best seaports nigeriaBest seaports in Nigeria? Have you tried asking the question before? Do you plan importing goods to Nigeria and you are confused which seaport to use? Look no further. This article for best seaports Nigeria is written primarily to help importers and exporters with specifics. Today we will focus on each of the seaports and what is unique about them.


A port is a maritime commercial amenity which comprises of one or more wharves. Ships are docked at the port to get loaded and passengers and cargo are discharged. Basically, seaports are located in sea coast and in some part of the world on estuary. Nigeria Port Authority – NPA is responsible for the management of seaports in Nigeria. According to the NPA, Nigeria houses six seaports in various parts of the country.


There are two major seaports in Lagos state. Oil rich Rivers state has two seaports as well. The remaining two seaports are located one in Cross River state and the other in Delta State. All seaports in Nigeria are located only in the Southern part of the country and none in the northern part. The reason is because there are no seas in the northern part of the country. Also, the north is far from where there is large water that could be used for commercial purposes.



The Lagos Port Complex is the foremost seaport in Nigeria and often referred to as the port of Lagos. It was established in 1913 and is the largest seaport in the country. The Lagos seaport is located in Apapa with a land area of about 2000 hectares. Most people tend to misunderstand Lagos port complex to mean all seaports in Lagos. No, Lagos port complex does not include Tin Can Island port in classification. Thus, some rather chose to say Apapa seaport. The following are major features of Lagos port complex:

Features of Lagos port complex
  • The port has different berths for different purposes. There are nineteen berths for general cargo alone. Also, Lagos port has sixteen berths for handling container, and two berths for bulk cargo.
  • The port also houses four different terminals. We have the Apapa Terminal, Consortium Terminal, and AP Miller Terminal. Again, there is the Greenview Development Nigeria Limited which is a subsidiary of the Dango Port Operations.
  • The port also has several other facilities like the bulk wheat grain silo.
  • Clearing and forwarding activities at Lagos seaport is fairly seamless as the port operates 24 hours. Also, loading and offloading activities are conducted even in weekends.

If you are shipping to the south-western or northern part of Nigeria Lagos port is the best. Especially is Lagos port recommended if you are importing containers and bulk cargos. However, Apapa Gridlock must be factored into your time calculation. Sometimes it could take 21 days or more to return empty container to shipping companies in the port.


Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) is the second largest and second busiest port in Nigeria. It is situated in Apapa, Lagos state. It was merged together with the Roro port in the year 2006. This merger is what brought about a huge expansion in the port. It has several facilities such as; five terminals. The terminal in TCIP include the following

  • Josephdam Port services Limited
  • Port and Cargo Handling Services Limited
  • Tin Can Island Container Limited
  • Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited,
  • Five Star Logistic Limited.
Features of Tin Can seaport: 

Tin Can Island seaport Port is quite unique in features. The following are some of what makes the port different from every other port in Nigeria.

  • The Tin Can Island seaport is the only port with RORO services. Roll-on/roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ships are ship meant to carry cargos on wheel. Examples of such wheeled cargoes are cars. The term was coined from the fact that the cargo roll in and out of the vehicle on its own.
  • 4. Quick turnaround time of vessels.
  • Tin can Island port handles vessels in the range of 100m – 260m.
  • The port has all modern lifting facilities that make for smooth cargo clearing.
  • Water supply and Bunkering – The Port has fresh water wells sunk to the depth of 250meters that supply fresh water to vessels at berth. While bunkering of vessels are undertaken by reputable oil companies.
  • Tin Can enjoys adequate security provided by CCTV (Closed Circuit Television). Also, there is constant patrol of jetties and anchorage by Marine Police and Navy
  • The port has two lighter terminals, with 780meters quay Length and maximum water depth of four (4) meters each.

Tin Can Island is the best port in Nigeria for importation of cars. The RORO services are the best for car importation.


This is located in across River state in Nigeria. It’s the third seaport in the country. Presently, there are three terminals in the port, namely; the Dockyard, the New Port, and the Old Port. It likewise has crude oil terminals which are been managed by three terminal operators. The three operators are Shoreline Logistics Nigeria and INTELS Nigeria Limited.



This is one of the prominent seaports in Nigeria. It is situated on the Coastal Rivers states. The complex comprises Okrika Refined Petroleum Oil Jetty, The Port of Port Harcourt, Micobar Jetty, Iberia Jetty, etc. The Rivers port receives various cargoes and is being upgraded.


