Port of Salalah achieves top port rankings regionally and globally in new JOC study 2013-07-31

Port of Salalah has been ranked sixth top transshipment port globally and 18th top port globally, as well as high positions in a number of categories in the Europe/Middle East/Africa geographic class, in a 'breakthrough' JOC Group study on port productivity released this month.

In the Europe/Middle East/Africa geography, Port of Salalah has been ranked third top port and seventh among top container terminals, placing the Sultanate of Oman next to the United Arab Emirates and underlining Salalah's regional position among the busiest and most influential ports for trade.

"It's important for all of our employees, customers, government partners and stakeholders to see tangible results and evidence that Port of Salalah is a world-class port that invests in its people, productivity and especially service," said Ahmed Akaak, acting-CEO of Port of Salalah, adding, "We are expressly proud of our employees, particularly those operating the machinery at the terminals and those who have grown with the port since its inception 15 years ago, and who have gone the extra mile to improve safety, customer service and efficiency."

The JOC Group has spent over five years in collecting and analyzing new data from 600 terminals at 400 ports and 17 global shipping lines, in an effort to produce the first report which focused on berth productivity – a measurement of the speed at which container ships are unloaded, loaded and sent back to sea – rather than the traditional comparison of world ports based on volumes.

Upgrades in productivity and efficiency have been steadily improving at the Port of Salalah, in part due to a company-wide Process Excellence (PEX) culture launched over two years ago, which has tracked and improved a number productivity measurements around machinery and operation turnaround. Berth and crane productivity have increased by double digits this year, while truck and gate turnaround times have been slashed by half, among other developments. Also, earlier this year the Port of Salalah has commenced container terminal gate procedures on Fridays at no additional cost to customers, in order to improve its services for local businesses utilizing the port.

However the Port of Salalah has been a busy port since its inception, owing to its strategic location aside the major Asia-Europe shipping trade lane and equidistant to the fast growth markets of Eastern Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf, and foundation as a joint-venture investment between the Government of Oman and APM Terminals, one of the world's leading port operating groups.

The JOC study also featured a number of APM Terminals ports rankings in leading positions, including APM Terminals Yokohama (Japan) which held the number one position globally in productivity at 150 moves per hour (mph) while handling 875,000 TEUs in 2012. In comparison, the Port of Salalah achieved a productivity of 72 mph while handling 3.62 million TEUs in 2012.

APM Terminals Rotterdam, one of the busiest terminals in Europe, handling 2.5 million TEUs in 2012, ranked 14th globally with 92 mph and first in the Europe/Middle East/Africa top terminals category. APM Terminals Mumbai, India's busiest container terminal in 2012 with 1.96 million TEUs handled, ranked 6th globally overall, while in the Americas geographic region, APM Terminals Port Elizabeth, ranked second with 82 mph having terminal handled 1.1 million TEUs in 2012.

The study, which was prepared by the well-known US-based JOC Group, which includes the Journal of Commerce, and the PIERs data service, noted that terminal efficiency has become an increasingly important aspect in shipping lines' operations. The study notes that schedule integrity and fuel costs have become much more significant factors in achieving customer satisfaction as well as a healthy bottom line.

About the Port of Salalah

Port of Salalah (also Salalah Port Services Company SAOG) is Oman's largest port. The Port of Salalah combined with the Salalah Free Zone and Salalah Airport form an ideal location for value-add and distribution services that can take advantage of the excellent liner connectivity offering over 3000 vessel calls annually and sea-air logistics through the Salalah Airport, just 15 minutes away from the port. The adjacent Free Zone offers zero corporate tax for 30 years and 100% foreign ownership possibilities, where customers enjoy the benefit of the US/Oman Free Trade Agreement that provides zero or low import duties between countries. Foreign Direct Investment into the Salalah Hub is valued at US$ 3.5 billion in 2012, with leaders in bulk goods (cement, minerals, lime, grain and agriculture, methanol and liquid, building material), manufacturing (PET plastics, auto components, garments, auto components,) and logistic companies choosing Salalah for production and supply chain efficiency.

Port of Salalah has risen to a rank amongst the world's top 20 container ports and has broken the world record for productivity twice. The port has also won local and international awards in economic development, health and safety, innovation and environmental initiatives. The port is partly owned and managed by APM Terminals, one of the largest container terminal operators in the world.