Container volumes at Sharjah grew in double-digits last year to rise above 400,000 units for the first time, the port operator Gulftainer said yesterday.
The start of new services from United Arab Shipping Companies (UASC) connecting Sharjah with Sohar in Oman, Mundra in India and Karachi in Pakistan, boosted Sharjah Container Terminal’s (SCT) volumes in the last two months of the year.
The 400,000th unit discharged at the SCT came from the Mag Success, a vessel owned by UAE-based Mag Container Lines (MCL).
“The announcement today reflects how Gulftainer and MCL have grown together over the years and, in partnership, managed to reach this target,” said MCL’s head of business development.
“The continuous support, flexibility and excellent operational performance MCL receives from Gulftainer, both operationally and logistically, has contributed greatly to this achievement.”
Gulftainer, part of the Crescent Enterprises group, is the second-largest ports operator in the UAE, behind Dubai's DP World. The company does not disclose financial data.
The Sharjah-based company also operates ports facilities in Khorfakkan, Hamriyah and Ruwais, and has facilities abroad in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Brazil.
Gulftainer was granted approval in September for a 35-year concession to manage Port Canaveral’s container and cargo terminal in Florida, which would mark its first expansion into the United States.
Objections were raised to the deal in July by the Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, who wrote to the US treasury secretary Jack Lew, raising security concerns over a Middle Eastern company operating a US cargo terminal.
However, the Treasury department ruled in September that the concession agreement did not warrant further review on national security grounds. Gulftainer’s Florida acquisition is part of larger plans at the company to operate 35 shipping terminals by 2020 to exploit growing world trade.
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