Last year the port of Salalah in Oman handled a total container throughput of 4.504 million TEU, down slightly from 4.512 million TEU in 2021. However, the company retained all its major customers and the biggest of these, Maersk, remained consistent in its contribution to volumes during the year.
More positively, the Port of Salalah’s General Cargo Terminal handled 18.395 million tons during 2022, compared to 16.895 million tons during 2021, a growth rate of 9%. This was mainly due to higher demand in export markets for gypsum and limestone.
In terms of the container sector, transhipment volumes, which make up the majority of activity at Salalah, continues to remain negatively impacted by a lack of reliability in the network schedules of carriers, the port reports. Moreover, Salalah says it expects lower transhipment volumes over the coming year due to a container terminal upgrade project planned for 2023-24. However, the outlook for import and export container flows looks more positive and is expected to show growth in 2023, it adds.
In the dry bulk segment, the softening of freight rates in the global container trade has eased the pressure on the availability of dry bulk geared vessels and the corresponding impact on freight rates is proving more favourable to exporters. The company believes this should help facilitate the further growth of limestone and gypsum exports from Oman in the first quarter of 2023 and throughout the year ahead.