The Port of Djibouti is located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, at the intersection of major international shipping lanes connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.
The port is a minimal deviation from the principal East-West trade route and provides a secure regional hub for transhipment and relay of goods. Since 1998, the port handled 100% of Ethiopia’s maritime traffic, which moves to and from Addis Ababa by truck and rail. To accommodate this important business, the Port has made an additional 20 ha of dry yard area available.
The port of Djibouti is ideally located to serve the COMESA market, linking 19 countries and 380 million people.
Djibouti as a main maritime passage and a main trading route between East and West stretches back since 3500 years, the time of maritime explorations of the Red Sea. A strategic meeting point between two worlds (Africa and Asia) the Red Sea was a place of contact and passage used by the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Ptolemaists, the Romans, the Greeks, the Byzantine, the Arabs, and then by the Europeans in search of the spices route. Its apogee came with the opening of Suez Canal.
The port evolved out of Ethiopia’s search for a maritime outlet to its railway line, and Djibouti’s coastline provided both easy access and sheltered anchorage. Work on the railway began in 1897, as did the initial construction of the port. Once the line was completed, in 1917, the port grew rapidly.
Between 1960 and 1970, port activity was developed as part of an international maritime exchange network. The Red Sea had become one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and Djibouti found itself acting as its service station. Bunkering traffic quadrupled in the ten years from 1954, reaching a peak of 1.8 million tons in 1965.
Djibouti’s strategic location enabled the port authorities to successfully rise to the challenge of turning the port into a regional hub for the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, and in a wider context the three continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. Containerization was the defining concept behind this new period of development and Djibouti’s first modern container terminal began operations in February 1985.
From June 2000, the Port of Djibouti has been operated by DP World(DPW) on a 20-year concession but in July 2011 the Port of Djibouti has undergone organizational changes and the concession of the port to DPW was terminated.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr Saad Omar Guelleh
Total Cargo Throughput
Port of Djibouti (PAID): 3,595,506 Tons
Total Container Traffic
Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT): 703,617 TEUs
Port of Djibouti (PAID): 40,361 TEUs
Detailed Port Statistics:
Port of Djibouti
P O Box: 2107
Tel: +253 35 08 01
Fax: +253 35 59 59