By Andy Sambidge
Terminal operator says growth is driven in part by robust UAE-East Africa trade route
Gulftainer, the largest privately owned terminal operator in the Middle East, recorded a 14 percent year-on-year growth in container volumes in the first six months of 2014 at its Sharjah Container Terminal.
The operator said in a statement that growth in volume was driven in part by the robust UAE-East Africa trade route, and new projects and developments in Sharjah.
SCT signed more than 20 new consignees and organically grew its market share during the first half of the year, putting it on track to exceed targeted throughput by the end of the year, the statement said.
The strong performance of SCT, Gulftainer's longest running operation, was underlined by a steady growth in import volumes of textiles, electronics, spare parts and tyres, it added.
Peter Richards, managing director of Gulftainer, said: "The positive performance of SCT is led by the improved trade climate, specifically between the UAE and African nations. The port continues to be a popular choice for shipping lines as it offers a flexible and cost-efficient alternative to access the UAE hinterland.
"The terminal has been growing at a fast pace recording a sustained increase in cargo volumes over the last 12 months. SCT is well-positioned to meet the growth in traffic and will continue to maintain its high productivity standards by ensuring our customers have an efficient and quick turnaround of services at the port."
Gulftainer's current portfolio covers four UAE operations in Khorfakkan, Sharjah, Hamriyah and Ruwais, as well as activities at Umm Qasr, in Iraq, Recife in Brazil, Tripoli Port in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia where it manages container terminals in Jeddah and Jubail.
The company has recently signed a 35-year concession with the Canaveral Port Authority in Florida marking Gulftainer's first venture in the United States.