Onne seaport is founded on the tidal mouth of Bonny River along Ogu Creek. It is the foremost port in Nigeria that worked the Landlord-Port-Model arranged to allow private sector play the Port Industry.

Onne seaport was deliberately founded for oil and gas imports and exports. The Onne port is one of the biggest Oil and Gas Free Zone in the world. The Free Zone gives a coordination of oil services place for the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria. It serves both Onshore and Offshore. Onne port likewise gives simple access to the whole West African and Sub-Sahara Oil fields.

Features of onne seaport

The following are major features of Onne seaport in Nigeria:

  • The Port records for over 65% of the fare load through the Nigerian Sea Port.
  • Besides oil well equipment and the Oil and Gas tasks, there are other cargoes received. Consequently the Port is a multi-reason Cargo Port.
  • Some of such tasks are General Cargoes, Bulk Cargoes (Dry and Wet), and containerized Cargoes
  • The Port is profoundly industrialized with present day offices and gear that can stand the trial of time.
  • There is enough landmass for prospective investors who want to do Maritime Business. The Port covers a region of 2,538.115 hectares.
  • Onne Port has one of the greatest harbor versatile cranes in Africa (Liebherr 600) with a lifting limit of 208 metric tons. Also, 220 Gmk5220 woods twin cranes,capable of lifting single freight of 300 tons.
  • Likewise, there are protected and well-arranged offices are accessible for prospective customers at the Free Zone and Port Area.
  • The Port is on security a very excellent security rating in Nigeria, with few.
Terminal operators of Onne seaport

Onne seaport is concessional to three (3) Private Terminal Operators namely:

  • Messrs Intel’s Nig. Ltd. Intel is located at Enterprise House, Road South, FOT Onne Oil & Gas Free Zone, Onne Rivers State.
  • Brawal Shipping Limited, located at Kn16 Port Harcourt Aba-express-way Rivers State Nigeria.
  • West African Container Terminal, located at federal ocean terminal Onne Rivers State.
Jetties at Onne seaport

Onne seaport operates not-less-than nine jetties, namely:

  • Adamac jetty, located at FOT, for discharge of bulk cement.
  • West African Dry-Dock (WAD) jetty, also at FOT, and for ship repairs.
  • Material Offloading facility jetty at Bonny, and for discharge of containers and general cargo
  • Dangote cement jetty at FOT, for discharge of bulk cement.
  • Atlas cement jetty at FOT for bulk cement
  • Bonny anchorage jetty at Bonny, for anchorage
  • Wallis point Bonny, for containers and general cargo
  • Intel’s transit terminal at FOT, for barge.
  • Bonny export terminal at Bonny, for condensate and NNLNG gas.
Leases within Onne seaport

The leases within Onne port are by reputable companies like Tenaris, Socotherm, Delta Environmental Services, and Atlas Cement. Others are Dangote/BAIL Industries, Adamac Marine Services, Starz Marine, WAD (West African Drydocks), West Atlantic Shipyard (WAS). Yet, we have WACT-West African Container Terminal, Sahara Energy, Tonimas, and Sea Petroluem.

There are also tank farms like OANDO (AGO and PMS) and Sahara (AGO and DPK). Also, there are Tonimas (Lube oil), and SPG (AGO and DPK). The Onne port is indeed a beehive of daily activities.

If your import to Nigeria is oil and gas, no doubt, Onne seaport is one the best seaports Nigeria.


This port is located in Delta state in the south-south part of the country. Delta state is one of the oil producing state in the country. The seaport is important for its location. It comprises of the Sapele port, Burutu port, Forcados port, Warri port, and Escravos port.



About 99% of trades pass through sea. This means that the growth of businesses in Nigeria rests on the efficiency of the seaports operations in Nigeria. Tin Can and Lagos Port Complex are two most prominent ports in Nigeria operating under full capacity. Both ports are the main seaports in the country.

Undoubtedly, Lagos ports are the most widely used and functioning ports in the country. People prefer to use these ports because of ease of access. Furthermore, Lagos is a business capital of Nigeria, and the port is closer to most companies. There’s a strong pipeline presence and depots facility in Lagos ports which makes the preference of most passengers.

Additionally, Onne seaport serves better for oil and gas related activities and imports. Importations for cargoes with destination to Eastern and Delta areas are best served by Onne.

Equally, in my next article I will talk in detail on the airports in Nigeria. Feel free to share your contributions with us. Finally, we are reachable on phone and WhatsApp – +2349075526276.

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