Import volumes of empty containers registered by shipping lines increased by 231% between January and May 2022 compared to the same period last year, rising from 20,985 TEUs to 69,429 TEUs, according to the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani). The import of empty dry boxes plays a major role in strengthening export operations and enabling trade between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.
This rapid growth in empty availability is a direct result of Mawani’s recent initiative, launched in collaboration with container terminal operators, to cut the handling charges for empty containers by 50 per cent for one year. This move has helped in reducing import costs and enabled shipping lines to expand their inventory of empty containers.
This June Saudi port also witnessed very positive increases in key cargo flows. Overall cargo throughput volumes reached 27.1 million tons; a 16.1% increase compared to the 23.4 million tons recorded during June 2021. Highlights included a 55.7% increase in general cargo volumes, to 790,500 tons, while liquid bulk cargo increased by 31.8% to reach 15.5 million tons. Container throughput at the country’s ports rose by 5.5% to 642,300 TEU compared to the 608,800 TEUs in June of last year. The level of transhipment containers was up by four percent, to 244,600 TEU.