The problem with port operations is that development is almost always reactionary. Ports react to changes in the maritime sector, rather than spearheading them. Which is to be expected: ports have to evolve according to the needs of their customers. Try reaching too far ahead, and you just might find yourself implementing an idea for which there are no takers.
But all that is changing. Given the rapid pace at which the shipping and technology sides of the maritime industry is currently evolving, ports are finding that they need to be a lot more proactive and respond quicker to changes in customer needs, as well as predicting what their customers are likely to want five or ten years in the future.
The UAE’s DP World is taking bold, proactive steps to deal with the issues highlighted above. The flagship Jebel Ali Port is on target to complete work on its mammoth 4 million TEU Container Terminal 3 by the end of 2015, and this will take the port’s overall capacity to 19 million TEU.
Even before T3 is fully turned on, DP World has announced an even larger state of the art successor, Container Terminal 4 (T4), on a reclaimed island at the entrance to Jebel Ali Port. T4 will be a huge addition that will increase Jebel Ali Port’s capacity by 3.1 million TEU by 2018 under Phase 1, driving the overall total to 22.1 million TEU…