Sharjah-based Gulftainer has handled the largest container vessel to call at an Iraqi port to date. YM Wealth, operated by Taiwan’s Yang Ming, has a capacity of 5,551 teu and was worked on alongside the Iraq Container Terminal (ICT) facility in Umm Qasr.
Yang Ming has deployed the YM Wealth within the China Gulf Express (CGX) service, now operating on a revised route that includes a call at Umm Qasr, providing a direct connection between the Far East and Iraq. On its maiden call to ICT, the vessel discharged and loaded over 2,500 containers.
Flemming Dalgaard, Gulftainer’s chief executive officer, says: “The arrival of the YM Wealth represents a major milestone for Gulftainer as well as Umm Qasr port. Having witnessed the tremendous potential this market offers, we remain dedicated to enhancing our capabilities in Iraq to attract the world’s leading operators and take on larger capacity vessels.”
Gulftainer expanded its operations to Iraq in 2008, making it the first international company to set up a container terminal at Umm Qasr port. In addition to ICT, the company operates the Iraq Project Terminal (IPT) and the Umm Qasr Logistics Centre (UQLC), a 750,000 sq m facility that offers logistics support to Iraq’s oil and gas projects sector.
Gulftainer marked handling the biggest container vessel so far with a reception attended by Omran Radhi Thani, Director General of the National Ports Authority of Iraq, Osama Ali al-Maliki, Director of the Umm Qasr Customs Authority, and Rafi’e Yosif Abbas, Director General of the Iraqi State Company for Maritime Transport. Representatives of the Basra Governorate, shipping agencies in Iraq and other senior officials were also in attendance.