Oman’s Salalah port continues to see significant growth as key lines consolidate operations around the hub. Over the first six months of 2020, the Port of Salalah handled 2.2 million teu, up from 1.94 million teu during the same period in 2019, an increase of 13%. Revenues from the container terminal also grew by 3% compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
The port’s general cargo terminal handled 7.3 million tons of cargo over the first six months of the year. This was 11% down, mainly due to lower gypsum and limestone exports as a result of lower demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenues generated by the general cargo terminal dropped by 22% as a result.
The Port of Salalah secured three additional shipping line calls during the second quarter of the year, increasing its regional connectivity. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has added a call to Salalah on its Himalaya Express, which provides an additional direct connection to North Europe, while the JJS service of Global Feeder Shipping has enhanced operations to Djibouti, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Global Resources and Shipping, a niche operator, has also commenced a regular service into Yemen and plans to expand to other ports which traditional shipping lines cannot serve.
Mark Hardiman, the CEO of Port of Salalah commented, “The new situation due to Covid-19 provides opportunities to enhance Salalah’s overall value proposition to both the shipping lines and supply chain providers. We are working closely with our partners to not only provide new services via Salalah but also develop innovative solutions which adds to the flexibility of the port and resilience of the supply chain during this time of global changes.”
The Port anticipates a “relatively positive” second half of the year for container traffic. The general cargo market will however continue to face challenges, although a slow recovery in volumes is forecast.