New shipping routes to boost Arab exports in Europe
French shipper CMA CGM has launched two new services from the major Arab gateway, the Port of Salalah, designed to improve trade links between Oman, Europe and North Africa.
Two new weekly services, The Noura Express and EPIC service, are now being operated by the world’s third largest container shipping line.
The Noura Express service, on the East Africa trade lane, operates four vessels of up to 2,755 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) capacity and links the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mombasa in Kenya, Mogadishu, capital of Somalia and Salalah, in Oman.
At Salalah, transshipment is available to CMA CGM’s Europe Pakistan India Consortium (EPIC) service, linking ports in South Asia, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and North Europe. The EPIC service is operated with eight vessels of up to 9,400 TEU capacity.
"The introduction of the EPIC service to the Port of Salalah provides our growing customer base in Salalah with an additional opportunity for export to Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as for imports from the Indian Subcontinent," Port of Salalah CEO David Gledhill says in a release.
"The Noura service call leverages the strategic location of Salalah to provide a new, fast cargo connection from East Africa to Europe, which can potentially also be used to accommodate Omani imports from Kenya and Somalia."
The port of Salalah is undergoing a major expansion to double the quay length and increase dry bulk capacity to 20 million metric tons (MT), and liquid bulk capacity to six million MT annually.
APM Terminals operates and holds a 30% share in the port which handled 3.03 million TEUs last year, along with 7.9 million MT of bulk cargo. A 2030 initiative also includes plans for US$15 billion in infrastructure in the Salalah Free Trade Zone to create a larger regional shipping and commerce center for the region.
"These new services reflect our ongoing efforts to provide diverse options to the growing Salalah shipping community; the Port of Salalah shall continue to explore opportunities both with shipping lines and logistics providers to offer enhanced supply chain solutions to our valued customers," adds Port of Salalah deputy CEO Ahmed Akaak.
Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons