Emirates Shipping Line’s GIA (East Africa) service now calling at Sharjah Container Terminal
Richards: Sharjah is already a major centre for trade to and from Africa, and this new service provides another step forward
2011 has started well for Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT), operated on behalf of the Sharjah Ports Authority by international ports and logistics group, Gulftainer, as the terminal saw strong throughput volumes in January, new equipment in place (rubber-tyred gantries and terminal tractors) and, in mid-February, the first call of a new direct line: Emirates Shipping Line's GIA (East Africa) service.
The new service made its maiden call at SCT on Monday 14 February in the shape of the 209 metre-long, 2500 teu 'Emirates Rafiki', which was en route to Mombasa, Dar es Salam, Zanzibar, Nacala and on to Mumbai (Nava Sheva).
During the call Master Captain Piotr Golebiewski, in the presence of other Emirates Shipping Line staff, was presented with a memento by SCT Terminal Manager Paul Hennessy and Gulftainer Commercial Manager Simon Sundboell.
Speaking of the new service, Hennessy said, "It's always a real pleasure to see new customers at SCT, not only for the extra challenge and impetus it gives us to be dealing with new lines and new ships, but also because it reminds us that these are new shipping opportunities for exporters that are based in Sharjah (and the UAE) and dealing with East Africa and South Asia. We look forward to a long relationship with Emirates Shipping Line and this service".
Peter Richards, Managing Director of Gulftainer Group, said, "We are delighted to welcome another new service to SCT, and continue to build on the long history of the terminal, which was the first purpose-built and fully-equipped modern Container Terminal in the Middle East. Sharjah is already a major centre for trade to and from Africa, and this additional service through the SCT gateway provides another step forward for Gulftainer."
SCT lies adjacent to Sharjah's industrial area, which accommodates over 45 percent of the non-oil manufacturing capacity of the UAE, and handles containers on behalf of over 30 shipping lines, including all of the world's top 20 companies.
Gulftainer Group has over 30 years' experience operating in the UAE and around the world. In addition to operating two UAE ports on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority – SCT and Khorfakkan Container Terminal – Gulftainer also has a number of projects and investments in several countries, including Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey, as well as in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Gulftainer's logistics subsidiary, Momentum Logistics, was established in 2008 to take over the Group's transportation and logistics business and has offices throughout the Middle East.
The company recently announced that it had recorded growth of 10 percent in 2010, handling just over 3 million teu. The double-digit growth had continued from 2009, when the company also achieved a 10 percent increase, at a time when most container terminals worldwide were dramatically affected by the economic downturn.