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Saudi box port throughput up 16% in first five months of year

Saudi box port throughput up 16% in first five months of year
In a sign that the new King Abdullah Port near Rabigh, the kingdom’s first privately owned facility and also first to be run outside the control of the Saudi Ports Authority, is gaining momentum, Saudi port throughput jumped 16% in the first five months of 2015, compared to the year earlier period, data obtained by Seatrade Maritime News show.

In the period to May, KAP throughput jumped 16% on a slow 2014 in which the new port had just opened, while Jeddah Islamic Port saw a negligible increase for the period.

Throughput was down 7.9% at JIP in 2014, at just under 4.2m teu, compared to almost 4.6m teu in 2013. Officials from DP World, operators of JIP’s South Container Terminal, have told Seatrade Maritime this was largely due to its loss of Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s business to KAP last year.

DP World’s SCT throughput fell to only around 800,000 boxes last year, on capacity of 2.4m teu. KAP opened for business in late 2013.

May has been the peak first-half month for container cargo at JIP for the last four years. However, May throughput has fallen successively in each of the years since 2012.

Projection-based data for KAP said the port had throughput of 497,000 teu last year, and saw a figure of just over 282,000 in the period January-May. Port officials, however, say they expect throughput in excess of 1.5m teu for full-year 2015.

The SPA can view progress on the kingdom’s east coast with a lot more satisfaction. International Port Services’ Terminal 1 at Dammam Port saw throughput rise 15% in the year-to-May to just under 780,000 teu.

IPS saw throughput of 1.75m teu in 2014, a rise of 5.2% on the year earlier figure. A small amount of cargo has started to flow through Saudi Global Ports Co.’s Terminal 2 at Dammam, which began operations in April.

Jubail Commercial Port has seen hefty double-digit rises in the past two years, off a low base. In 2013, throughput rose 34%, and in 2014, 21%, to 395,000.

The data, obtained by Seatrade Maritime News from a leading Saudi port operator, shows that Saudi government and port authority efforts to increase logistics sector efficiency are a key long-term goal.