5 Interesting Facts About Saldanha Bay Port
At Link Ship Chandlers, we count ourselves lucky that we have the great fortune of providing chandling services for local and international vessels that stop over at the Saldanha Bay port along the west coast of South Africa. It is a wonderful harbour that offers excellent anchorage and has become renowned with shipping owners and operators around the globe as a preferred port of call due to the quality of the support services available, the wonderful weather, and more.
Here are a few things to note about Saldanha Bay port:
It’s South Africa’s Deepest Natural Harbour
Saldahna boasts the country’s largest natural anchorage and port with the deepest water. It was first noted in writing by Dutch explorer Van Spilbergen in 1601 and it is postulated that it would have become SA’s major harbour instead of Cape Town if it had not been for a lack of fresh water.
It Grew into a Modern Harbour Thanks to Mining
The port was only developed into a modern harbour in the late 1970s, when it became necessary to export iron ore from mines situated in the Northern Cape. This required the construction of 800 km of train track to bring the ore to the harbour by rail.
It’s Home to a Naval Station
Saldanha port is home to the South African Naval Station of SAS Saldanha as well as a NSRI rescue station and a fishing harbour. The bay remains open in all weather conditions although adverse weather can affect operations at times.
It Can Handle Quite a Bit of Traffic
Throughout the course of 2016, Saldanha Bay port handled a total of 573 ships (2015: 618) with a total gross tonnage of 38,347,607-gt (2015: 40,225,933-gt).
There Are Big Plans for Saldanha
The future looks bright for Saldanha. Over the years, several ambitious plans have surfaced for this sought-after port, including the development of ship and oil rig repair facilities to service the burgeoning local oil and gas industry.
There you have it – five important facts about Saldanha Bay port on the west coast of South Africa. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months as we share more exciting news and insider insight on the shipping trade in South Africa and further afield. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Link Ship Chandlers team if you would like to learn more about the services we provide from the port in Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Coega, Durban and Richards Bay.