MSC to increase calls to ICTSI Syria

 28 Sep 2009 10.20am

Early this year, MSC started calling at TICT as an alternative to the Port of Lattakia, the country’s main port. MSC cited Lattakia’s increasing cargo congestion and high port and labor fees as reasons for the move to TICT.

According to Abdul Razak Suleiman, head of Dalia Shipping Agency and representative of MSC in Syria: "Dalia has been a pioneering shipping agency in Syria, and through the years, we have witnessed how the country's ports made strides in terms of operations and services. At Tartous, we've observed significant development after the privatization of container facilities in 2006."

TICT is the most modern container handling facility in Syria, and the nearest port to the country's capital and economic center of Damascus. Recent productivity at the TICT is at 18 moves per hour per crane using two units of state-of-the-art mobile harbor cranes.

Aside from high productivity, shipping lines enjoy seamless vessel workflows with TICT’s leading edge terminal software and systems. TICT uses an electronic data interchange-enabled terminal operating system, which provides easy communication and direct interface with the shipping lines.

TICT also introduced superior cargo consolidation and deconsolidation services at its container freight stations (CFS). CFS services for consignees were streamlined including improvements in reducing damages of cargo during stripping as well as zero pilferage.

"MSC is considered the leading international carrier in Syria in terms of container market share. MSC containers in Tartous during the first half of the year has greatly contributed to the increasing volumes at TICT," says Romeo Salvador, TICT general manager and chief executive officer. TICT posted a 44 percent increase in container throughput during the first six months of the year over the same period in 2009.

This year, MSC and another new caller, Russia's Transcontainer Shipping Line, has joined TICT's growing client portfolio, which includes CMA CGM, Maersk Line, Safmarine, EMES, Hamburg Süd, Sermar Line, and CSAV Norasia.

"We are gearing TICT for increase in volume and vessel calls in the coming months, and we expect to surpass our 2008 volumes by yearend. This cargo boost will also be driven by strong growth in Iraqi transit trade," Salvador adds. Aside from the new shipping line clients' calls, Maersk has upgraded its service to weekly calls.

TICT recently received two brand new quay cranes (QC) manufactured by heavy equipment maker Kone. The QCs will be commissioned by end of September this year. Productivity is expected to significantly improve at 30 moves per hour per crane with the new equipment.

With the QCs, TICT will also upgrade the TOS that will customize the system to include Syrian procedures. Facilities will be improved by yearend with the start of the construction of an engineering workshop facility and an administration building.

ICTSI is a leading port management company involved in the operations and development of 19 maritime terminals and port projects in 13 countries worldwide. For over 20 years, ICTSI has been the private sector partner of choice for world-class trade facilitation in the economies it serves.