Somaliland: Berbera Ranked 106 in World Bank’s Global Ranking of Container Ports

In this 2023 index where Mogadiscio and Djibouti rank 166 and 379, respectively, compared to Berbera’s 106 placing, the authors establish that as in earlier iterations of the CPPI, the production of the ranking employs two different methodological approaches, an administrative, or technical, approach, a pragmatic methodology reflecting expert knowledge and judgment; and a statistical approach, using factor analysis (FA), or more accurately matrix factorization. The rationale for using two approaches was to try and ensure that the ranking of container port performance reflects as closely as possible actual port performance, whilst also being statistically robust.

In the world of maritime trade and container shipping, ports play a pivotal role in facilitating global commerce. The competition between ports can significantly impact a country’s economy and trade relationships. The World Bank’s Container Performance Report 2023 sheds light on the performance of ports worldwide, with a particular focus on Berbera and Djibouti.

The report not only highlights the remarkable rise of Berbera port in Somaliland but also sheds light on Djibouti’s struggle to stay afloat in the competitive container port landscape. Let’s delve into this report to understand the strengths and weaknesses of these two key players in the East African region.

Berbera and Djibouti have long been strategic ports in East Africa, serving as crucial gateways for trade between the region and the rest of the world. The World Bank’s latest report provides valuable insights into these ports’ container handling efficiency, infrastructure, and overall performance. By examining this data, we can gain a deeper understanding of how these ports stack up against each other and their impact on regional trade dynamics.Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023The Rise of Berbera Port: A Promising Contender

Berbera Port, located in Somaliland, has been making significant strides in recent years to enhance its infrastructure and operational efficiency. The World Bank’s report highlights Berbera’s impressive performance in container handling and port logistics.

The port’s strategic location along key maritime routes has positioned it as a preferred hub for trade in the region. Investments in modernizing its facilities and equipment have further boosted Berbera’s competitiveness on the global stage.

Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023Berbera Port in Somaliland has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, securing an impressive fourth position in the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index 2023. This ranking places Berbera in direct competition with established ports like New Jersey and New York, even surpassing giants like Shanghai.

Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023With a global ranking of 103, Berbera Port showcases the potential and growth opportunities present in the region.

Berbera Port also became the leading port in Sub-Saharan Africa, surpassing all regional competitors according to the 2023 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI).

Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023Djibouti’s Dismal Performance: A Tale of Debt and Decline

Djibouti, a key port city in the Horn of Africa, is known for its pivotal maritime position linking East Africa to the global stage. The advanced infrastructure and strategic placement along the Red Sea make Djibouti Port essential in enabling trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Despite this, Djibouti finds itself at a staggering rank of 337 in the World Bank’s report, highlighting significant challenges and inefficiencies plaguing its port operations. With a global ranking of 379, Djibouti’s struggles are further compounded by its heavy reliance on Chinese loans, with a substantial 71% of its GDP tied to debt owed to the Asian economic powerhouse.Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023A Clash of Economic Fortunes: Somaliland and Djibouti

The contrasting economic trajectories of Somaliland and Djibouti provide a compelling narrative of divergent paths taken by neighboring nations. While Somaliland thrives as a debt-free entity, experiencing sustained economic growth and prosperity, Djibouti grapples with financial burdens and the repercussions of overwhelming debt obligations.

A Missed Opportunity for Collaboration

Despite the proximity and shared regional interests, Djibouti’s approach towards Somaliland has been marked by hostility and sabotage rather than cooperation and collaboration. Over the past three decades, Djibouti has hindered the progress and development of its neighbor, missing out on the potential benefits of a strategic alliance with a thriving and economically stable partner.

Berbera Vs. Djibouti, A Deep Dive Into The World Bank's Container Performance Report 2023The Road Ahead: Lessons for the Maritime Industry

As Berbera port shines on the global stage and Djibouti faces economic challenges, the contrasting fortunes of these two ports offer valuable lessons for the maritime industry. Collaboration, strategic investments, and a focus on sustainable growth are essential for ports to remain competitive and relevant in the ever-evolving global trade landscape.


In conclusion, the World Bank Container Port Performance Index 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the dynamic nature of the maritime industry and the critical role played by ports in shaping regional economies. While Berbera port in Somaliland celebrates its rise to prominence, Djibouti grapples with the consequences of financial mismanagement and missed opportunities for growth. As the world looks towards the future of port operations, the story of Berbera and Djibouti serves as a compelling narrative of contrasts, challenges, and the enduring quest for success in the world of container shipping.

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