‘Road trains’ coming to Oman to link SOHAR and Dry Port at Khazaen Economic City
Marafi, the Omani provider of port operation and management services, says there is potential for the deployment of road trains for the first time in Oman to link the new Dry Port at Khazaen Economic City with the gateway SOHAR Port & Freezone, reports the Oman Observer.
Road trains are primarily heavy trucks hauling two or more semi-trailers laden with shipping containers a feature that contributes to greater efficiency and cost savings in the transportation of cargoes.
Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday to mark the establishment of Khazaen Dry Port Company, a new partnership that will develop and operate Oman’s first inland port, a top official of Marafi said the dry port initiative will open the way for the introduction of road trains plying between Khazaen and SOHAR.
Marafi, a subsidiary of Asyad Group, the integrated logistics flagship of Oman, is a 50 per cent equity stake holder in Khazaen Dry Port Company. The other shareholders are Khimji Ramdas Shipping (30 per cent) and Al Madina Logistics (20 per cent).
“Perhaps we will use road trains in the future where, instead of carrying two 20-foot containers, we can go up to four containers, thereby reducing the cost of transportation which is the main goal of the dry port,” said Dr Ahmed Mohammed al Abri, CEO.
“We already have the infrastructure to allow for road trains to be used, as is the case in other Gulf countries,” he added. “Given Khazaen’s location adjoining the Batinah Expressway, road trains carrying multiple containers or other cargoes represent a cost-effective alternative to the present mode of transporting one 40-foot or two 20-foot containers per truck.”