The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has unveiled an initiative to support international shipping lines caught up in the congestion caused by the Suez Canal blockage.
In a statement, Mawani said it will extend the services of Jeddah Islamic Port for ship transfers and container offloading. Measures include an extended period of exemption from storage fees for transhipment containers from 30 days to 60 days for a duration of three months.
The authority also said the measure reasserts the Port’s advanced capabilities and capacity to accommodate the estimated number of containers on these vessels without affecting its operations.
The Suez Canal was closed for several days when the Ever Given, a 20,000 TEU mega-ship, ran aground while transiting, causing more than 300 vessels to wait at anchor.
The congestion has raised fears of congestion at Europe’s major ports and strains to the supply chain, which is already recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, industry experts are divided on to what extent the crisis will affect the supply chain, with some believing global logistics will be able to cope with the surge and others warning of chaos similar to that seen on the US West Coast.
In January 2021 Mawani announced the launch of a new shipping service from Jeddah Islamic Port to expand its trade and logistics strategies.
The new line (IO3) will be linking Jeddah Islamic Port with the Indian Ocean and northern European ports.
The service will consist of seven vessels with a capacity equivalent to 8,500 standard containers per vessel, approximately 48 vessels per year, which will allow a greater cargo capacity.