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Salalah Port ranks as second most efficient container port in the world

5 Jun 2024

Salalah – The Port of Salalah retained its position as the second most efficient container port in the world, according to the 2023 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI). Additionally, Salalah Port claimed the top spot in the West Central and South Asia region.

The CPPI, developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, is based on an extensive dataset from 405 ports worldwide, the largest to date. This dataset comprises over 182,000 vessel calls, 238.2mn moves, and approximately 381mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the full calendar year of 2023.

Port performance is measured by the efficiency of vessel turnaround time, known as ‘Total Port Hours’ – the total duration from when a ship reaches the port limits, pilot station, or anchorage zone until it departs the berth after completing its cargo exchange.

According to the report, the Port of Salalah, with 1,146 vessel calls, achieved 164.72 index points, ranking second only to Yangshan in China, which had 3,509 vessel calls and an index score of 177.9.

Amidst the changes in global rankings caused by regional disruptions, China’s Yangshan Port retained its first-place position, while the Port of Salalah secured its second-place ranking. The Port of Cartagena in Colombia moved up to third place, Tanger-Mediterranean in Morocco held fourth, and Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas Port rounded out the top five.

Salalah Port’s strategic location, expanding connectivity, and world-class operations provide its customers with a significant competitive edge in the region. As a vital transshipment hub, Salalah also plays a crucial role in boosting the local economy in Dhofar by offering exceptional connectivity for importers and exporters to trade globally.

The port’s high efficiency enhances local business confidence and attracts investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Port of Salalah is currently carrying out a $300mn container terminal upgrade and expansion project. Next week, the port will receive the final four out of ten new ZPMC ship-to-shore cranes. The first cranes, with a 75-meter/26-container outreach, arrived at the start of 2024 and are currently being commissioned and tested to start operations.

Once the project is completed in the first quarter of 2025, annual capacity at the terminal will increase from 5mn to 6mn TEUs. The extra capacity will allow it to efficiently serve as a key hub for the Gemini Cooperation – a long-term operational collaboration between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, which will start in February 2025, with additional capacity available for other shipping lines.

“Retaining this title for the third consecutive year reaffirms our strong commitment to continuous performance improvement, even during challenging times,” said Keld Christensen, CEO of the Port of Salalah.

Scott Selman, Chief Operating Officer of Salalah Port, said, “I am pleased to see the Port of Salalah retaining our position despite the challenges to global container trade that have negatively impacted vessel schedules. The year 2023 has been particularly challenging operationally due to the ongoing Container Terminal upgrade construction.”

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