Original news was published 01 February, 2018
Sohar Port & Free Zone (SPFZ), Oman, set new cargo-handling records in 2017 as dry bulk volumes rose by 25% to 29.3Mt and container traffic jumped 36% to more than 838,000 TEU.
Overall, the port’s tonnage increased by 26% to just over 58Mt. A strong rise (17%) was also registered in the number of vessels calling at the port, despite consolidation in the shipping industry and ocean carriers’ decisions to employ larger tonnage.
“We are pleased to report another year of solid growth,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SPFZ. “In 2017, we focused strongly on the food sector and were able to attract significant public and private sector investments to the cluster. Our focus in this field enabled us to capture a larger slice of the food products cargo trade in the region.”
The port continues to expand its foot print with the Sohar Port South expansion scheme set to add several new deep-water berths and 200ha (+10%) of land.
The CEO said that the free zone attracted more tenants in 2017 and made an important contribution to the port’s traffic. A number of initiatives are planned this year to improve operations and raise efficiency levels.
He elaborated: “We are promoting cargo consolidation for smaller players in the freezone, many of whom currently transport their cargo overland to other port destinations in the region. Providing more practical options for clients to consolidate their cargo reduces unnecessary handling and delays and helps to increase cargo volumes.”