Saudi Ports Authority MAWANI to boosts maritime trade.
Riyadh: The Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) has been instrumental in strengthening Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector in 2021, making a mark on global shipping and freight and connecting three continents.
The Authority‘s efforts to meet its ambitious goals have brought the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the 16th rank in the 2021 edition of Lloyd’s One Hundred Ports in volume handled. Three of the country’s major ports featured in this year’s rankings are the Jeddah Islamic Port (37th), King Abdullah Port (84th), and King Abdulaziz Port (93rd).
As a testament to the competitive appeal of Saudi ports, the Kingdom was declared the fifth-fastest country for container ship handling by the UNCTAD annual index report for 2020, marking the country’s entry to the world’s top 10 seaports list. In addition, the Kingdom leads the region with 70.68 points on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index for Q3 2021.
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In its National Transport and Logistics Strategy, MAWANI announced its blueprint for a prosperous and sustainable maritime sector, including developing and transforming Saudi ports into investment magnets.
MAWANI and Maersk have signed a deal to invest SAR500 million in a fully integrated logistics zone at Jeddah Islamic Port, set to be the largest in the Middle East. Work also commenced on Phase 1 of the SAR3 billion South Container Terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port by DP World.
MAWANI has also added four new maritime shipping services out of Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam in 2021. Connecting these ports with the ports in the Indian Ocean, China, Northern Europe, and Djibouti. The Authority further signed an agreement with Hapag-Lloyd increasing the container throughput across Saudi ports.
The Authority offers investment opportunities to develop and operate multi-purpose terminals at eight Saudi ports. To this effect, MAWANI developed new online systems, granting 16 operations licenses to local and foreign shipping agents and an online based trucking system. MAWANI has also signed a deal to build the Middle East’s largest grain and animal feed terminal, with 120 silos with the capacity to handle eight million tons of grain annually.
The Saudi Ports Authority, in support of the tourism sector, inaugurated the Kingdom’s first cruise ship terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port and also signed agreements with Globe Group and Cruise Saudi to develop cruise ship terminals and berths at Yanbu Commercial Port and King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam.
Commenting on 2021’s performance, Omar Hariri, President of the Saudi Ports Authority, said: “Thanks to the support of our Leadership and the launch of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy, the Kingdom has established a clear roadmap to transform its maritime sector and raise its ports to world-class levels.”