Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) has achieved impressive results for the first half of this year. The total volume of cargo handled was up by 10 % compared with the same period in 2018, while container throughput at Khalifa Port surged by more than 82%. There was also an impressive 38% increase in the number of cruise ship calls, with passenger numbers up by over 35%.
The success in the container shipping sector has been driven in part by concession agreements signed with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP). Container throughput rose to over 1.14 million TEU, compared with around 621,000 TEU the year before. To meet this fast growing demand ASP is increasing the capacity of Khalifa Port to 9.1 million TEU annually by 2024.
ADP’s Chief Executive, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, commented: “With the commencement of commercial operations at CSP Abu Dhabi Container Terminal and the rejuvenation of the Port of Fujairah, we expect our strong growth to continue. Our success is a testimony to the fact that more and more firms are realising the opportunities that Abu Dhabi offers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as along China’s Belt and Road maritime route.”
In addition to the increase in container volume, Abu Dhabi Ports also witnessed a significant growth in the total volume of cargo handled across its ports, which also include Fujairah Terminals, Zayed Port and Mussafah Port. There was an increase in most cargo categories. One exception was a slight drop in ro-ro cargo movements, from 78,163 units in the first half of 2018 to 73,590 units in the equivalent months of this year, largely as a result of a fall in new car sales.
In the cruise sector ADP saw passenger number rise from 237,169 in the first six months of 2018 to 321,277 for the same period this year. This was reflected in the number of cruise vessels calling at either Zayed Port, Fujairah Terminals or Sir Bani Yas Cruise Terminal, with total calls increasing from 93 to 129. ADP attributes the significant rise in passenger numbers to investment in cruise facilities at the three terminals, as well as strategic partnerships with organisations such as Etihad Airways.