Saudi Ports Authority outlines plans to boost productivity and competitiveness
The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has announced plans to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the Kingdom’s ports as it seeks a ‘qualitative leap’ in its management methods and operational performance.
The plan calls for an aggressive reduction of container waiting times by next year, with containers’ length of stay at the ports reduced to three days.
Mawani President Saad bin Abdulaziz AlKhalb said this was essential as the volume of container handling will be more than doubled by 2030.
“What’s more, the share of Saudi ports handling transshipment containers will be increased, the production capacity within the terminals will be optimised, and new horizons will be opened for promising investment and commercial partnerships,” said AlKhalb.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 roadmap to a more diversified economy in the future includes development plans to reduce average customs times across all Saudi ports from 14 days to 24 hours.
Last month, Mawani issued the first unified licence for a foreign investor to practice the activities of the maritime agencies in all ports it supervises in the Kingdom.
This unprecedented step came after its board’s approval of the general rules of licences and regulations for the activities of maritime agencies and ship suppliers except fuelling.
These regulations are in line with the programmes of Vision 2030.
The goal is to optimise the Kingdom's geographical advantages and transform it into a global logistics platform that links three continents.
The intended result is to make the Kingdom a major centre for international trade “by upgrading its services, efficiency, operational and logistic capabilities, and developing its infrastructure, in addition to finding and training qualified national cadres, to enhance its important developmental, economic and trade roles.”
AlKhalb indicated that the nine ports supervised by Mawani are currently reaping the benefits of services and initiatives launched recently.
The ports’ total container deliveries since the beginning of this year through the end of February 2019, amounted to more than 44 million tons, an increase of 10.19% over the same period in 2018, while the total number of inbound and outbound containers during the same period was 1,131,959, an increase of 6.18% over the corresponding period last year.
The ports are: Jeddah Islamic Port; King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam; King Fahad Industrial Port in Yanbu; King Fahad Industrial Port in Jubail; Jubail Commercial Port; Yanbu Commercial Port; Jizan Port; Dhiba Port; and Ras Al-Khair Port.
AlKhalb made the remarks at the close of the 2nd Saudi Maritime Congress, a maritime and logistics event held in Riyadh under the patronage of Mawani, in partnership with transportation and logistics company Bahri, Saudi Arabia’s national shipping carrier.
Transport and maritime officials and business figures from Saudi Arabia discussed key developments in the Kingdom’s maritime and logistics industry at the March 11-12 event.