RIYADH: Saudi ports have witnessed a growth in cars imports amid an increase in cargo throughput tonnage during the first quarter of 2022, official statistics showed.
The first three months of the year have recorded an increase in the numbers of cars by 12.85 percent with a total of 219,488 cars, data published by the Saudi Ports Authority, MAWANI showed.
Passengers increased by 61.70 percent to 258,076.
The Kingdom's ports cargo throughput increased by 7.18 percent with a total of more than 74 million tons during the first quarter of 2022.
The number of transshipment containers increased by 5.91 percent with a total of 1.3 million TEUs, compared to numbers recorded during the same time of last year.
Vessels increased by 0.28 percent with a total of 3,186 vessels.
Saudi ports, however, recorded a 1.27 percent decline in containers, with a total of 2.5 million, as the number of imported livestock decreased by 57.75 percent with a total of 336,581 head of livestock.
Development in the national economy, growth of trade activity in the Kingdom, and forming strategic partnerships with major global shipping lines, all contributed to strengthening Saudi ports connections with eastern and western ports, and increasing throughput volumes, according to MAWANI.
MAWANI aims to reinforce the Kingdom's position as a global logistics hub and a link that connects the three continents, through initiatives like Smart Ports, which targets automating operations at Saudi ports.
The authority launched its Smart Ports initiative on March 20, at the Fourth Industrial Revolution event in the Kingdom, and signed agreements with Saudi Telecom Co., Ericsson, Huawei, the Saudi Global Ports Co., the Red Sea Gateway Terminal Co., and DP World.
Through these agreements, MAWANI aims to make Saudi ports a pioneer in applying modern technologies and enhancing their competitiveness at the regional and international levels.
Saudi ports are entering a crucial stage of transforming into automated smart ports by adopting the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with their advanced applications, Omar bin Talal Hariri, president of the ports authority, said during the launch ceremony.