Persian Gulf faces overcapacity risk with too many terminals: Ti study

THE Middle East Gulf region risks building substantial overcapacity of
container terminals if all projects go ahead as planned, says a study
by the UK's Transport Intelligence.

According to its Middle East Logistics Investment Opportunities 2018
study, nearly all major ports have substantial upgrades in the

The study said that if certain major airport and port development
projects occurred, particular facilities risked being underutilised.

According to the report, significant under utilisation of facilities
is already occurring in a number of terminals.

In 2016, Bahrain's throughput was about 300,000 TEU, while its Khalifa
Bin Salman Port had an annual capacity of one million TEU.

Qatar handled just under 500,000 TEU, but has capacity to take four
times that, while the Omani container ports of Duqm, Sohar and Salalah
have total throughput of four million TEU, but capacity is 10.5
million TEU.

The report also found that the UAE is still the dominant place for
container traffic in the region.

Recent figures from the Alphaliner database showed that the Saudi
Arabian ports of Damam and Jeddah and the UAE's Khorfakkann Port were
last year among the 10 biggest losers of container volumes.

Yet, the decline does not seem to have deterred executives from
further port building: in Dubai, the Port of Jebel Ali is set to see
work commence late this year to bring the facility's capacity to 22.1
million TEU, while Qatar's capacity is set to increase to six million
TEU by 2020.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Port will, in 2020, see the
current four million TEU capacity boosted to 20 million TEU.

"Overall, it is abundantly clear that if these planned investments go
ahead, there will be vast under utilisation of terminal capacity
across the region, as there simply will not be the demand for the
available capacity," Ti said.