Togo’s Port of Lomé becomes regional transit hub
The autonomous Port of Lomé has overtaken Lagos and is now West Africa’s leading port with a capacity of 1.1 million twenty-foot containers (TEU). Thanks to modernisation reforms, the Port of Lomé tripled its capacity from 311 500 containers in 2013 to 1.1 million in 2017. This surge can be explained by several factors. With a depth of 16.60 meters, the Port of Lomé is the only deep-water port on the West African coast that can accommodate 3rd generation ships. The port is well-connected and goods can be delivered to several West African capitals in a single day. Its success is also largely due to the commissioning of the Lomé Container Terminal (LCT), which handles about 75% of the containers shipped through the Port of Lomé. On the other hand, Nigeria’s Apapa Port in Lagos (1 million TEU) lost 30% of its container traffic over five years due to chronic congestion and the poor quality of its services. Other West African ports have stagnated. Tema in Ghana (0.95 million TEU) maintains rank 3, followed by Abidjan (0.66 million TEU) and Dakar (0.57 million TEU). According to Dynamar, the number of containers in West Africa should reach 4.3 million TEU by 2021, with 5% average annual growth rate for container cargo.