Riyadh: King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam is now part of container carrier giant Maersk’s express shipping service in a move that will boost trade between the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Subcontinent.
The weekly service — known as Shaheen Express — links the port to major regional hubs such as Dubai’s Jebel Ali, India’s Mundra and Pipavav aboard container ship BIG DOG, which has a carrying capacity of 1,740 twenty-foot equivalent units.
The announcement by the Saudi Ports Authority, also called Mawani, comes after several other shipping lanes chose Dammam as a port of call in 2022.
These included SeaLead Shipping’s Far East to Middle East service, Emirates Shipping Line’s Jebel Ali Bahrain Shuwaikh (JBS), and Gulf-India Express 2 by Aladin Express.
This is alongside the recent connection to Singapore and Shanghai ports on the Gulf China Service by Pacific International Lines.
King Abdulaziz Port was declared the fourteenth most efficient port in the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index for 2021, a historical achievement that stems from its state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class operations, and record-breaking performance, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
In a sign of the growth of the facility, King Abdulaziz Port set a new container throughput record in June 2022, by handling 188,578 TEUs, surpassing the previous record of set in 2015.
The record-breaking performance of the port was attributed to the rise in export and import volumes, as the Kingdom moves in line with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy aimed at turning Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub.
“The port’s strategic location on the Arabian Gulf lends it a distinct status as a trade gateway to the Kingdom’s eastern and central regions, which provides investors interested in setting up integrated logistics facilities that offer value-added services a competitive edge like no other,” said Mawani in the statement when the figures were released in September.
Mawani is currently working on upgrading the 19 sq. km. port to make it capable of receiving giant vessels and handling up to 105 million tons annually.