In partnership with DP World, the Dubai-based provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) has launched the first direct shipping line connecting UAE’s Jebel Ali Port in Dubai with Egypt’s Sokhna Port through Jeddah Islamic Port.
The announcement today ushers in a new era in the region’s shipping industry, as the new shipping line, the fourth to be launched by Mawani in 2020, aims to provide shipping services on the Red Sea coast. The move has been taken under the supervision and follow-up of the Saudi Minister of Transport, HE Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser. The Ministry of Transport’s vision has been focused on linking the Kingdom to the surrounding countries by sea, land, and air in a strategy aimed to unlock numerous opportunities utilizing the unique location of Saudi Arabia and connecting it intermodally with Europe and Africa using Saudi as an important land bridge.
DP World in December last year was awarded a 30-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession by MAWANI, for the management and development of the Jeddah South Container Terminal at the multi-purpose Jeddah Islamic Port. Under the agreement, DP World will invest up to $500 million to improve and modernize the Jeddah Islamic Port, including major infrastructure development to enable the Port to serve the ultra-large container carriers (ULCC’s), considered the world’s largest mega containerships.
HE Eng. Saad Alkhalb, President of Saudi Ports Authority “MAWANI”, said: “The launch of the new shipping line is part of Mawani’s ambitious initiatives to achieve its strategic goals set by the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme (NIDLP) to support economic growth, foster investments and contribute to achieving Saudi Vision 2030 positioning Saudi Arabia as a global center for logistics”.
Alkhalb added: “The direct shipping line will connect Jeddah Islamic Port with more ports in the East and the West, making it a central regional and global gateway, and establishing the Kingdom as a leading logistics center. The line will also help facilitate trade across all the global supply chains, increase transshipment volumes, and gain an upgraded share of the ships on the Red Sea Coast. All these benefits are expected to boost the overall competitiveness and efficiency of the operations and services provided by Saudi ports while increasing investment opportunities in this vital sector”.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said: “DP World is pleased that our strategic partnership with the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) is moving from strength to strength, thanks to the continued support of His Excellency Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the Right Honorable Minister of Transport. The launch of the first dedicated shipping service connecting Jebel Ali, Jeddah, and Sokhna will be a game-changer in promoting the much-needed intra-regional trade.”
Bin Sulayem added: “This development is also the result of the encouragement and drive by His Excellency Eng. Saad Alkhalb, President of the Saudi Ports Authority. The shipping line will directly benefit the Arab world’s three largest markets. We’re committed to delivering best-in-class efficiency and productivity using smart technology-led logistics. The strategic positioning of our ports also enhances the flow of global trade along the arterial – Europe/Asia – sea route. DP World in Jeddah is integral to the Saudi ports ecosystem and raises the Kingdom’s competitiveness in line with its 2030 growth vision.”