4 Main Ports In Benin

The Republic of Benin is a small nation in West Africa. It borders Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. Most of its inhabitants resides close to the southern shoreline of the Bight of Benin, a part of the Gulf of Guinea.

Benin doesn’t have a powerful financial system as it’s primarily depending on agriculture. Largely subsistence farming is practised right here, which is a serious generator of employment and earnings within the nation.

Benin is a serious exporter of cotton and palm oil. The tropical local weather helps within the manufacturing of various crops akin to cocoa, maize, pineapple, rice, peanuts and cashews. These are distributed inside Africa and in addition exported to the neighbouring nations. Marine items are additionally exported principally to Europe.

Benin was as soon as a poor nation however in recent times the financial system of Benin has seen a lot progress and its GDP has additionally risen significantly. That is because of the growth of its main seaport- the port of Cotonou, which has witnessed elevated funding and infrastructural growth.

The Port of Cotonou

The Port of Cotonou

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The Cotonou Port is positioned within the southern a part of town of Cotonou, one of many largest cities in Benin and in addition the seat of the nation’s authorities. It’s also known as the financial capital of Benin.

The port of Cotonou exports cargo to its landlocked neighbouring nations like Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad and Nigeria. The port additionally has buying and selling agreements with some nations and can be part of the Financial Neighborhood of West African States. This regional integration helps the Cotonou port to develop and in addition entice overseas funding.

It covers an space of round 400,000m2 and is sort of near the ocean. It’s also near different ports within the area such because the Ports of Lagos in Nigeria and Lome in Togo. As it’s positioned on a sandy coast, it’s a well-sheltered port that gives good situations for refuelling operations.

The Port is managed and operated by the Cotonou Port Authority, which is owned by the federal government. The SOBEMAP, a state-owned enterprise has a monopoly over dealing with and managing handbook labour on the port. Different transport corporations like Maersk and Bollore provide container providers. At this port, totally different authorities and personal entities take cost of various providers to allow the sleek functioning of commerce and commerce.

The Logistics Capability Evaluation (LCA) undertaken by the World Meals Programme has referred to the Cotonou Port as, “the lung of the nationwide financial system” of Benin.

Intensive buying and selling relations with North and South America, Asia and Europe, has reworked the port into a serious buying and selling hub with intense cargo site visitors always of the 12 months. In response to LCA, Cotonou port ranks fourth within the checklist of essential ports in West Africa.

Statistics present that Cotonou Port handles 90% of the nation’s overseas commerce and is a serious contributor to its GDP, round 60%. Port of Antwerp Worldwide has acknowledged that Cotonou port handles 12 million tonnes of freight yearly. These figures are sufficient to gauge the Port’s significance for the financial growth of Benin.

The federal government is more and more investing within the growth of the port. The development of a second-deep terminal is underway. The terminal known as ‘Seme Terminal’, which isn’t but operational is a hyperlink between Cotonou and Nigeria.

Presently, the Port handles all kinds of cargo together with manufactured and processed meals, agricultural merchandise, fertilisers, Chinese language material, second-hand materials, used autos, electrical and family home equipment.

Nevertheless, the commerce of second-hand autos has tarnished the port’s status as these used autos and different digital home equipment don’t meet the technical requirements of developed nations. Cotonou Port additionally transports to inland regions- large shipments of rusting vehicles and previous home equipment. These merchandise are low-cost however not of excellent high quality and detrimental to the surroundings.

The port additionally faces some administrative and managerial points. Logistics corporations have complained that they’ve to attend for lengthy hours on the port. The Authorities is making an attempt to restructure the providers, modernising the port amenities to fulfill world port requirements, and inspiring knowledgeable code of conduct amongst its workers.

Nonetheless, Port of Cotonou has come a good distance by way of growth. It noticed container site visitors of round 276,000 TEUs in 2017 and has witnessed steady progress through the years. This has resulted in port congestion. Nevertheless, the container dealing with facility has additionally improved manifold together with a big lower in ready time for vehicles and different cargo.

The Millenium Problem Company has enormously contributed to the development within the port’s infrastructure and storage amenities.

The port district is split into many zones such as-
Zone 1- which extends from the dock to the railings on the southern half
Zone 2- which is amidst the railings and customs fence
Zone 3- which is between the customs fence and boulevard de la Marina and incorporates the Fishing port Zone.
Zone 4- consists of some business buildings between de la Marina and Boulevard Jean-Paul II.
Zone 5- It’s known as the Additional Port Zone, located in AKPAKPA, close to the bordering district of Cotonou.
There may be additionally an Extension Zone which is within the western half after the container park. It’s inside the ambits of the wharf.

The Cotonou port has 5 standard berths, 150-300 meters lengthy and might deal with vessels having round 15-meter draft. It additionally has 3 container berths, 500 meters in size with a draft capability of 10 meters. It will probably deal with containers and ro-ro vessels. It additionally has a 150 m lengthy silo berth, which must be rebuilt, together with 3 berthing tugs and 10 water barges.

