With global container shipping markets facing challenges of container shortage and higher freight rates, Salalah Port Services Company (SPSC) has said that the outlook for container shipping markets remains strong from the second quarter of 2021.
SPSC, which manages and operates Port of Salalah, said that the global transportation is facing a new challenge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes a shortage of containers, higher freight rates, space availability for shippers, higher charter rates and availability of vessels for liner operators.
‘This has resulted in a longer turnaround of ships and containers for the much-required demand in Asian exports, particularly originating from China,’ SPSC said in its first quarter report submitted to the Muscat Stock Exchange.
‘The outlook for the container shipping markets remains strong from the second quarter of 2021, a continuation of the trends from the fourth quarter of 2020 in terms of demand. A new analysis of container volume shows that the market recouped much of its early losses and with few blanked sailings projected for 2021 will continue its momentum,’ the company said.
According to SPSC, Port of Salalah’s container terminal handled 1.095mn TEUs (twenty feet equivalent units) during the first quarter of this year compared to 1.167mn TEUs in the same period of 2020, a decrease of 6 per cent.
‘Container throughput for the first quarter of 2021 was lower than the same period of last year, mainly because the port saw exceptionally strong volumes in the first quarter of 2020. The company has retained all major customers and Maersk, our major business partner has maintained consistent volumes,’ Salalah Port Services Company said.
Port of Salalah’s general cargo terminal handled 4.339mn tonnes of general cargo during the first quarter of 2021 against 4.350mn tonnes in the same period of 2020.
‘The positive volume development of general cargo seen in the last quarter of 2020 continued in the first quarter of 2021 with volumes on par with the first quarter of last year.
The major commodities handled are limestone, gypsum, methanol and cement, which are exported from Salalah to nearby markets, and continue to drive the general cargo business,’ SPSC said.
The consolidated net profit of Salalah Port Services Company dropped to RO1.63mn in the first quarter of 2021 from RO10.23mn net profit in the corresponding period of last year.
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