Muscat - Port of Salalah was recently ranked among the top global ports based on annual volumes and port productivity, that confirms its position as a world-class trans-shipment hub.
Containerisation International recently issued its annual guide to the world's top 100 container ports of 2012, with Port of Salalah ranked 39th on annual volumes for the third year running.
Among the ports of the Middle East, Salalah maintained its fifth place with container volumes of 3.62mn, almost equal to that of Egypt's Port Said, which handled approximately 3.63mn containers in 2012.
According to the Containerisation International report, Port of Salalah posted a 13.1 per cent growth in container volumes in 2012, reversing an 8.2 per cent fall in 2011, when there was a shift in trans-shipment traffic.
As a port that has historically relied on trans-shipment cargo, Salalah has assembled a 20-year port master plan to develops local Omani energy and commodities production, which would offset vulnerabilities from fluctuations in the global container shipping market.
"Ports are facing increasing competitive pressure and Salalah's growth and development will be measured by our ability to continue driving local investment growth, and by our internal teams in delivering efficiency and consistently good customer service," said Ahmed Akaak, acting CEO at the Port of Salalah, in a press release.
Akaak added, "We are working closely to provide customers at industrial estates with the best logistic solutions to export their products to the rest of the world. These companies can grow only when there are the supply-chain solutions in place to help them deliver higher volumes to expanded markets. We have achieved a lot of success in growing existing customers at the Raysut Industrial Estate and Salalah Free Zone."
In a separate study issued by US-based JOC Group, Port of Salalah was ranked sixth among the global trans-shipment ports and 18th for productivity.
JOC has tracked efficiency in berth movements for the past five years across 600 port terminals in the world.
In the Europe/Middle East/Africa geography, JOC ranked Salalah the third top port and seventh among top container terminals, placing Oman next to UAE and underlining Salalah's regional position among the busiest and most influential ports for trade.
"It is important for all of our employees, customers, government partners and stakeholders to see tangible results and evidence that Port of Salalah is a world-class port that invests in its people, productivity, and especially service," said Akaak, adding, "We are expressly proud of our employees, particularly those operating machinery at the terminals and those who have grown with the port since its inception 15 years ago, and who have gone the extra mile to improve safety, customer service and efficiency."
The JOC study noted that terminal efficiency has become an increasingly important aspect in shipping lines' operations. The study notes that schedule integrity and fuel costs have become much more significant factors in achieving customer satisfaction as well as a healthy bottom line.
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