Dubai Ports Authority aims to match world growth

According to a recently released report by Ocean Shipping Consultants, world container port traffic is expected to increase up to 74% of its current rate by the year 2010 leading the DPA to aggressively address potential increases in traffic.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  July 22, 2003

According to a recently released report by Ocean Shipping Consultants (OCS), World container port traffic is expected to increase up to 74% of its current rate by the year 2010. The figure is based on the 69% increase in traffic that occurred between 1995 and 2001.

The report goes on to say that container terminals in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent are potential trouble spots likely to come under-capacity, when compared to the predicted growth figures.

The Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) has stated it is aggressively addressing the issue by undertaking projects to deal with the real implications of growth in both traffic and vessel size.

While many ports in the region are only beginning to seriously consider their strategy to cater to the growth of business and vessel sizes, DPA is steadily working its way through the first phase of its planned expansion at Jebel Ali, which will allow the authority to handle growth beyond 2020.

“In recent months, news in the shipping industry has been focused on orders for vessels of over 9,000 TEUs and confirmed interest shown in vessels of over 10,000 TEUs, most notably by such global giants as Hyundai and P&O Nedlloyd,” said Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, managing director of DPA.

“The growth of global container traffic is a reality and so, too, is the inevitable growth of the vessels that carry that traffic. The mega-vessel generates a number of both hidden and obvious challenges for terminal operators if they are to survive in what is a highly competitive industry.

“The need for dredging to accommodate these vessels is unavoidable. So, too, is the requirement for larger and more effective quayside equipment. Even the construction of new and larger terminals could be needed, all of which will require innovative, sophisticated and cost-effective ways of operating in order to maintain consistently high levels of productivity,” he added.

The DPA has already started of work on the major development of berths 18, 19 and 20 that will create the new Quay 4. The new deep-water berths will accommodate mega vessels with a draft of up to 16 metres, and will add 1,300 metres of quay length and additional yard storage area, with completion expected by February 2005.

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