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Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port is creating ripples in the shipping world within just two years of its formation. In the 2013 Journal of Commerce’s productivity list of ports in Europe, Middle East and Africa, it placed fifth.
The ranking, which compared container moves per vessel per hour, had Jebel Ali (Dubai) on top of the heap followed by Khor Fakkan (Sharjah), Salalah (Oman) and Bremerhaven (Germany).
Khalifa Port procured some of the world’s biggest sea-to-shore quay cranes this year to improve its efficiency. Around Dh400 million is earmarked in the next three years to expand its cargo handling facilities. New cranes will be purchased and the yard capacity is also expected to be increased.
Container traffic at Khalifa Port was expected to rise to around 1.1 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year, up 22 per cent from 905,000 TEUs last year. The port currently has a yearly capacity of 2.5 million TEUs, which could be increased to five million TEUs in the first phase of the port’s development, depending on demand.
The capital’s long-term goal is to increase capacity to 15 million TEUs of containers and 35 million tons of bulk cargo by 2030.
According to experts, 90 per cent of the goods handled by the port are for export to global markets unlike the Jebel Ali Port in Dubai which is mainly used for transhipment. This means that the cargo or containers handled by the Jebel Ali Port do not remain in Dubai but go to other markets in the Gulf.
Much of Khalifa Port’s steady growth is due to its proximity to the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), a manufacturing and logistics hub. The port will also be linked to Etihad Rail.
• Khalifa Port’s current annual capacity is 2.5m TEUs of containers
• It is focusing on handling 15m TEUs of containers yearly by 2030
• It has the advantage of being located close to logistics hub Kizad
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer