Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu port recently worked the Jin Tai Feng, a bulk carrier loaded with more than 82,000 tons of corn. At 235 m in length, and with a draft of 13.5m, it is the largest ship the port has ever received and follows significant investment in the port to cater for bigger vessels.
Yanbu is one of the fastest growing ports in Saudi Arabia at the present time. Over the first 10 months of 2018, Yanbu Commercial Port handled a total of 3.33 million tons of cargo, up from 2.3 million tons in the same period of 2017. This represents a rise of around 45%. Over 3.1 million tons of the cargo handled at Yanbu up to the end of October this year was dry bulk, including sugar, iron ore, coal, cement, urea and sulphates.
Also performing well is Jubail Commercial Port on Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Coast. The port handled a total of 11.89 million tons in the first 10 months of this year, compared with 9.86 million tons over the equivalent period in 2017, an increase of more than 20%. As well as bulk cargo traffic, Jubail’s container business has grown significantly, achieving a throughput of over 600,000 teu in the first 10 months of 2018, up from 550,000 teu in the same months of last year.
By contrast, the Kingdom’s leading multi-purpose gateway port, Jeddah, has seen total cargo flows decline this year. The Red Sea port handled 44.65 million tons in January to October, down from 45.8 million tons in the same months of 2017. Its container throughput dropped to 3.35 million teu, from 3.46 million teu, although transshipment activity was higher, at 1.67 million teu, from 1.59 million teu.
The total volume of cargo handled at all Saudi ports during October this year was 23.29 million tons, an increase of 4.51% compared to the same period of 2017. Container traffic remains fairly static with a combined throughput of 549,000 teu, an increase of 1%.