The ports of Benin play an important role in the economy of the West African country. The Republic of Benin has two major ports: Cotonou and Porto Novo.
The Cotonou port is the bigger and more important port among the two ports of Benin. The Cotonou city is built around the Atlantic Ocean marine port. Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin. The port serves not only Benin, but also neighboring land-locked African countries like Togo. There are artificial deep water facilities in the port. The ports of Benin are capable of accommodating roll on, roll off merchant vessels.
The principal items of commerce that pass through Cotonou port include perishable food items like cereals. Construction materials like gypsum are also imported through the port. Cotton forms one of the main items for export. The Cotonou port covers an area of 40 thousand square meters. It has 9 berthing stations for cargo-laden ships. The Benin ports offer both bonded and unbonded warehousing facilities. A predetermined area inside the ports are set aside for exclusive use by the land-locked African countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The ports of Benin meet international security standards. All goods passing through the port are insurable.