Top 5: Busiest Middle East container ports in 2015
The Middle East is a strategically located shipping hub on the world’s flagship East-West trade route. According to unescape.org, the Asia to Europe deepsea shipping lanes are the busiest in the world, representing 43.8-million teu in 2015, or half the total volume of container traffic from Asia to the West (the other half being dominated by Trans-Pacific trade from Asia to North America).
Between 2005 and 2015 the Asia-Europe route has overtaken the Trans-Pacific routes as the world’s largest, however, driven in large part by growth in world trade and aggressive infrastructure investment in the Middle East. With this in mind, Arabian Supply Chain.com decided to look into which are the largest busiest ports in the region in terms of TEU handled annually.
5. Port Said East, Egypt
Home to the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), operated by APM Terminals, Port Said is a state-of-the-art facility providing a transshipment center for the Eastern Mediterranean and handled 3.12-million teu in 2013. This represented port calls by 2,054 container vessels through the year.
4. Port of Salalah, Oman
The Port of Salalah, given its strategic location in Oman’s south, close to the Asia-Europe shipping route, has a strong transhipment base and handled 3.34-million teu in 2013, the most recent official statistics available for the port. There is also significant expansion underway to increase capacity from the current 5-million teu to 9-million teu, suggesting the port authority is forecasting significant growth.
3. Port of Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates
Like Jebel Ali, the Port of Khor Fakkan has made transhipment the backbone of its container traffic. Lying outside the Strait of Hormuz, its strategic location allows it to operate as an alternative to Jebel Ali, with 3.8-million teu handled during 2013, representing 26% growth year on year.
2. Port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah in Saudi Arabia remains home to the second-busiest port in the region, based primarily on imports of goods to the Saudi Arabian economy, which the largest consumer market in the region. The most recent official statistics show teu volume of 4.68-million for 2013, representing year-on-year growth of 18%.
1. Port of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates
Port of Jebel Ali is the busiest port in the Middle East by a very large margin. In fact, the other four busiest ports combined would only just exceed the 15.2-million teu of cargo handled by the port in 2014 (figures provided direct by port operator DP World). These figures represent 11.8% year-on-year growth; 5% above that anticipated by DP World itself.