Saudi ports handle 520m tons of goods annually

Saudi ports handle 520m tons of goods annually
Updated 20 May 2014

Saudi ports handle 520m tons of goods annually

Saudi ports handle 520m tons of goods annually

Saudi seaports play a significant role in boosting the Kingdom’s economic progress and handle 520 million tons of goods and 12 million containers annually, said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry. They have a total of 220 wharfs, he added.
Addressing a ceremony marking the launch of about 60 projects worth SR2.31 billion in Yanbu by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, the minister said Saudi ports have been attracting international shipping lines.
Prince Faisal pressed an electronic button to launch the projects. He also watched a documentary on the performance of the King Fahd Industrial Port and Yanbu Commercial Port.
The new projects launched by Prince Faisal included those related to expansion of the two ports, the minister said, adding that the projects would contribute to boosting the Kingdom’s exports.
The government has spent SR1.11 billion on the two ports while the remaining projects launched by the governor would cost SR1.2 billion. The commercial port has nine wharfs while the King Fahd port has 24 wharfs with a capacity to handle 140 million tons.
Efforts are underway to add six more wharfs to King Fahd port to increase its capacity to 180 million tons, Al-Seraisry said.
“Saudi ports play a big role in the Kingdom’s industrial and commercial development and exporting oil and petroleum products,” he said.
The new projects included manufacturing and importing of two multipurpose tugboats, construction of new roads, security systems, fire-fighting systems and maintenance contracts.
Prince Faisal opened a new passenger lounge at the commercial port, an observation tower and expansion of the Civil Defense Department in addition to 12 investment projects for the private sector.


Middle East organic milk company sees surge in sales during COVID-19 lockdown

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
Updated 2 min 28 sec ago

Middle East organic milk company sees surge in sales during COVID-19 lockdown

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
  • Online demand for Koita Foods’ dairy, plant-based drinks soar by 350%

RIYADH: Dairy and plant-based drinks company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year as consumers working from home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic embraced e-commerce and healthier diets.

“Many platforms are asking for our products as globally there is a big move toward buying online,” Mustafa Koita, the firm’s founder and CEO, told Arab News.

Established in 2013 in Dubai, Koita Foods’ mission is to make healthy food more accessible for families in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region.

The company’s data showed that during the first half of 2020 total sales in Saudi Arabia increased by 111 percent year-on-year, with a 150 percent rise in demand for plant-based drinks, and a 140 percent growth in sales of lactose-free produce.

There has been a huge demand in Saudi Arabia recently for more organic, lactose-free, and non-dairy milk options, with sales up by around 31 percent.

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)

“People are looking for vitamin D, especially when you’re looking at immunity. Immunity is now a buzzword with coronavirus,” Koita said.

Although the business’ online sales have increased during the period of the global health crisis, Koita noted that the virus outbreak had impacted on the sector.

“Seventy percent of my business is retail and grocery stores. The other 30 percent is hotels, restaurants, and catering. So, the hotels got shut down, but the grocery stores were the only thing open in the region,” he added.

In order to monitor the fast-growing new sector, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has put in place stringent product labelling requirements, in a bid to adhere to international standards.

“They want consumers to see and to have more information at hand. So, we’ve also updated our labels with the SFDA requirements. And we’re very excited that the SFDA is acting as the leader,” Koita said.

Mustafa Koita, Founder and CEO of Koita Foods. (Supplied)

The company already has its own strict labelling policy on ingredients. “We already have very good ingredients, such as our organic chocolate milk which is made from organic cocoa, organic brown sugar, and organic milk.”

A self-funded venture, Koita conducted extensive research into the marketplace before launching his namesake products. Via social media, he interviewed thousands of mothers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, and Singapore to find out what they were looking for in a good organic milk solution.

When it came to production, he picked Torino, in Italy, a region known for making some of the best milk in the world. “I found out that the quality of milk depends on what the cows are eating or what is in the soil, as well as how the cows are treated, the pasteurization process, and packaging of the milk.”

He added that the land in Italy was very fertile and that cows there enjoyed a good quality of life. “They have a better view than I do in my own home,” he said.

Koita Foods’ products are sold in more than 1,000 retail outlets throughout the MENASA region and other emerging markets, with revenue continuing to grow.

“We did a lot of expansion in 2020, and I think now what we want to do is focus on doing a better job in the 11 countries that we’re already in.”

Koita added that Saudi Arabia was one of its core markets and that he aimed to improve the firm’s distribution network in the Kingdom over the next 12 months.