Berth 5 is the one berth that handles heavy common cargo ships. The vessels come to berth 5 and are then moved to the opposite berths. There are two non-public container terminals operated by SMTC, a subsidiary of Bollore and COMAN, owned by Maersk. They’ve two shore cranes for loading and unloading heavy cargo. Tanker vessels can sail solely through the day.

The port boasts of contemporary and totally operational gear which incorporates 4 dockside cranes, 2 container gantries, 4 cellular cranes with a capability of 140 metric tonnes, 7 attain stackers with a capability of 45 metric tonnes, 13 ro-ro tug trailers, 11 metric tonne grain elevator and seven forklifts with a capability of 4 to 16 metric tonnes.

The port’s storage space spans 91,000m2. The Benin Terminal has two gantries. The port presents providers akin to container amenities, container freight stations, refrigerated container stations and 56 reefer stations.

Multipurpose Terminal

ro ro terminal

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There’s a Ro-Ro berth plus a totally mechanized Ro-Ro terminal managed by Roro Terminal, Benin SA. It’s unfold over 4.5 hectares and might deal with round 3000 autos.

Dealing with Grain and Bulk cargo

Pier 4 and 5 deal with bulk cargo. Pier 5 is utilized by non-public firm ORYX/ADDAX. The port additionally has a grain silo with a capability of 11,000 metric tonnes. Tanks that retailer vegetable oil and petroleum, have a capability of 43,700 m3.

Primary Storage Terminal

The primary storage amenities are fairly large, with a capability of 100,000m2, together with warehouses, three container terminals spanning 15,000m2, a container park and a totally paved open space spanning 60,000m2. The port additionally has a fish warehouse, massive storage tanks and in addition silo tanks. The port presents free zone warehouses for Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali.

Benin Terminal

Benin Terminal operates the container terminal of the Cotonou Port. Benin Terminal has created many roles for the locals and in addition works for his or her welfare by collaborating with NGO’S. For example, it helps youth affected by HIV of their schooling and in addition spreads consciousness about defending the surroundings. In 2020, the Benin terminal bought two new gantries that will increase the productiveness of the Cotonou port.
The trendy and extremely mechanised gantries have a 40-tonne lifting capability. They might enhance the container storage capability on the port, pace up loading and unloading of products and reduce dealing with time on the terminal. The gantries, manufactured by Konecranes would improve the stevedoring capabilities of Benin’s container terminal.

The warehouses close to the dock are fairly previous and want renovation. The cargo which has to go to Benin is first transported to Zongo, the place the containers are inspected after which the products are loaded into vehicles for bulk deliveries within the inland areas. In case of transit cargo, which must be exported to different nations, a brand new station has been developed at Allada, 40 km away from Cotonou.

In 2019, the Nigerian Authorities banned imports over its land borders on account of elevated smuggling and crime charges. This was a serious jolt for Cotonou port as Nigeria was certainly one of its largest clients. Then again, Nigeria’s authorities is growing its personal maritime commerce and refurbishing its port amenities. This may very well be a severe concern for Cotonou as it will face elevated competitors from Nigerian ports. The Authorities of Benin has responded to this problem by implementing a modernization plan in Cotonou port in 2020 to make the port extra environment friendly and protected for its buying and selling companions and to encourage non-public funding.

Other than the main port of Cotonou, Benin additionally has another ports. Let’s take a look at them.

The SEME Terminal

The Seme terminal is a small port within the Bight of Benin Bay which offers with agricultural merchandise and chemical compounds. An oil pipeline venture is below development between Benin and Nigeria. As soon as constructed, this facility would require providers of Seme Terminal to move petroleum to Nigeria.

The Seme terminal’s anchorage depth is round 24 meters and the depth of its oil terminal is round 19 meters.

Port of Bohicon

Port of Bohicon

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Bohicon is one more small port in Benin. It’s present process fast modernization and growth to deal with heavy water site visitors and bulk cargo. Presently, it handles each inbound and outbound cargo. The primary cargo it handles is cottonseed.

Port of Glazoue

Port of Glazoue

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This land port handles a minute portion of Benin’s worldwide commerce and offers with principally agricultural items.



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Porto-Novo is Benin’s capital and it has a small port close to the Gulf of Guinea. It handles an ample quantity of cargo site visitors to and from Benin and the neighbouring nations. The port in Porto-Novo handles agricultural merchandise, packed meals, medicines and constructing supplies.

Thus, the ports of Benin are an essential contributor to the nation’s GDP. They’re the drivers of financial progress as Benin primarily depends on agriculture. The event of its ports, particularly the Cotonou port has led to the modernization and improved infrastructure in Benin.

Therefore, for Benin, its ports are of utmost significance for the expansion of its financial system.

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