Khorfakkan Container Terminal: Mega-Ship Master



Daniel Wright, KCT Terminal Manager, Gulftainer, Gulf of Oman, UAE


Recently, all eyes were on Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) as it set a new throughput record for a single vessel call of 19,561 TEU. KCT completed the record breaking call of the ‘CMA CGM Jules Verne’ containership in only 54.5 hours. The 396 metre long and 54 metre wide vessel was, at the time, the largest containership in the world sailing under the French flag.

KCT, as the only fully fledged operational container terminal in the UAE that is located outside the Strait of Hormuz, is a major transhipment hub for several shipping lines in the Middle East region. But regardless of its status as a major hub and its ability to handle the largest operational containerships, the sheer size of this transaction through a single call is mindboggling. KCT has since continued operations with an impressive track record of productivity and it recently completed 4,073 container moves in a single 12-hour shift.

These are not one off events in the port sector, as Gulftainer, like several other global terminal operators, had aligned its management and corporate strategy in anticipation of rapid changes in the container shipping industry. The company has invested heavily across its terminals globally and is prepared for the very large container carriers, growing dominance of shipping alliances and continuous demands of high productivity from its customers.

KCT’s performance in handling CMA CGM Jules Verne was the culmination of Gulftainer’s strategy of continuously evolving with the market with a long term view. With this level of forward planning in place, once the vessel was alongside, the operations team were able to execute the plan and completed the vessel 11.9 hours ahead of schedule. With this new record KCT demonstrated its ability to accommodate large…

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