East London is a river port, on the mainland, situated on the Buffalo River, north east of Port Elizabeth on the east coast of South Africa. Depths of water in the entrance channel and harbour are maintained by two modern dredgers with a minimum depth in the entrance channel of 12,7m and a permitted maximum draft in the harbour of 10,0m.
Latitude 33º 01’S | Longitude 27º 55’E
Two miles north east of main breakwater – East London Port Control – VHF Channel
- Pilotage compulsory. Pilot boat black hull, white superstructure. There are no helicopter facilities. 2 pilots are available, one being required per vessel. Minimum draft – safe and effective control of the vessel.
Seawater density in the harbour is 1.025g/cm³.
PILOT BOARDING POSITION
Two miles north east of main breakwater. No buoys exist.
Draft permissible at entrance : 10,40 m to berth/sail on high water only, depending on weather conditions. Master to draft indemnity. This draft restriction, may, however, be increased to 10,40 m provided the vessel completes and sails on a rising tide. The Master is to sign an indemnity form confirming that his vessel will be ready to sail at the top of the tide and, by failure to do so; there will be no recourse to the Port Authorities for any delayed sailing, etc. The size of a Panamax vessel able to enter the harbour is controlled by the draft and depth of water over the bar, i.e. 10m plus, on application to the Port Captain, 0,4 m dependent on tide and weather conditions.
One mile east of main breakwater. There are no special anchorages. There is no prohibited anchorage. Holding ground is good, sand in 35m of water.
Tide fall at mean high water springs is 1.72 m and 0.37 and mean low water neaps.
Temperate/sub-tropical. Winds north easterly and south westerly.
Vessels must be adequately ballasted to permit safe navigation within the port. Only clean, locally loaded ballast water, may be discharged within the port.
The Port of East London port control and the signal station are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call VHF East London Port Control, Channel 16 – working VHF East London Port Control, Channel 12.
The tanker berth can accommodate vessels up to a maximum length of 204,20 metres and a draft of 10,0 metres. Bunkering – heavy fuel oil and gas oil by direct pipeline at grain elevator.
All berths are operated by the Port Authority. The port owns a fleet of mobile cranes, forklifts, trucks, shunting tractors, straddle carriers, haulers and trailers.
The port has 11 berths able to accommodate all types of cargoes, a dry dock for any form of bottom repair and a grain elevator to handle free-flowing grain products.
Exports are principally made up of maize, minerals and prepared fruit. Imports include motor vehicle components, machinery, wheat, maize, and chemical and petroleum products.