Tanga is the longest serving port in East Africa. It is a lighterage port with two shallow water berths. The visiting ocean going vessels are anchored at stream buoys being a maritime safety requirement. A 354-km highway links it to sister port Dar es Salaam in the South.Tanga port is situated on the northern coast of Tanzania. Close to the Kenyan border. Port limits extend from Lat 05 degree 00 5.8 long 039 degree 09.5’E to the meridian of Long 39 degree 15’E, thence 180 degree to the parallel of Lat 05’S, and thence 270 degree to the mainland.

Port Characteristics are identified by the following aspects:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Logistics
  • integration
  • Maritime services
  • Specialization
  • Maritime and inland accessibility
  • Port infrastructure

Generally, each port is unique in terms of its characteristics which in turn can have major influences on port performance and efficiency. The following are the characteristics of Tanga port:

  • Tanga port is situated in the northern coast area of Tanzania in close proximity to the border with the Republic of Kenya.
  • It is located at 5.050633 degrees south/ 135.12609 degrees east.
  • It is strategically located to serve the northern Regions of Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, the lake zone and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi , Northern part of Uganda.
  • It is a small seaport in terms of land and volumes of cargo handled per annum.
  • It is a lighterage port with shallow water depth at the main quay.
  • Ships do anchor at the inner anchorage Tanga bay and movements of cargo to and from the mother vessel is performed by the use of cargo barges and lighters with the support of Tug boats towing the barges/lighters to and from the vessel.
  • It has a wide and deep entrance channel that can accommodate vessel of any size and draft/draught.
  • It has no tide restrictions for vessel entering or leaving the port Navigation of vessel is limited to day time only.
  • No night navigation can be performed.
  • It has a natural and well sheltered bay for shipping services Discharging and loading of cargo at stream is entirely dependent on the use of ship cranes.