Can Saudi container ports demand keep up with capacity?

Can Saudi container ports demand keep up with capacity?

Daniel Moshashai
Over the last decade the volume of container throughput handled at Saudi ports has nearly doubled, due in large part to privatisation, regulatory changes and high-tech equipment. With ever more attention directed towards capturing Red Sea trade flows, Riyadh’s port development objectives are part and parcel of its broader goal of diversification. However, a closer look at the port story shows inconsistent growth and an uncertain future, leading to concerns of overcapacity.

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Recent news on ports and shipping in the Gulf has offered some stark contrasts. On the one hand, a landmark reached in Qatar’s project to equip Doha port to receive giant cruise ships, and the announcement of a slew of deals for Chinese companies to invest in projects serving ports in the UAE and Saudi Arabia; on the other, a further downturn in container traffic at Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Mina Rashid ports – and the ramping up of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz with Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker on its way to pick a cargo of petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia.