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Containerport throughput in the Middle East increased by 250 per cent over
2001-12, to 36m TEU. Earnings from exports of oil have created the prosperity
which has driven demand for containerised goods - the mainstay of container
trade in this port region. More recently, burgeoning petrochemicals sectors and
industrial zones have generated containerised exports, as well as imports of
intermediate products. There are continuing requirements for port investment,
not only to increase capacity, but also to accommodate increasingly large
vessels. There is also a requirement to configure terminals to handle more laden
export containers, as nations invest in export industries, benefiting from
cheap, local oil feedstocks, and/or diversify from oil, so as to extend the
The Middle East is a major centre of transshipment – it accounts for 47 per cent
of regional containerport throughput. As well as forecasting transshipment, this
study explores the consequences on transshipment demand of an increase in direct
services at medium-sized ports, making use of large vessels displaced by the
incoming generation of 18,000 TEU-plus containerships.
The study considers the forces driving containerport demand in the Middle East
and the outlook to 2025. The development of containerport throughput is detailed
by port, country and region. Gateway and transshipment demand are forecast by
country, based on three economic scenarios and an “increased direct-services”
Ongoing and planned investment projects are reviewed by port. Containerport
capacity and resulting supply/demand balances are forecast by country to 2020.
The following port regions are covered:-Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman: United Arab Emirates, Iran, Eastern Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, Northern Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Iraq.-Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden: Southern Oman, Southern Yemen, Djibouti and Horn
of Africa;-Red Sea: Western Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Southern Israel, Eastern Egypt, Sudan,
Eritrea and Western Yemen.
Section 1 INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Section 2 DRIVING FORCES AND MARKET OVERVIEW
This Section considers the factors affecting the scale and nature of
containerport demand. It provides an overview of the development of
containerport demand, including the important Middle East transshipment markets.
The relation of transshipment with regional economic growth is used to forecast
regional transshipment. An “increased-direct services” case is used to explore
the effects of shipping-line strategies to increase the role of direct services
at medium-sized ports.
The study’s forecasts of gateway and transshipment demand, capacity and
resultant supply/demand balances are summarised by port region.
Section 3 CONTAINER HANDLING DEMAND ANALYSIS
Container handling demand has grown most rapidly in the Arabian Gulf / Gulf of
Oman port region. This has been driven mainly by containerised imports and
transshipment. There is also a small, but growing export sector.
In the Arabian Sea range, transshipment is the principal driver. This comprises
both huband-spoke and relay sectors, serving the Middle East itself, South Asia,
East Africa and Indian Ocean islands.
The Red Sea port region has a mixture of gateway and transshipment business.
Both are set to increase, as a result of port investment on both seaboards. The
container trade structure could also alter when the planned cross-Saudi railway
is completed, linking eastand west-coast ports.
Section 4 FORECAST CONTAINERPORT DEMAND TO 2025
Three economic cases are employed in forecasting gateway demand:
• Base case
• Enhanced-recovery case
• Continued-instability case.
The historical relationships between GDP growth and gateway container handling
demand growth are examined, and gateway demand is forecast for each country and
Using the regional transshipment forecasts from Section Two, the distribution of
transshipment between countries is assessed, according to their ports’
competitive advantages for transshipment and capacity availability.
Gateway and transshipment forecasts are combined to generate aggregate container
handling demand forecasts by country.
Section 5 TERMINAL CAPABILITIES, INVESTMENT AND CAPACITY FORECASTS
This Section provides a comprehensive picture of existing container handling
capabilities and capacity at ports in the Middle East.
There are continuing major investment plans and requirements, both to increase
capacity and to provide the capability to handle the largest containerships.
Ongoing and planned containerport investment is reviewed by port for the
countries and regions under consideration.
Anticipated capacity development by port is aggregated to provide national and
regional forecasts of containerport capacity.
A fairly comprehensive picture of prospective capacity can be derived by this
means in the short-medium term. However, the nature and scheduling of future
investment becomes increasingly less certain over time; the timing of the
further investment will largely depend on the pace of demand growth. Hence, in
this study, investment and capacity are forecast to 2020.