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Angola Ports
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Cranes unloading cargo at Lobito
    Courtesy Richard J. Hough


    A dock at the port in Luanda
    Courtesy Richard J. Hough

    The decline in rail traffic has led to a decrease in activity at the country's major ports--Luanda, Lobito, and Namibe. In 1988 Luanda's port was in disrepair. It had berths for eleven ships, with adjacent rail sidings, and forty-one cranes; however, only two of the sidings and few of the cranes were operational. Dockside clearance was slowed not only by the nonfunctioning equipment but also by the estimated labor force daily absenteeism rate of 40 percent to 50 percent. The volume of freight handled by Luanda in 1986 had fallen to only 30 percent of its 1973 level.

    Lobito was the main terminal on the Atlantic Ocean for the Benguela Railway, and in 1988 it was Angola's most efficient port. The port's management was better organized and more competent than that of Luanda. In addition, there was much less pilferage at Lobito than at Luanda. Nonetheless, by 1986 it operated at onefifth of its 1973 level, primarily because of the loss of Zambian and Zairian traffic on the Benguela Railway.

    Namibe, too, was hampered by inoperable equipment and loss of traffic. The volume of cargo handled there dropped sharply after the halt of iron ore exports, leaving the ore terminal idle.

    In addition to minor general cargo ports at Ambriz, Benguela, Porto Amboim, Sumbe, and Tombua, there were major petroleumloading facilities at the Malongo terminal in Cabinda Province and at the Soyo-Quinfuquena terminal at Soyo. In the late 1980s, some of the minor ports were taking on greater importance as road transportation became increasingly disrupted by UNITA ambushes.

    To help rectify some of these transportation problems, the government had contracted with West German and Danish companies to improve port operations and to establish repair and storage facilities. The government was also involved in training pilots, sailors, and mechanics and also sent students to Portugal, Cuba, and the Soviet Union to study merchant marine subjects.

    Data as of February 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Angola on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Angola Ports information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Angola Ports should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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