2023 Port changes in Saudi Arabia

2023 Port changes in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s ports are on the rise

2023 Port changes in Saudi Arabia 

Investments in port facilities and new liner services have contributed to solid growth in seaport throughput in 2022. The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) reported positive year-on-year growth in container throughput, container volume, transshipment and passenger throughput in 2022, with all measures expected to show an upward trend in 2023-24.


The development of the maritime and logistics industry is an important pillar of Saudi Arabia’s transport strategy in its 2030 development plan. The kingdom continues to invest heavily in the sector, with several large-scale projects to upgrade existing ports and terminals – developing new ports and introducing new trade routes – recently completed, ongoing or in the planning stages.


In late 2022, Mawani signed an agreement with Danish shipping company Maersk to build an integrated logistics park at Jeddah Islamic Port (JIP); And Dubai-based logistics company DP World is assisting in the expansion and modernisation of JIP South Container Terminal, which will increase the terminal’s container handling capacity from 2.4 million TEUs to 4 million TEUs by 2024. Saudi Arabia is targeting an annual container handling capacity of more than 40 million TEUs by 2030.


The progress to date is reflected in Saudi Arabia’s steadily rising score in the quarterly Liner Transport Connectivity Index (LSCI) developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Since the first quarter of 2019, the country has closed its connectivity gap with the UAE, the best performing Gulf Arab country in the LSCI. The LSCI score is made up of five components: the total number of shipping companies serving a country; The largest ship size (in TEUs) calling in that country; The number of services connecting a country with its counterpart; The number of ships deployed by a country; And the total capacity of ships in TEUs.


Annual container throughput at Saudi ports rose more than 9 percent


Annual container throughput at Saudi ports rose more than 9 percent 

Annual container throughput at Saudi ports rose 9 percent to 11,380,302 units in 2023, a sign of the kingdom’s success in developing its maritime industry.The figure surpasses the total of 10,439,620 containers in 2022, according to the Saudi Press Agency.


At the same time, container throughput at facilities managed by the Saudi Ports Authority, also known as Mawani, saw an annual growth of 12.07 percent in 2023, totaling 8,443,746 containers, compared with 7,534,307 in 2022. The authority also saw an 8.96 percent year-on-year increase in cruise ship containers to 3,237,490 by 2023.


Export containers at Saudi ports rose 13.88 percent to 2,744,332, compared with 2,409,767 in 2022. In addition, import containers increased by 10.51 percent to 2,737,910 compared to 2,477,555 in 2022. Regionally, cruise ship containers grew by 6.23 per cent to 5,896,060 in 2023.


The positive growth in container handling volumes reflects the success achieved by the Kingdom’s leadership in developing the maritime sector and logistics services to improve the operational efficiency of Saudi ports.


It is also in line with the goal of the national Transport and logistics Services strategy to establish Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub and a link across three continents.


In addition, the number of vehicles imported through the port of Mawanee increased by 40.54%, from 1,767,016 in 2022 to 2,483,331 in 2023.


The number of inbound and outbound passengers also increased by 41.30 per cent to 1,008,856 in 2022.Ship takeoffs and landings increased by 7.16 percent, with a total of 12,130 ships in 2023, compared with 11,320 in 2022.


To strengthen the food security system and meet local market demand, a total of 8,124,842 livestock were unloaded at ports managed by Mawani in 2023, up 110.46 per cent from 2022.


However, throughput decreased by 5.06 percent to 300,542,872 tonnes compared to 316,570,515 tonnes in the previous year.


General cargo throughput was 7,624,913 tonnes, solid bulk 49,060,740 tonnes and liquid bulk 152,577,817 tonnes.


The Saudi Ports Authority set a monthly throughput record in May 2023, with an 18.80 percent increase in cargo volume.


Jeddah Islamic Port also set a new high of 511,348 containers in October last year.King Dammam Abdulaziz Port set a new record of 211,202 containers handled in a single month in July 2023.

For more information about ports in Saudi Arabia please click here.

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