Muscat – Despite a slowdown in global trade and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, Sohar Port and Freezone recorded solid growth during the first nine months of 2021 and is on course to finish the year strong.
Total volumes of goods and commodities handled at Sohar Port grew by overall 6.1 per cent during the January–September period of 2021 against the same period of 2020, while ship-to-ship cargo volumes surged by 59 per cent during the same period.
Volumes of liquid bulk handled at Sohar Port rose by 7 per cent, while handling of dry bulk cargo increased by 4.3 per cent. Break bulk cargo volumes remained almost same as in the previous year.
However, Sohar Port’s container volumes decreased by 3.9 per cent in the first nine months of this year on a year-on-year basis.
In a press statement, Mark Geilenkirchen, chief executive officer of Sohar Port and Freezone said, “Given the prevailing global circumstances outside of our influence, the results of the last nine months have been extremely gratifying and further reaffirm the progress we are making to position ourselves as a major global logistics hub.”
He noted that Sohar Port and Freezone has remained open at full capacity throughout the pandemic, operating safely and efficiently to serve the industrial and economic sectors. “We are confident that by the end of 2021, we will have achieved one of our most successful years yet.”
Freezone land occupancy up 16%
Sohar Freezone also reported a strong performance for the first nine months of this year as land occupancy increased by 16 per cent and throughput grew by 14 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. The freezone recorded an 8 per cent growth in export volumes.
Omar Mahmood al Mahrizi, deputy CEO of Sohar Port and CEO of Sohar Freezone, said, “Sohar Port and Freezone is integral to the supply and exchange of goods to serve clients within the Freezone, across the country and further afield, as well as a gateway to the region for a growing roster of overseas companies and local SMEs.”
Mahrizi noted that more than 70 per cent of all goods entering Oman pass through Sohar Port and Freezone, while the port accounts for over 40 per cent of exported goods.
“We are grateful to the entire Sohar Port and Freezone team for their hard work and commitment throughout the year to date. We anticipate a strong end to the year as the manufacturing of consumer goods, food and industrial supplies ramps up for a busy 2022,” he added.
Sohar Port and Freezone so far has attracted close to US$30bn in total investments as part of a long-term commitment to developing the national economy in line with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040.