Maritime exports grow
by the second quarter
Port of Beirut benefits from suspension of land transportation
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Maritime exports grew by 23 percent to 39,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2014, according to statistics issued today by the Port of Beirut (PoB).

Elie Zakhour, Chairman of the International Chamber of Navigation (ICN), said: “The interruption of land transportaton at the Nassib crossing point in Jordan has led merchants to export by sea to Arab countries.” Exports are expected to grow even more in the coming months, as the Council of Ministers has approved a $21 million grant to support the difference between land and sea shipping costs.

Cargoes in containers are running from the PoB to Saudi Arabia, where containers are unloaded onto trucks and moved by land to the Gulf markets.

Revenues at the PoB have increased by 12 percent to $118 million, following two years of zero growth. “One of the reasons behind the higher revenues is that last year, the PoB administration raised tariffs by ten percent,” said Zakhour.

Longer than usual storage periods by importers has also led to an increase in revenues. The Ministry of Finance had decided to inspect all incoming containers, which led to long delays in freeing goods to access the market.

The number of ships fell by 15 percent. This fall is attributed to the entrance of large ships, which carry more goods and make fewer trips. A large number of these vessels are coming from China, according to Zakhour.

Total TEUs went down by nine percent to 558 million tons. The slower TEU activity is due to a slump of 21 percent in transshipment. “Truckers held strikes in the first few months of the year, protesting the filling of quay number four. This stalled transshipment activity,” he said.

The total weight of goods was down by eight percent to four million tons. The number of vehicles grew by 11 percent to 49,000 cars.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Jul 09, 2015