By TBY | UAE | Jun 16, 2015
The fifth most productive port in the world is in Abu Dhabi, channeling increased import and export trade through the Emirate at never-before-seen levels, and added capacity enhancements are already in the pipeline.
Handling Abu Dhabi’s general cargo needs and all of its container traffic is Khalifa Port, the first semi-automated container terminal in the region and the fifth most productive port in the world according to the Journal of Commerce. It has been in operation since 2012 and has succeeded in strengthening the capital’s potential to become an international maritime hub, an ambition the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), owner of the port, and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 holds high on the development agenda for the UAE capital.
With the supply chain connections that exist to the nearby industrial hub, Kizad, the more capacity Khalifa Port adds each year and the more productive and efficient it gets, the more competitive companies at Kizad can be, as trade and logistics infrastructure through the port enable greater market accessibility for goods originating at Kizad. In getting those products out to customers in the market, Khalifa Port has the capabilities to cater to some of the largest ships sailing the seas today with its ability to reach approximately 4.5 billion people within four time zones and direct access to over 50 international locations. As a result, Abu Dhabi is competing with some of the most productive maritime hubs in the region, linking major ports the world over. As an automated port, Khalifa Port offers quick turn-around times for trucks and ships coming through the port that are extremely supportive of increasing volumes and productivity of trade while reducing overall costs.
Currently in Phase I of its development plan, Khalifa Port’s annual capacity sits at 2.5 million TEUs and 12 million tons of general cargo. The port is expected to increase its container volume capacity to 15 million TEUs and 35 million tons of general cargo a year once fully completed. With economic diversification plans and projects currently underway for the Emirate, the enhanced capacity will enable import and export trade to reach new heights as a percentage of Abu Dhabi’s GDP. This will also contribute to the non-oil sector growth that the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 targets and will be an invaluable asset to the Emirate’s goals of moving away from a GDP dependent on oil revenues and expanding its economic offerings. Abu Dhabi’s geographic location and the infrastructure that Khalifa Port provides will enable the Emirate to capitalize on the shifting global trade trends passing through the Middle East. The role Khalifa Port will play to Abu Dhabi’s economic growth in the future will be hard to miss in the years ahead.