Salalah Port Services witnessed a slight decrease in container volumes in the first half of 2021, handling 2.142 million TEU compared with 2.199 million in the corresponding period of 2020, a dip of around 3%.
However, Salalah’s General Cargo Terminal (GCT) handled 8.798 million tons during the first half of the year, a jump of 20% compared to the first half of 2020. Key commodities handled at the terminal include limestone, gypsum, methanol and cement, which are exported to local markets.
According to Braik Musallam Al Amir, Chairman of Salalah Port Services, “The unpredictability of how countries impose restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 continues to impact the logistics industry. Ports in southern China had a period of shut down recently which disrupted global shipping networks as well as aggravating already challenging equipment shortages. The cascade effect led shipping lines to cancel sailings, omit port calls and rearrange networks.” He said he expected the ‘challenging’ situation for the container side of the business would last well into the second half of 2021.
By contrast, bulk cargo demand is forecast to stay strong benefitting the GCT. However, the potential for shutdowns of key markets for the short or medium term remains significant, he added.