Despite the current situation surrounding the prevalence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), SOHAR Port and Freezone has reported an increase in cargo volume and a significant performance for the first quarter of 2020.
Break bulk rose to 18% and liquid bulk to 2%, as compared to statistics of Q1 2019. The Port also saw a 4% increase in vessel calls, standing at 825 and a 15% increase in anchorage calls. Moreover, ship-to-ship (STS) rose by 90% during the same period. This is also due to the position of SOHAR, taking into account the benefits of its various direct connections to renowned global ports.
Commenting on the cargo growth, Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port said, “The Sultanate and the entire world is going through a difficult time since the onset of the virus. However, since SOHAR is a key logistics gateway for incoming goods, we are committed to playing a part in the endeavours of the nation to double our efforts to make sure that there is an uninterrupted flow of goods to meet the demands of the local market. With the implementation of our business continuity plan and together with the efforts of our marine team, we have been able to effectively manage the shipping goods and logistic operations, while simultaneously keeping in mind the highest levels of safety at all our facilities, following the directives of the relevant Supreme Committee.”
“The hard work and dedication of SOHAR team did not go unnoticed, since it was through their high-performance, that we have seen cargo inflow and an increase in the number of goods handled. This, in turn, affirms our vital role in supplementing the initiatives of the Omani Government to diversify the local economy, with logistics at its core,” Mark added.
Omar Mahmood Al Mahrizi, CEO SOHAR Freezone said, “Complementing the Port, SOHAR Freezone also achieved positive performance in Q1 2020, as construction work on 8 new projects have begun, which were signed last year. Furthermore, several of those projects are also expected to be operational by the end of this year. With regard to ready warehouses, which span across an area of 78,000 square meters, occupancy rate stood at 71%, as of the end of March, thus indicating positive growth for the upcoming period. We are extremely thankful for all the efforts of everyone that has been involved in ensuring that SOHAR Port and Freezone remains on top of its activities to deliver high-quality services to all its customers. We believe that together, we will be able to fulfill our commitment of further positioning SOHAR as a key logistics hub, not only in the region but in the world as well, in line with SOLS 2040, which focuses on the development of logistic infrastructure. Furthermore, this will also see us meet the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, regarding economic diversification, led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq – May the Almighty protect and preserve him.”