Port of Lüderitz

aerial view of Port and town of Lüderitz, in Africa Ports & Ships
aerial view of Port and Town of Lüderitz


Namport Head Office, Walvis Bay tel +264 64 208 2011

Corporate Communications: +264 64 208 2111 (Walvis Bay)


Namport, Port of Luderitz tel +264 63 200 2017

Port Captain: +264 63 200 2003

History & Background:

The Port of Lüderitz is Namibia’s second port and was first recorded by Europeans in 1487 when the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias arrived on his epic voyage of discovery. Finding a sheltered harbour, Dias gave it the name Angra Pequeña ‘Little Bay’. This name persisted until 1883 when Heinrich Vogelsang, an agent of the German trader Adolf Lüderitz, bought the bay of Angra Pequeña together with the land within a radius of 8km from Chief Joseph Fredericks, the leader of the Bethanie Nama people. The bay was subsequently renamed in German, Lüderitzbucht, or plain Lüderitz in English, which is how we know it today.

The local economy boomed from 1907 after the discovery of diamonds 10 km southeast of Lüderitz. Today, over a hundred years later, the town is a fair sized settlement characterised by its distinctive German colonial buildings. The Port of Lüderitz was taken over by Namport from Trans Namib Harbours on 1 April 1995 with Namport having since invested in major developments of the harbour to handle larger vessels and more traffic.

Other incentives to growth for the port and town came from the development of the Skorpion Zinc Mine in Rosh Pinah to the south-east of the port, and more recently by the export of manganese ore railed or road-hauled in from Northern Cape mines in South Africa. Another major development adding to the local economy has been the Lüderitz Waterfront, and the seasonal visits by cruise ships during the summer months.

Since 1995 investment has improved harbour facilities and Lüderitz now handles modern coastal traffic as well as the needs of the offshore sector, including the diamond mining and fishing industries.

map of Namibia in Africa Ports & Ships

Scheduled liner services are provided by Maersk which links the Port of Lüderitz with the Ports of Cape Town and Walvis Bay, and Ocean Africa Container Line which operates a weekly feeder service with Southern African ports. Other unscheduled shipping lines also call on the Port of Lüderitz for specific loading and discharge.

The port is situated 254 nautical miles south of the Port of Walvis Bay and caters for the southern part of Namibia while providing access to markets in the Northern Cape of South Africa. This is serviced by rail and road inland to Seeheim and Keetmanshoop respectively where they connect to the North towards the capital City, Windhoek and to the south with South Africa.

The Port of Lüderitz is able to offer excellent logistical services and links to other towns in Namibia and South Africa. It remains an important base for the fishing industry and the offshore diamond and mining industries, and for the shipping of the fruit industry’s exports to Europe, particularly grapes from Aussenkehr and from the Northern Cape Province.

Situated on the Atlantic coast, Lüderitz makes it possible to save more than two days in delivery time to Europe and Northern America.

The port has a new 500 metre long cargo and container quay with a depth aongside of -8.15 metres CD, two 60-tonne Haulers and one 45-tonne Reach Stacker to provide efficient and safe cargo handling facilities for importers and exporters.

The port recently underwent dredging of its approaches and anchorage area which has improved Lüderitz’s ability of handling bulk carriers. However, the existing Port of Lüderitz offers few options for long-term development due to its depth constraint and it is for this reason, Namport carried out a study and identified that a new deep-water port in the adjacent bay in Lüderitz, in the vicinity of Angra Point, is feasible.

The size of this envisaged new deep-water port will dwarf the current Port of Lüderitz. It will be located in an area in which the rock is deeper than 30 metres below chart datum, thus dredging for deeper water depth will only involve removal of sand and not rock.

The potential Phase 1 of a new deep-water Port of Lüderitz has been identified as a phosphate terminal, which will handle and beneficiate marine phosphates dredged offshore of Lüderitz. However, this phase of the project is currently on hold due to environmental considerations and final clearance from Government.

Marine Craft:

Lüderitz is served by three tug/work boats – the 32t bollard pull tug Onyeti, a 12.4t pull work boat and another 9t bollard pull work boat. The port also has a harbour launch and three harbour lighters – two for cargo handling and one fitted for slops. Pilotage is compulsory.

Port Volumes:

Port volume statistics covering the years 2012/13 to 2019/20 are available from the Namport website by CLICKING HERE

Stevedoring and ship chandling services at the Port of Lüderitz are available.

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Added 3 January 2022