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Rapid Port Growth and Expansion

PTI Edition 102 • Digital Only

There is a never-ending ambition across the container shipping industry – driven by necessity – to handle greater amounts of cargo and this has not been dampened by the impact the global COVID-19 pandemic. There is a demand throughout the ports and terminals industry to optimise operations, prepare for the call of larger vessels and increase TEU throughput. All of this encourages investment and expansion for ports.

Through this edition of the Journal we explore what some of the key expansion initiatives are. We all know the likes of the Port of Singapore, Rotterdam,
Shanghai and Jebel Ali are some of the largest port in the world, with many labeling them the industry’s mega-ports.

Beyond these locations there are plenty of ambitious expansions ongoing. In Saudi Arabia at the King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam there are plans to create a new mega container hub. This falls in line with the Kingdom’s wider Vision 2030 government initiative which looks to move the Saudi economy away from its reliance on oil.

The project is an example of substantial growth with the capacity in TEU expected to increase by 120%. Meanwhile, ports in India are also continuing to expand with the government investing in a new mega-port in Vadhaven, a strategic location for the movement of goods.

We are also seeing the continued development of the Tuas mega-port in Singapore which shows how one port will surely set the benchmark for mega-ports going forward.

With the ongoing expansion plans there is also a need to consider how these facilities will be kitted out. In this edition of the Journal the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) explains what should be taken into consideration in terms of equipment such as ship-to-shore cranes and beyond.
There is also the real option of retrofitting which can expand a port’s capacity without a complete overhaul of equipment.

Finally, PTI speaks to the new CEO of Gulftainer, one of the largest privately owned port and terminal operators, and his plans for strategic growth and expansion. While these may not be mega-ports as such it is still important to consider how expansion can be carried out across various sizes of ports and terminals and what the priorities are.

Growth and expansion are key for ports to stay on top of their game in today’s climate and it is good to see that these projects have not been scuppered by the affects of COVID-19.

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