Global supply chain solutions company, DP World, has launched the first direct freight service between the UAE and Iraq to make the flow of goods between the two countries faster, safer, and more efficient.
The service caters for what the industry calls “unaccompanied trailers” – trailers which can be transported by sea without the driver and truck cab travelling alongside them.
Instead, the trailer is left at the quay side at the port by the driver and is then pulled on and off the ship alone.
This is reportedly the first service of its kind in the UAE and runs under the name of P&O Maritime Transports – a DP World company.
The service takes approximately 36 hours to travel between Jebel Ali Port in the UAE and Umm Qasr Port in southern Iraq.
It offers a new route between the two countries for road trailers, alleviating challenges faced by customers using cross-border land transport, which can take up to 14 days, reported the logistics company.
Unaccompanied trailers are loaded on to Ro-Ro freight vessels, leaving the driver and cab behind at the port.
Once the trailer reaches Umm Qasr Port, an Iraqi truck can drive it to its destination anywhere in the country.
Once delivered, the empty trailer is then returned to Umm Qasr and shipped back to Jebel Ali.
Until now, goods transported by road from the UAE to Iraq must be transloaded – a time consuming exercise of transferring cargo from the original truck to a locally-licensed vehicle.
It is also risky, exposing the cargo in terms of damage, contamination, and security.
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Jesper Kristensen, Group Chief Operating Officer, DP World Marine Services, said: “The launch of this new route is a step change in our service offering in the UAE.
“Iraq’s economy is growing rapidly, but until now it relied on transit through its neighbours for its import and export needs.
“Our new direct service starts to address this, opening a new more efficient trade route for the country.
“On top of the time and efficiency benefits, our service will also offer significant sustainability benefits.
“By shipping the trailer alone to Iraq, we expect to remove thousands of trucks from the roads every year, helping our clients reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,” Kristensen added.
The launch of this service comes a month after DP World Antwerp Gateway received three new quay cranes at its terminal, marking the latest milestone in its expansion and modernisation plan.
More recently, DP World and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority celebrated two historic events – the completion of the Centerm Expansion Project at DP World Vancouver, and the 100th anniversary of the port’s marine terminal operations.