RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, also known as Mawani, has announced the launch of a new freight service at King Abdulaziz Port operated by the Swiss-based container group MSC.
The latest connection will bolster the Dammam-based port as a focal point for regional and global trade while strengthening the Kingdom’s hub credentials in fulfillment of the ambitions of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy.
Dammam will also enjoy weekly sailings to eight maritime destinations spanning the Arabian Gulf, South Asia and Southern Africa.
These include the ports of Khalifa bin Salman in Bahrain, Khalifa in UAE, Qasim in Pakistan, Mundra and Hazira in India, Port Louis in Mauritius, and Durban and Coega in South Africa.
The service started on Jan. 21 and will feature five vessels with an average carrying capacity exceeding 6,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.
As a world-class logistics center boasting top-tier infrastructure and capabilities, King Abdulaziz Port was an obvious choice for shipping liners looking to expand their routes in 2022.
Some notable liners include SeaLead Shipping’s Far East to Middle East service, Emirates Shipping Line’s Jebel Ali Bahrain Shuwaikh service, Gulf-India Express 2 service by Aladin Express and Maersk’s Shaheen Express service.
As Saudi Arabia’s eastern maritime gateway and the Kingdom’s main port on the Arabian Gulf, King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam is the primary entryway for cargo headed to the country’s eastern and central regions from all over the world.
It has a direct railway connection with the dry port in Riyadh. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. built the dock to meet the rapidly increasing demands of the national oil industry under the orders of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman.
After further expansions, the port was officially renamed from Dammam Port to King Abdulaziz Port in 1961.
The port has 43 fully equipped berths with mega-ship capabilities, modern cargo handling equipment and general cargo support terminals. Other support terminals include a refrigerated cargo terminal, two cement terminals, a bulk grain terminal, an iron ore terminal, a vessel building berth, and oil and gas terminals.
The announcement comes just over a week after another trade link was added to the Kingdom’s Jubail Commercial Port.
The new shipping service line, India Gulf Service 1, has been added by Hapag-Lloyd, a German international shipping firm.
It will connect the Saudi port to Jebel Ali in the UAE, Karachi in Pakistan, Mundra in India, Sohar in Oman, Shuaiba in Kuwait, and Um Qasr in Iraq.
The new service will be launched weekly starting from Feb. 12 through voyages that include three ships with a total capacity of 2,400 twenty-foot equivalent units each.