Havenbeheer – Paramaribo, Suriname

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Interview with

Mr. Reza Karg
Manager Corporate Affairs


First of all, what can you tell our readers about the ports of Suriname? How many are there? What is the major port for import & export, and what are the restrictions of the piers lengthwise?How about the drought?

The Suriname Port Management Company manages the Dr. Jules Sedney port of Paramaribo. This is the main port in the country. The company also manages the Port in Nieuw Nickerie that is mostly used by the agricultural sector. 

Dr. Jules Sedney port of Paramaribo

The Dr. Jules Sedney port of Paramaribo is located on the left bank of the Suriname River, 21 nautical miles from the light buoy. It covers about 18 ha in surface area and there is construction of an additional 2 ha in progress. 

The main terminal has 600m of river-facing common user quay and an extension of 60m is in progress. The draft is 7m at Low Water Spring. The terminal handles about 50 percent of Suriname’s seaborne trade by volume. The terminal is served by some 19 international carriers and offers direct connections to different parts of the world through main liner services. Yearly, the terminal handles 100.000 TEU’s on average. In addition, the port handles between 200.000 and 300.000 T breakbulk per year.

There’s also a dedicated Oil jetty that can accommodate vessels with an overall length of up to 140m. On average, this terminal handles between 113.000 and 164.000 MT of liquid bulk per year.

We also have a Support Facility that’s ready for use. The berth has a length of 115m with a middle quay section that can bear 10 Ton/m2 and the rest can bear 5 Ton/m2. The draft alongside is about 6.05 m. The adjacent paved area is about 0.8 ha in size. Allowable load 10 Ton/m2. 

Nieuw Nickerie port

The Existing Port in Nieuw Nickerie has a length of ,a width of 23.8 m, and a draft of 4.5 m at LWS Allowable load 5Tn/m2.

Port of Nickerie

The Port of Nickerie, being a Deep Water Port and Special Economic Zone, is in design at this very moment. The blueprint will be finished around December of this year. The area in which this port will be built is about 3.707 acres in size. 

So we have three terminals in Paramaribo and one in Nickerie that are open for business.


Which lines normally call your port for international trade?

The main shipping lines that call on the port are: ECL/Vertraco, Seatrade, CMA CGM, MSC, Caribbean Feeder Service, Hapag Lloyd, Zim Line, Sealand (Maersk), Intermarine, Hoegh Autoliners, Eukor Car Carriers, Caribbean Line, Tropical Shipping, Seaboard Marine, Crowley, King Ocean, Evergreen, Hamburg Sud and COSCO.

Most of our readers do NOT know Suriname.  Is it an independent country?  Was it a colony before, and if so, when did the country achieve its independence?

Suriname is a sovereign country with a democratically-chosen government. The country gained its independence from the Netherlands on November 25, 1975. 

Your country is located between Guyana and French Guyana and also borders the huge country of Brazil.  Is there a lot of trade between Suriname and the neighbours? Is transhipment and inland transportation possible between Paramaribo and the Guyana’s and Brazil?

At this moment, there is transshipment between Suriname and its neighboring countries. Very much so, in fact, so that the capacity of the ferry service in the east of the country is being upgraded to make it possible for more containers and passengers to cross with the ferry. There are a number of containers moving from Suriname to French Guyana and we get a lot of tourists from French Guiana into our country. 

There is also transshipment from our district in the west to our neighboring country Guyana.

We receive cargo from Brazil through schooners, but once the Deep Water Port and Special Economic Zone are built, we expect growth in business from Suriname to the central north of Brazil either by Short Sea Shipment or in the future, perhaps by road and rail. 


Which countries are currently the main trading partners of your country?

We get our cargo mainly from the USA and from Europe, whilst commercial cargo from China also comes to Suriname.  The ports from which the liners could bring cargo in as well are: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad, Guyana, Kingstown, Caucido, Barbados, Manzanillo, Cartagena, and Santa Marta.

How do you go about doing marketing for the Port of Paramaribo?

We have a Corporate Strategy and Commercial Services Department, and we also have an Interdepartmental Commission on Concession and Investment Policy. Both of these organizations engage with stakeholders and potential stakeholders to gather facts and figures, but also to get a feel of what the needs are of the customers (importers and exporters), the Shipping lines, and the Shipping agents as well as the Terminal Operators.  


Do you have heavy lift cranes and the possibility to handle oversized and bulky cargoes in port?  What kind of shore crane capacity do you have in Paramaribo?

Since we are a Landlord Port, we have two major Terminal Operators with equipment to handle cargo. This equipment consists of:

Harbor cranes: 2 Liebherr MHC (84T and 124 T). 3 Gottwald MHC (100T), 3 Rubber tired gantry cranes (45 T), 7 Reach stackers, 5 Empty handlers, 21 Terminal trailers, 20 Forklifts.

How do you view the rest of this year and expectations for your port in 2024?

In addition to business as usual, which means that we’re headed for a peak season with the end of the year in sight, we are also very eager to begin the development of the Deep Water Port and Special Economic Zone in the West. We are aiming to get the final master plan at the end of November after which the Environmental study will be finished, so that construction can start in the first quarter of 2024.


How would it be best for our readers to get in touch with you?

N.V. Havenbeheer Suriname
Suriname Port Management Company
Havenlaan Zuid #5, POBox 2307
Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: +597 404044/404068/403625/404641
Email: smeport@havenbeheer.sr