According to officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) maritime and ports industries, 2014 has generally been perceived as a good year. This is particularly reassuring in an industry that still faces many challenges.
One company that has had an exciting 2014 is DP World. The port and terminal operator has experienced a significant increase in operations, resulting from their much-talked about Terminal 3 as well as their acquisition of Economic Zones for $2.6 billion.
The key highlight in the year at our flagship Jebel Ali Port was Terminal 3 becoming operational, adding 2 million-teu capacity. A further 2 million is expected to come on line in the second half of 2015, taking total capacity there to 19 million-teu. This is part of our commitment to invest to meet future capacity demands in Dubai.- Chairman of DP World
In Oman, a steady stream of announcements and highlights from big projects has allowed the SOHAR Port and Freezone to enjoy a very productive year, as well.
We’ve had the arrival of the first-ever 10,000-teu ship, a US$130 million project to expand the container terminal, the transfer of commercial traffic from Muscat and a US$60 million deal to bring the largest rare earth metals plant outside of China to SOHAR. However, the finalisation of plans to build an agricultural terminal and cluster at SOHAR is perhaps the most significant. This is because it is the first conscious move away from the original clusters established when the port was founded, and will generate significant new revenue streams.- Executive Commercial Manager at SOHAR
Aside from port and terminal successes, the most notable trend in the maritime industry in the region, has been the decrease in the amount that ship owners are spending on vessel maintenance.