Mossel Bay


Mossel Bay. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

Transnet National Ports Authority

Port of Mossel Bay
P O Box 1942
Mossel Bay, 6500
(55 Bland Street, Mossel Bay)
South Africa

Tel: 044 604 6272/4
Fax: 044 604 6232

ALL ENQUIRIES:  0860 109 330

PORT MANAGER: (Dineo Mazibuko) Tel: 044 604 6201

HARBOURMASTER: (+27) 044 604 6287

PORT CONTROL (+27) 044 604 6271

PORT ENGINEER (+27) 044 604 6234

PORT SECURITY (+27) 044 604 6273

MARKETING (+27) 044 604 6201

SEA RESCUE (27) 082 990 5954

SA POLICE SERVICES (+27) 044 606 2805

SA BORDER POLICE (+27) 044 604 6500


Mossel Bay. Picture: Wikipedia Commons


MOSSEL BAY holds a special place in South African maritime history for this is the first recorded place used regularly along the South African coast by European seafarers journeying to the East.

Situated halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth at Longitude 22º 08′ E and Latitude 34º 08′ S, it is the smallest of the commercial harbours along the South African coast.

One of the most famous landmarks at Mossel Bay is the Post Office Tree, where seafarers from centuries ago posted letters home using a cleft in an ancient tree as a postbox. This was a result of ships calling at Mossel Bay regularly for watering and other purposes.

Today Mossel Bay is an active harbour catering largely for the fishing industry and the oil and gas industry, which began with Mossgas in the late 1980s. The port sees little other commercial activity and there hasn’t been any other significant growth in the ensuing years.

The harbour is the only port with two offshore mooring buoys inside port limits, of which one is a marine tanker terminal single point mooring buoy used by feeder vessels from Durban and Cape Town.

Port Limitations:

The harbour entrance channel has a depth of -8m, while inside the harbour the maximum permissable draught is 6.5m. Ships anchoring outside port must keep clear of the approaches to the entrance channel. Pilotage is compulsory from a point 2 n.miles northeast of Cape St Blaize.

Inside the harbour vessels of up to 130m and a 6.5m draught can be accommodated at quay 4. There is a slipway for ship repair up to 200 tonnes.

The catenary buoy mooring caters for ships up to 32,000DWT with a maximum length of 204m and draught of 12m. Ship movements are permitted during daylight hours only. The second mooring is a single point mooring (SPM) connected to three hoses and is used primarily for the export of Mossgas products.

Mossel Bay is a common user port with ships worked on a first-come-first-served basis. Berthing is subject to wind and swell conditions.

Marine Craft:

Mossel Bay has a work boat/tug named Arctic Tern (built 1998) with a bollard pull of 19t. Then port also makes use of a mooring launch named Snipe, which is also used as a pilot boat and for the transfer of crew and other personnel.

Port Volumes:

During the 2016 calendar year Mossel Bay handled a total of 625 vessels (2015: 1050 vessels) with a combined gross tonnage of 3,154,259-gt (2015: 4,540,038-gt), of which South African trawlers were in the majority.

In 2016 the port handled a total of 1,831,650 tonnes of cargo (2015: 2,518,316 tonnes), of which 1,811,852t (2015: 2,474,522t) was bulk cargo (almost entirely oil products), the balance being breakbulk.

Imports during 2016 amounted to 997,875t while exports totalled 833,775 tonnes. Mossel Bay does not handle containers.

Port Facilities:

The harbour of Mossel Bay caters mainly for fishing and service craft for the local oil industry and handles little other commercial cargo, and therefore has little in the way of sophisticated infrastructure. However the fishing industry provides an important economic boost to the Southern Cape and the local community, as has the oil industry.

Because of the port limitations, tankers make use of the offshore mooring buoys. A full diving service is available for underwater inspection, hull cleaning, salvage etc.

Bunkering inside the harbour is available at quays 2,3 and 5 and on the jetty. Ship chandling and stevedoring services are available.