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Saudi ports container throughput up strongly in June

Photo: Saudi Global Ports King Abdulaziz Port, Dammam
King Abdulaziz Port, Dammam
Container volumes made a strong showing in Saudi Arabia in June, compared to the same month last year.

Throughput at Saudi ports rose 5.5% to 642,3000 teu that month, compared to the 608,800 teu seen in June of last year. Transhipment volumes were up 4.2% to 244,600 teu, compared to the June 2021 total of 234,700 teu, according to the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani).

Saudi ports saw a 13.6% increase in vessel calls in June, with a total of 1,126 vessels, while vehicle imports increased by 26% to 74,000. Total food volumes reached 1.6m tons.

“The development plans launched by Mawani to enhance the operational efficiency and upgrade ports’ capabilities resulted in a 56% increase in general cargo volumes to reach 791 thousand tons, whereas liquid bulk cargoes increased 32% to reach 15.5 million tons,” Mawani said.

King Abdulaziz Port, Dammam, managed and operated by Saudi Global Ports (SGP), set a monthly container throughput record, handling 188,578 teu in June, beating the previous record set in 2015.

“The record-breaking performance comes on the back of soaring import and export volumes, which boosted the port’s productivity while reaffirming its unique operational and logistical prowess in line with the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS) to raise logistical output and boost container throughput in Saudi ports,” Mawani said this week.

Mawani said the Dammam-based port had reengineered its transhipment handling processes in 2021 and launched new services to connect with ports in the GCC and East Asia. “These initiatives brought about a 143% growth in transhipment compared to the previous year,” it said.

Despite the Covid pandemic, total volumes at Dammam Port have held up well, although transhipment has suffered due to the consolidation of operations under one operator at the port in recent years. In 2018, prior to the consolidation, the combined transhipment volumes of Hutchison Ports Dammam and Saudi Global Ports totaled over 26,000 teu.

Total throughput at Dammam Port was 1.77m teu in 2021, a significant increase on the 2018 figure of 1.54m teu. However, transhipment volumes were just under 5,000 teu in 2020, rising to almost 12,000 teu in 2021.

In 2020, Saudi Global Ports announced that it had been given the sole concession to operate both terminals at Dammam. Gateway cargo has been a traditional focus at Dammam as it is more lucrative.

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