Dubai-backed port logistics operator DP World, has, in its own words, “a robust presence” in Saudi Arabia, having managed and operated the South Container Terminal at Jeddah (JIP), the largest port in KSA, since 1999.
In 2020, DP World signed a 30-year concession agreement with the Saudi Ports Authority, Mawani, to modernize and upgrade the terminal. It entails building state-of-the-art infrastructure and uplifting the capacity from 2.5 million teu to 5 million teu, with the ability to serve five mega-vessels simultaneously.
Last year, it also signed a 30-year agreement with Mawani to build and operate an integrated, smart logistics park at JIP.
Attracting investment of more than $133 million, It will comprise an inland container depot capacity of approximately 250,000 teu and warehousing storage space of 100,000 square meters and future expansion could increase this to 200,000 square meters.
Quizzed on whether Saudi Arabia has the potential to become a logistics powerhouse in the Middle East, given the proximity of Dubai where DP World operates the region’s biggest port, Jebel Ali, a company spokesperson said: “The Kingdom’s initiatives, combined with its strategic location, position it favorably as a trade hub on the Red Sea. We do not see the development of other trade hubs as competition, but as an opportunity.
“Looking at other regions, there are multiple trade hubs. As manufacturing activities expand, trade routes continue to diversify, and the population and demand continues to grow in the Middle East and Africa, there will also be room for multiple hubs with different value propositions.”
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