The UAE shipping industry had a jumpstart to the current year with a 15 per cent increase in the volume of traffic over 2007 at the country’s ports.
The increase was propelled by greater movement of trade, including the higher volume of oil shipments and the growing number of construction projects being implemented in the region. Sources in the shipping sector in the UAE said ports in western and eastern Africa maintained their positions as the most important destinations for exports from the UAE. The cost of shipping to eastern Africa ranges between $900 (Dh3,303) and $1000 per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) with an additional $200 added to the cost for the Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS).
The cost of shipping to ports in western Africa is around $2500 per TEU plus $482 for the EBS. On the import side, China retains its position at the top of destinations from which goods are imported into the UAE and the region.
The increase in shipping to and from UAE ports synchronises with expansions being carried out in the country’s main ports.
Mohammed Sharaf, CEO of DP World, said the Abu Dhabi Ports Company has announced huge and bold expansion plans, especially those related to the establishment of the first phase of Khalifa Port, which is due to be finished in 2010.
Sharaf also talked about simultaneous expansions being implemented by DP World at the Jebel Ali Port. He said the port’s capacity has increased by around 2.5 million TEUs.
Sharaf expected the total capacity of UAE ports to rise to more than 20 million TEUs by 2010, when a number of vital expansion ventures at Jebel Ali, Khalifa, Khor Fakan and Fujairah Ports will be completed.
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