Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) has experienced a strong start in 2020, reflecting improved business conditions in Jordan. Over the first two months of the year import container volumes surged by 13% compared with equivalent 2019 figures, while export container volumes were up by 6%.
However ACT CEO, Steven Yoogalingam, has sounded a note of caution, saying, “We have had a strong start but 2020 will not be free of challenges. The corona virus outbreak has prolonged the period of low trading activity well beyond Chinese New Year so we naturally expect lower volumes in March.”
The terminal’s strategy to promote Aqaba as a gateway to Iraq and the wider Levant has delivered a sharp increase in containers moving to and from Iraq, which were up by 367% in 2019 compared to the previous year. This trend has also contributed to the positive results recorded by ACT over the past few months.
ICRC, the global humanitarian agency, providing support and emergency relief to Syrian refugees, and Nile Forwarding, a project cargo expert shipping containers into Iraq, have both made Aqaba their preferred gateway. Jordan has become ICRC’s main logistics hub, and the organisation is currently evaluating the possibility of routing more relief cargo through Aqaba.
ACT has also recently launched a new company website allowing port users to more easily check the status of containers through a track and trace system or check the position of a vessel at berth or expected to arrive.