RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Port, located in King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea coast, has reported an annual throughput of 1.4 million TEU by the end of 2016, which represents an increase of around 8 per cent compared to 2015. The annual throughput increase comes despite the challenges facing the markets and the slowdown of global economic growth. In addition, King Abdullah Port received 729 vessels in 2016 compared to 637 vessels in 2015, said a statement from the port.
With the completion of the infrastructure works for Berth 5 and Berth 6, the port’s annual capacity increases to 4 million TEU after making preparations and operation of the two new berths that will begin in 2017, providing greater competitiveness and further access to the most important trade capitals in the region and the world. Eng Abdullah Hameedadin, managing director of the Ports Development Company, owner and developer of King Abdullah Port, said: “We are looking forward to a bright future and is taking steady steps towards becoming a prime East-West hub on the main trade route between Asia and Europe, especially that around 30 per cent of world trade volume, apart from crude oil and petroleum products, pass through the Red Sea.” “The completion of construction of the two new berths is part of the strategic expansion plans aiming at increasing the capacity and strengthening the port’s position on the regional and global maritime map, which confirms the important role expected from King Abdullah Port and the private sector in general to contribute to achieving Saudi Vision 2030,” he added. In the past three years, since King Abdullah Port started operations in 2014, it has managed to significantly strengthen its capacity and achieve major accomplishments in terms of the project evolution in general and the operations taking place in it.
King Abdullah Port was also able to establish partnerships with the largest container shipping companies such a Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM. The management of King Abdullah Port expects the completion of the first phase of bulk cargo terminals with a capacity of three million tonnes, in addition to the RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) terminals with a capacity of 300,000 CEU to be ready this year, said a statement. This comes after King Abdullah Port had previously signed an agreement with NYK Group, the leading automotive shipping line and logistics provider, for operating the RORO terminal, it added. Run by the Ports Development Company, King Abdullah Port is the kingdom’s first port to be fully owned, developed and operated by the private sector. With its strategic location and state-of-the-art technologies, all managed by national and global experts who strive to offer the best possible services, King Abdullah Port has earned its place at the heart of the world’s major shipping lines, all within a solid plan that will bring to reality its vision of becoming one of the largest ports in the world, it stated.