Saudi Ports Authority boosts maritime sector

Saudi Ports Authority boosts maritime sector

The Saudi Ports Authority MAWANI has helped strengthen the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's maritime sector in 2021, helping the nation make its mark on the global shipping and freight landscape.

2021 was a banner year in the Kingdom's drive to become a global logistics hub that connects three continents.

The Kingdom was ranked 16th in the 2021 edition of Lloyd's List One Hundred Ports in terms of volume handled thanks to the Authority's relentless efforts to meet its ambitious goals for the sector. Three of the country s prominent ports were included in the annual rankings, namely the Jeddah Islamic PortIslamic Port 37th position King Abdullah Port 84th position and King Abdulaziz Port 93rd position As a testament to the stature and competitive appeal of Saudi ports, the Kingdom was declared the world's fifth-fastest country in container ship handling by the UNCTAD annual index for 2020, marking the country's first-ever entry in the world's top 10 seaports The Kingdom moved up on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index during Q 3 of 2021 to lead the region with 70.68 points.

In conjunction with the launch of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy, MAWANI announced its blueprint for a prosperous and sustainable maritime sector that includes initiatives to develop the national economy and transform Saudi ports into investment magnets.

In its bid to boost the Kingdom's competitive edge, MAWANI had inked a deal with Maersk to invest SAR 500 million for setting up a fully integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic PortIslamic Port, which is set to be the largest in the Middle East. Phase 1 of the SAR 3 billion South Container Terminal at Jeddah Islamic PortIslamic Port was completed by DP World.

In order to further strengthen the Kingdom's trade ties and global partnerships, MAWANI added four maritime shipping services from Jeddah Islamic PortIslamic Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam in 2021, connecting them with ports in the Indian Ocean, Northern Europe, Djibouti, China and Bahrain. The Authority has signed an agreement with Hapag-Lloyd to increase container throughput across Saudi ports.

MAWANI executed 32 infrastructure projects that involved the construction of new berths, renovating and expansion of existing berths, and dredging of turning basins in keeping with its strategic objective of maximizing and fully leveraging the increased capacity of Saudi ports. The Authority opened up investment opportunities to develop and operate multi-purpose terminals at eight Saudi ports.

MAWANI developed seven new online systems, granted 16 operations licenses to national and foreign shipping agents, and brought online a new trucking appointment booking system. MAWANI had signed a deal to build the Middle East's largest grain and animal feed import and processing terminal in order to recognize the critical role that the ports and logistics sector plays in various industries, from manufacturing to food security. With 120 silos, this terminal will be able to handle a whopping eight million tons of bulk grain per year.

To support national efforts to enable the tourism sector with world-class facilities, the Saudi Ports Authority inaugurated the Kingdom's first cruise ship terminal at Jeddah Islamic PortIslamic Port, which saw off the MSC Bellissima's maiden voyage. MAWANI also signed agreements with Cruise Saudi and Globe Group to build and develop cruise ship terminals and berths at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and Yanbu Commercial Port.

President of the Saudi Ports Authority Omar Hariri said on 2021 s achievements that the Kingdom has established a clear roadmap to transform the maritime sector and raise its ports to world-class levels thanks to the support of our leadership and coinciding with the launch of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy. We want to invest more in our port infrastructure in order to integrate with other modes of transport across the country. We want to achieve an annual capacity that exceeds 40 million TEUs through greater ties with international shipping routes. He said that MAWANI's achievements came from the support of the Minister of Transport and Logistics Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the Saudi Ports Authority Board of Directors, and the effective collaboration between government agencies to integrate the national transport system and execute our strategy are two things that Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said.