Gulftainer handles container volume of 2million TEUs at Iraq Container Terminal

Terminal marks milestone in under nine years since start of operations in 2010


Iraq: The Iraq Container Terminal (ICT) at Umm Qasr Port in southern Iraq, operated by Gulftainer, has achieved a major milestone, registering container volume of two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) since Gulftainer started its operations in the region less than nine years ago.

Gulftainer was the first foreign investor to launch a joint venture with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) in Umm Qasr Port, starting operations at the Iraq Project Terminal on Berth 8 in the South Port in August 2010, followed by ICT on Berth 11 in the North Port in 2012.

The company has invested heavily in ICT to develop a 376 m berth and container storage area within the 342,000 sq m terminal that currently has the capacity to handle in excess of 400,000 TEUs per year, allowing for future volume increase. The berth is equipped with two Mitsubishi ship-to-shore gantry cranes, supported by two Gottwald mobile harbour cranes with a 100 t lifting capacity, in addition to container-handling equipment including 18 reach stackers, two empty handlers and 28 terminal tractors. ICT currently employs 250 locals and a support team of 50 expatriates.

Since November 2018, Gulftainer also operates the Iraq South Terminal (IST) on Berth 4 in the South Port that features 230 m of quay and a yard handling capacity of 100,000 TEUs per annum.

Nic Gray, General Manager of Gulftainer’s operations in Iraq, said: “The latest developments at Iraq Container Terminal and Iraq South Terminal in 2018 mark impressive milestones for Gulftainer in Iraq. The company offers reliable services, fast vessel turnarounds, competitive rates, 48-hour customs clearance, dedicated in and out gates, and an on-terminal customs scanner. With its extensive experience in terminal management that dates back to 1976, Gulftainer’s efforts have helped enhance the capacity of these terminals to meet future growth.”

He added: “In 2019, Gulftainer plans to expand its storage space by introducing two new yards and increasing ICT’s annual handling capacity to 650,000 TEUs. In addition, the company will launch a new customer web portal, allowing for container and vessel tracking, generating online proforma invoices and sharing up-to-date terminal information.”

Gulftainer celebrated the latest achievements at an event held in Iraq that drew the participation of Dr Safaa A.J. Alfayyadh, Director General of the Iraqi Port Authority (IPA), port directors, senior officials from customs and borders authorities, and other distinguished guests.

Speaking at the event, Ibrahim Serhan, Middle East Regional Manager at Gulftainer, said: “The success of ICT reflects Gulftainer’s commitment to implementing the latest best practices in port management. We thank IPA and the Iraqi Ministry of Transport for their support that has enabled us to achieve this significant milestone.” 

For his part, Dr Alfayyadh said: “On behalf of His Excellency Abdullah Luaibi, Minister of Transport of Iraq, and IPA, we congratulate Gulftainer on this latest achievement that is attributed to the efficient management and excellent operational capabilities of the company. Gulftainer is a strong partner to IPA, owing to its professionalism and credibility.”

To mark the occasion, Gulftainer presented commemorative trophies to Dr Alfayyadh, directors of ports and customs authorities, and representatives of other entities working in the port.


About Gulftainer
Gulftainer is the world’s largest privately owned independent port operator. Established in Sharjah in 1976, the rapidly expanding ports and logistics company has built a strong global presence.

In the UAE, the company operates three main ports on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority – Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT), Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) and Hamriyah Port. Its flagship terminal, the award-winning KCT, is recognised as one of the most productive container terminals in the world.

In March 2019, Gulftainer introduced the Sharjah Port of Trade (S.P.O.T.) service, a new strategic sea cargo clearance proposition in the UAE. Located in the UAE’s commercial centre, S.P.O.T. significantly raises the bar for service levels in the industry with substantial cost and time savings, enhanced online customs clearance and 24-hour access to major roads. It also offers a state-of-the-art facility for on-site cargo inspection, quality sampling and testing services at the importers’ premises. 

Globally, the Gulftainer Group operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in several countries, including Iraq (Iraq Container Terminal, Iraq Project Terminal, Iraq South Terminal and Umm Qasr Logistics Centre), Pakistan (GTL-MTI) and Lebanon (Tripoli Container Terminal). In Saudi Arabia, Gulftainer is the majority shareholder in Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), which manages and operates the Northern Container Terminal in Jeddah, Jubail Industrial Port and Jubail Commercial Port. The company’s first USA facility, Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Florida, opened in June 2015 following the signing of a 35-year agreement that made Gulftainer the first and only port management company from the Middle East to operate in the country. Gulftainer’s presence in North America expanded in 2018 with the signing of a 50-year concession agreement with the state of Delaware to manage and operate the Port of Wilmington, a deepwater port and marine terminal serving the Eastern Seaboard.

The company aims to expand its global portfolio in the next 10 years to receive more than 10,000 vessel calls and triple its container-handling capacity to 15 million TEUs.

Gulftainer has received multiple accolades in recognition of its quality practices, including the RoSPA Gold Award,acknowledging exceptional levels of occupational health and safety, in 2018, CSR Initiative of the Year and Technology Implementation of the Year at the Logistics Middle East Awards in 2018 and 2017 respectively, and the Port & Terminal Operator Award at the Seatrade Maritime Awards Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa in 2017 and 2016.

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