adjacent to motor vehicle terminal.


Container Terminal Containers 638m (K Berth 253m, L Berth 253m, I Bertrh 132m) K Berth 10.7m, L Berth 10.7m, I Berth 8.4m same as above 90000 TEU

throughput per annum

52 plug points for reefer containers

132 ground slots.

Grain Elevator Maize, wheat and other grain products 388m (S Berth 194m, T Berth 194m) S Berth 10.7m, T Berth 10.7m same as above 76000 tons (83 silos)
Tanker Berth Refined fuel products 259m Tanker Berth 10.7m same as above Land-based storage

outside Port limits.

2,175000 tons capacity.



Berth Speciality Length Number of berths Max Drafts Size&Storage capacity
F&G General Cargo 360m total 2 9.1m &9.5m Covered 4170sqm


general cargo

132m 1 8.1m Linked to K berth capacity
K Containers 253m 1 10.3m 90000 TEU throughput PA
L Containers 253m 1 10.4m Linked to K berth capacity
N & R Motor vehicles  555m total 2 8.4m & 10.2m 5100 parking bays

General cargo /

Ro-Ro/ Vehicles

194m 1 10.3m Nil - Transit area
T Bulk grains 194m 1 10.4m 76000mt
Tanker Petroleum Products 259m 1 8.4m & 10.2m 2175000kl Tank farm capacity


Additional information on the ports Motor Vehicle Terminal, Grain Elevator and Container Terminal follows:

Motor Vehicle Terminal 

Situated on the West Bank on the Buffalo River is the jewel of the East London port, the multi-level vehicle terminal. This facility is a first for South Africa with a proud history of good turnaround times and zero defects on ship loading and unloading. Boasting world class standards, the terminal has a Noscar NOSA rating for safety whilst also being recognized by NOSA in their awards for International Winner Transport and Storage SHE Integrated System 2003, a winner in the Transport Storage and communication category and again for Best Integrated Occupational Health Program.

Vehicles are handled in the terminal by the terminal operator and are provided with maximum safety and security, with full protection from natural elements. Provision has also been made for natural and mechanical ventilation to ensure the efficient extraction of exhaust emissions. The terminal can be increased to eight storeys, effectively increasing the number of enclosed bays to 7000 with a resultant throughput capacity of 180000 vehicles per annum.

The close proximity of the IDZ coastal vehicle distribution centre to the port offers a comprehensive logistics service offering to the automotive industry. 


Type of Terminal​

Car Terminal for vehicles, offering fully

enclosed undercover vehicle parking.


Import and Export motor vehicles (passenger and


Parameters of Terminal​

Consist of two berths totalling of up to 10.1

meters and a fully secured quayside assembly area

of 1100 bays (26420 sqm).​ The enclosed multi-level

car terminal comprises of 2800 bays with an additional

1200 bays immediately adjacent to the terminal offering a

total of 5100 parking bays. Throughput capacity is in excess

of 130 000 vehicles per annum (based on 7 day dwell time).

Additional facilities​

The terminal has a dedicated ground floor area of 8300 m2 for

the loading and unloading of units into containers and has

capacity to load vehicles into rail trucks. The administrative

area situated on the ground floor is 12 200m2. The terminal

is fully serviced by extensive inland rail and road network which

is connected to the ports road and rail networks.​


Extensive road and rail networks link the port to southern and

central Africa enabling linkage with major regional and national

economic hubs.​

Operating System​

(GCOS) A fully automated computerized vehicle system that

makes use of Hand Held Terminals to scan bar codes.​


The port is ISPS compliant. Security is enhanced by making

maximum use of guards and fully fledged CCTV surveillance


In addition to port security, being an international border control

area, joined monitoring takes place between port security and SAPS

border of entry.​

Performance measures

Average number of unit moves per hour = 125.

Average vessel turn-around time = 10 hours.


Grain elevator

The Port Offers the largest bulk-handling facility for free-flowing grain products in South Africa. Vessels are loaded using a skip operation with a loading rate of 8000 tons per day. The terminal throughput capacity is in the region of 2 million tons per annum.

The elevator which is linked to all major maize growing areas, has 83 silos with a total storage capacity of 76000 tons. An import belt on the quayside allows for import and export to take place simultaneously. The belt has an intake rate of 250 tons per hour.Total quay length at the berth is 388.


Vessels are loaded to a draught of 10.4 meters, however, a draft of up to 10.7 meters can be accommodated under special
circumstances provided prior arrangements are made with the Harbour Master. The most maize exported through the grain elevator
during a season was 3.4 million tons. The largest single shipment loaded to date is 40 000 metric tons.
 Container Terminal
The container terminal has an annual throughput capacity of 90 000 TEU. The stacking area is designed for 1,360 TEU ground slots as
well as 42 reefer points for the handling of reefer containers. Vessel discharge cargo using own gear as the port is not equipped with
gantry cranes. A fleet of straddle carriers, haulers and trailers is available for the movement of container traffic.