Sharjah ports’ box traffic up 15% in 2003
The Sharjah Ports Authority-owned container terminals at Sharjah and Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates saw their combined annual traffic grow 15 percent in 2003, to 1.6 million TEUs. Both terminals are managed by Gulftainer Co. Ltd.
The Khor Fakkan container terminal had a throughput of 1.45 million TEUs, up 14 percent, and the Sharjah box terminal handled a volume of 151,636 TEUs, an increase of 20 percent.
Gulftainer said Khor Fakkan’s growth was due to increased carryings by regular customer shipping lines plus a large number of ad hoc calls by several lines. It said Sharjah benefited from several new direct and feeder services attracted by the growing Sharjah market and its trading links to regional centers.
“Although it is true world trade is buoyant at the moment, our figures have risen steadily through lean times as well,” said Keith Nuttall, Gulftainer’s commercial manager.
There are plans to build another 400-meter-long deep-water berth at Khor Fakkan, with four more “super post-Panamax” gantry cranes, Gulftainer said. An inland container depot for 18,000 TEUs has just been opened next to Sharjah’s industrial zone.