MSC shipping line adds Sohar Port as regular rotation
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the second largest shipping line in the world, has added the Omani port and logistics hub of Sohar as a regular call.
MSC operates 200 direct and combined services weekly, calling at approximately 335 ports, with a fleet carrying more than 2.7m twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.
Officials from Sohar Port and Freezone, as well as executives from Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), part of Hong Kong’s Hutchison Group, were quayside to greet MSC Lana.
This latest addition highlights once again that Sohar is establishing itself as the preferred gateway to the Gulf for many major international operators, the port and freezone said in a statement.
Located outside the Strait of Hormuz with hinterland connections to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Sohar Port is one of the world’s fastest growing port and free zone developments.
Investments to date total US $25-billion and handling capacity at the container terminal has doubled since 2014.
With the relocation of all commercial traffic from Muscat to Sohar, and the newly expanded Terminal C fully operational, the port’s container handling capacity now stands at 1.5mn TEUs per year.
MSC Lana is one of the older vessels in MSC’s fleet. Built in 1999, the container ship has a capacity of 1,830-TEU, but officials at Sohar Port & Freezone expect MSC to begin calling with larger tonnage in the near future.
OICT has recently added four new remote-controlled quay cranes, capable of handling 20,000 TEUs vessels, as well as an automated truck appointment system, to reduce turnaround times at the terminal.
MSC’s largest container ship, MSC Oscar, has a capacity of 19,000-TEU and is currently the largest ship of her kind in the world.
MSC is the latest major shipping line to join Sohar over the past twelve months, with Sohar welcoming the arrival of global lines Evergreen and Hanjin in 2015.