Qatar's maritime sector saw brisk growth in general cargo, livestock, vehicles (RORO) and building materials movement through Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports during the first eight months of this year, according to official data.

The positive momentum in the maritime sector is expected to continue in the light of 12-month optimistic outlook, especially for the country’s non-energy private sector, as indicated by the latest purchasing managers’ index of the Qatar Financial Centre.

The general cargo through three ports amounted to 1.3mn tonnes during January-August this year, showing a robust 27.26% expansion on an annualised basis. So far this year, the cargo handling was seen the highest in March, when it was 297,009 tonnes and the lowest in June at 21,688 tonnes.

Hamad Port features an intermodal transport network that offers direct and indirect shipping services to more than 100 destinations, facilitating efficient transportation and logistics services locally and abroad.

Hamad Port – whose multi-use terminal is designed to serve the supply chains for the RORO (vehicles), grains and livestock – was seen handling 102,263 freight tonnes (F/T) of bulk and 53,148 F/T of breakbulk in August alone this year.

The three ports had handled 318,450 livestock heads during the first eight months of this year, showing a 163.58% surge year-on-year. The heaviest movement of livestock through three ports was reported in April when it was 70,182 units and the lowest in July at 5,468 units.

The building materials traffic through the three ports amounted to 356,014 tonnes in the review period, which shot up 9.49% on a yearly basis. In May 2023, as much as 62,456 tonnes of building materials were handled by three ports.

The three ports handled as many as 54,081 vehicles (RORO) in January-August 2023, registering a 1.1% increase on an annualised basis. April saw the maximum number of RORO movements at 8,025 units.

However, the container handling through the three ports stood at 853,807 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) during January-August this year, declining 8.99% year-on-year. The containers handled was seen the maximum in August at 119,936 TEUs and the minimum in May at 95,317 TEUs.

The container terminals have been designed to address the increasing trade volume, enhancing ease of doing business as well as supporting the achievement of economic diversification, which is one of the most important goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 1,791 in January-August 2023, which saw a 5.74% decline compared to the previous year period. Seven of the eight months saw Qatar ports receive more than 200 ships.

Al Ruwais Port plays a pivotal role in meeting the needs of the domestic market along with its role in stimulating regional trade exchange.



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