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Saudi Arabia earns UNCTAD liner connectivity boost

King Abdullah Port King_Abdullah_Port.jpg
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Liner Shipping Connectivity Index for Q4 2022 noted another bump in connectivity for Saudi Arabia.

UNCTAD scored Saudi Arabia at 71.33 points in Q4 2022, up from 69.45 points in Q4 2021 and 64.61 in Q4 2019. The latest score marks another increment in a steady increase in connectivity according to the index, which is based on a maximum 100 points for Q1 2006 - Saudi Arabia scored 39.50 in Q1 2006.

Overall, Saudi Arabia ranked 21st in the world for connectivity for Q4 2022, slipping from 19th in Q4 2021.

The rising score reflects widespread investments in logistics within Saudi Arabia, with multiple large-scale projects underway to upgrade existing ports and terminals, as well as developing new ports and introducing new trade routes.

The development of Saudi Arabia’s maritime and logistics sectors are a central pillar within the Transport Strategy of Saudi Vision 2030, a series of nationwide ambitions to improve and diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy by 2030.

Nine new liner services were introduced in 2022, according to the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani). Saudi’s King Abdullah Port topped the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence container port performance index last year, with Jeddah Islamic Port taking eighth.

A country’s LSCI score is a function of five components including the total number of shipping lines serving a country, the largest vessel size calling the country in teu, number of services connecting a country to its counterparts, the number of deployed vessels in a country, and total vessel capacity in teu.

Mawani reported a 13% jump in port throughput in Saudi Arabia in 2022 as the port sector targets ambitious growth.

Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port recently announced a $1.86bn deal to upgrade facilities at its terminals and container yards,