82.4% surge in Abu Dhabi Ports' container volume in the first half of 2019

H.E Falah Al Ahbabi: Our performance reflects the strength of our economy and supports the vision of our leadership

  
  • Total cargo handled across all Abu Dhabi Ports is up 10%
  • Container volume at Khalifa Port increases 82.4% year-on-year
  • Cruise passengers top 320,000 – a rise of more than a third
  • Cruise ship visits jump by 38%
  • KIZAD now home to more than 500 companies

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Ports, one of the UAE’s leading proponents of regional trade and investment, today revealed robust operational performance with significant volume growth in the first half of 2019. The company, which operates ports and terminals across the UAE, as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), said its success was driven in part by concession agreements signed with leading maritime firms, such as Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and COSCO SHIPPING Ports (CSP).

The agreements have seen an increase in the number of vessels taking advantage of Khalifa Port’s strategic location and world-class facilities, as well as significant further investment in state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure.

Container volume at Khalifa Port rose from 620,974 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) in H1 2018 to 1,135,021 TEU in H1 2019 – an increase of 82.4%. This growth was fuelled predominantly through the MSC concession agreement, which was signed last year. Abu Dhabi Ports anticipates further growth thanks to completion of the CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal, which was built in partnership with COSCO SHIPPING Ports and which began trial operations in Q2 2019 - ahead of the start of full commercial operations in Q4 2019.

Both agreements are part of Abu Dhabi Ports’ five-year strategy to boost the UAE’s trade and investment flows, and drive the diversification of the UAE economy. As a result, Abu Dhabi Ports will be expanding the capacity of Khalifa Port to 9.1 million by 2024. The port is capable of handling the world’s largest vessels with two 21,000 TEU mega-vessels, the COSCO SHIPPING SOLAR and PISCES, having already called at CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal earlier this year.

H.E. Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Despite a challenging international environment for the trade and logistics sectors in recent years, our industry continues to grow from strength to strength in the UAE. I am delighted that Abu Dhabi Ports is playing a key role in ensuring that our nation is at the heart of trade, industry and logistics in the Middle East.

“Our strategy to collaborate with some of the world’s top industry players is proving to be a huge success and is a reflection of the vision of the UAE’s leadership, whose support and guidance continue to enhance our success.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Our half-year figures illustrate the outstanding growth we are witnessing in our business, from containers to cruise ships. With the commencement of commercial operations at CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal and the rejuvenation of Port of Fujairah on track through our joint venture with Fujairah Terminals, we expect our strong growth to continue. Our success is a testimony to the fact that more and more firms are realising the opportunities that Abu Dhabi offers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as along China’s Belt and Road maritime route.”

In addition to the increase in container volume, Abu Dhabi Ports also witnessed a significant increase in the total volume of cargo handled across its ports, which also include Fujairah Terminals, Zayed Port and Mussafah Port. Total cargo increased to just under 9.7 million tonnes in the first half of 2019, a rise of 10% compared to the same period in 2018.

In June, the first fully-laden Capesize vessel to ever call at a GCC port arrived at Khalifa Port after Abu Dhabi Ports modified the approach channels to accommodate Capesize vessels. The channels have been deepened from 16.5 metres to 18.5 metres draft and widened from 250 metres to 280 metres.

Meanwhile, KIZAD continues to attract more investment, with agreements signed with DHL Global Forwarding and Gulf Compound Blending Ind. Ltd in H1 2019, while work was also started on the AED 2.2 billion Roadbot Tyre Project. Once completed, the 275,000 square metre facility will have a production capacity of 10 million Passenger Car Radial (PCR) tyres and 1 million truck and bus radials by 2022. To date, Abu Dhabi Ports has attracted more than 500 companies to KIZAD and more than AED 65 billion in investment across multiple sectors, including metals, polymers, oil and gas, automotive, food, energy, and logistics.

Abu Dhabi Ports attributed the slight drop in Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) figures, from 78,163 units in H1 2018 to 73,590 unit this year, to a drop in new car sales.

However, Abu Dhabi Ports saw a significant increase in cruise passengers in the first half of the year, with the total number increasing from 237,169 in H1 2018 to 321,277 for the same period this year - an increase of 35%. This was reflected in the number of cruise vessels calling at either Zayed Port, Fujairah Terminals or Sir Bani Yas Cruise Terminal, with total calls increasing from 93 to 129 – an increase of 38%. Fujairah’s cruise passenger numbers almost tripled from 5,931 to 14,441. Abu Dhabi Ports attributed the significant rise in passenger numbers due to investment in cruise facilities at the three terminals, as well as strategic partnerships with organisations such as Etihad Airways, which serve to improve the cruise passenger experience and render Abu Dhabi a destination of choice within the region.

-Ends- 

To watch the major highlights of the operational results of Abu Dhabi Ports during the first half of 2019, please click the following link http://j.mp/2krLmpu  

About Abu Dhabi Ports 

Established in 2006, Abu Dhabi Ports is the master developer, operator and manager of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, in addition to the Port of Fujairah, as well as the trade and logistics hub, the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). Located within KIZAD is the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone, the largest zone of its type in the Middle East region, which attracts direct investments to over 100 km2 of free zone opportunities.

Inaugurated on Dec 12, 2012 by President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Khalifa Port is the flagship port of Abu Dhabi Ports and is considered to be the first semi-automated container port in the region. Abu Dhabi Ports also owns 50% of Abu Dhabi Terminals, which operates and manages Khalifa Port Container Terminal with a full suite of logistics solutions to benefit trade partners and shipping lines. In addition, the recent deal Abu Dhabi Ports signed with COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited, which commenced operations in 2019, will raise the annual capacity to 6 million TEU in both container terminals.

Abu Dhabi Ports’ subsidiaries include: Abu Dhabi Marine Services “SAFEEN”, which provides a comprehensive range of marine, navigational and ancillary quayside services as well as VTS Services and fleet maintenance in a safe, secure and efficient manner; Maqta Gateway, developer and operator of the first port community in the emirate; and, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, the first permanent cruise terminal in the region. To meet the increasing demand of cruise liners and passengers, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach was developed, offerings cruise ship passengers a new beach destination with unmatched tourism experiences. Additionally, Abu Dhabi Ports also manages the Maritime Training Centre at Musaffah Port.

In 2019, Abu Dhabi Ports became the first organisation in the Middle East to receive Investor in People (IIP) Platinum Accreditation, an international standard for people management. It also received the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame Award for Executing Strategy, which recognises organisations whose well-designed strategies and sustained excellence in execution have yielded industry-leading performance. 

For Further Information please contact: media@adports.ae 

© Press Release 2019

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