Watch Now

Gulftainer ‘on course for major growth’

Port operator reports US bulk cargo volumes contributed to global gains

Acme-Hardesty cargo is offloaded from the M/V Porthos at the Port of Wilmington earlier this month. (Photo: GT USA Wilmington)

Gulftainer reported Wednesday its bulk cargo volumes in the United States are up 57% year over year.

Gulftainer is a privately owned port management and logistics company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. It operates U.S. terminals in Wilmington, Delaware, and Port Canaveral, Florida.

Gulftainer cited the Port of Wilmington terminal, as well as one in Khor Fakkan, UAE, as examples of where significant growth had occurred over the past year. 

“Successfully leveraging its multiple ports across the Middle East, the award-winning company has increased its bulk cargo volumes in the UAE by a staggering 290% year on year and by demonstrating its highly productive operational abilities has increased its bulk cargo volumes by 57% in the USA,” Gulftainer said in Wednesday’s report.   

In September 2018, Gulftainer signed a 50-year agreement with the state of Delaware to manage operations at the Port of Wilmington and said it would invest up to $600 million to upgrade and expand the terminal. 

Port Canaveral signed a 35-year deal with Gulftainer to operate its container and multipurpose cargo terminal in June 2014. 

“It’s a fact that very few companies have come out of the last few years unscathed, but amid those trials and tribulations, we identified and relentlessly pursued specific prospects for growth,” Gulftainer CEO Peter Richards said. “We underwent a management restructure, which enabled us to seize the opportunity and rebound the business ahead of schedule. This had the result of turning the poorly performing past two years into a significantly positive first half of 2022. Gulftainer is now back where it should be and on course for major growth.” 

Richards said all Gulftainer port operations have seen increases in productivity and noted the “UAE and the USA throughput levels have increased by 12% since last year in ship-to-shore throughput, far surpassing the internationally recognized industry levels.” 

Earlier this month, GT USA Wilmington handled its first shipment of glycerin transported via breakbulk vessel for Acme-Hardesty Co. The glycerin will be used in the manufacturing of such goods as hand sanitizers, cosmetics and cleaning products. 

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-headquartered Acme-Hardesty is a large distributor of renewable palm-based glycerin as well as castor oils and derivatives, fatty acids and fatty alcohols.  

GT USA Wilmington said Acme-Hardesty previously received glycerin in containers but transitioned to receiving imports utilizing breakbulk vessels “due to continued challenges caused by the global shortage of containers.” 

The cargo vessel M/V Porthos delivered the first bulk shipment of glycerin from Malaysia to the Port of Wilmington. The cargo was offloaded over the course of two days, according to GT USA Wilmington. 

“We have collaborated with our partners to establish a new stream of freight for Acme-Hardesty imports utilizing breakbulk vessels,” said Matt Howle, director of supply chain for Acme-Hardesty, in a news release. “These open-hull ships provide Acme-Hardesty the ability to bring in large shipments of our most important products without the impact of the global container restraints.” 

Gulftainer said Wednesday it also has launched Project Blue Box, described as “a containerized electric power supply solution designed and built in-house” for its UAE ports. 

It said the power supply solution will support up to 60 refrigerated containers and can help mitigate a terminal’s reliance on diesel-consuming generators during peak periods as well as increase overall terminal capacity and provide space for municipal food inspectors. 

Gulftainer said it will launch Project Blue Box at its U.S. terminals next year. 

Gulftainer signs deal to operate Delaware port

Port Canaveral first North American call for Aframax tanker

Trailer Bridge, Jaxport sign $62M terminal lease agreement

Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.