Marhaba Express, a joint venture between Gold Star Line and Sarjak Container Lines, recently commenced a breakbulk liner shipping service connecting the West Coast of India and the Arabian Gulf. Ports of call include Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Duqm, Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi, Shuaiba, Umm Qasr, Dammam and Sohar.
The launch of this service is particularly important for the emerging Omani Port of Duqm, which is currently under development. This is the first liner service attracted by the port and will provide a regular connection not just with the Indian subcontinent, but with other major ports inside of the Gulf.
During the maiden call of Marabha Express at Duqm cargoes discharged included around 500 tonnes of steel pipes, while heavy lift project cargo, such as low-pressure separators for a project in Kuwait, was loaded onboard. Each separator weighed around 160 tonnes. Two further consignments for this project, this time two units weighing 332 tonnes, are expected to be loaded when the service calls again at Duqm later this month.
A spokesperson for the Port of Duqm said: “In the past we have already proven our capability to efficiently undertake the discharge of heavy lift project cargo. However, this is the first time that PDC has demonstrated its ability to efficiently perform a loading operation of a massive heavy lift cargo.”