RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority, also known as Mawani, has linked the Dammam-based King Abdulaziz Port to the Indian Subcontinent Mediterranean Express service, connecting the Kingdom to the Indian subcontinent.
The IMX service will be managed by a maritime consortium that includes Milaha, a Qatar-based maritime and logistics company; X-Press Feeders, the largest independent common carrier in the world; and Unifeeder, the largest feeder and short-sea network in Europe.
Saudi Arabia’s newly introduced service “is set to broaden the Kingdom’s scope of trade as well as its maritime connectivity with the rest of the world,” stated Mawani.
This aligns with the objectives of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a global logistics center and a connecting hub for the three continents.
In addition to King Abdulaziz Port, the IMX route will call at the ports of Jebel Ali and Khalifa in the UAE, Nhava Sheva, Hazira and Mundra in India as well as Hamad in Qatar.
The new service will offer voyages through three ships with a total capacity of 3,500 twenty-foot equivalent units each.
In January this year, Mawani announced the approval of five new shipping services which will help link the Kingdom with as many as 43 international ports.
The new services are aimed to support commercial traffic, strengthen the national imports and exports system as well as provide pioneering alternatives for importers, exporters, and shipping agents.
In addition, Mawani also introduced two shipping services earlier this month to open trade between Saudi Arabia and East Africa, to be operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co.
The transport lanes will see commerce along East Africa to the Red Sea and the Red Sea to Jeddah Islamic Port routes.
The direct weekly East Africa to Red Sea service links the ports of Jeddah Islamic and King Abdullah with the port of Djibouti with a transit time of only two days.
It also connects the Kenyan port of Mombasa with a transit time of nine days, in addition to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam with a transit time of 12 days.
As for the Red Sea shipping service, it connects Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdullah Port directly to Port Sudan with a transit time of one day, twice a month.