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SOHAR, Oman: July 31, 2017. The Port of Sohar and Freezone reports an 11 percent increase in container volume in Q2 2017 over the same period last year. Throughput during the first quarter was 251,654 TEU.

Sohar says dry bulk cargo traffic rose 24 percent during the first half of 2017 while liquid bulk, general and project cargo figures were down slightly compared to 2016.

SOHAR 2017 trafficThe Hutchison-managed container terminal says volume has risen threefold over the past five years following investment in remote-controlled cranes to handle 20,000 TEU vessels; an automated appointment system to reduce truck waiting times and increase turnaround speed; and new automatic gates that cut paperwork and delays for drivers.

With over one million tonnes of sea cargo each week, the port says additional Oman government investment in new highways connecting the port with the UAE and Saudi Arabia has added to its attraction for 3PL operators.

Sohar Port CEO Mark Geilenkirchen commented: "Sohar is playing an important role in the diversification of Oman's economy as we start to take full advantage of our prime strategic location in the region, outside the Strait of Hormuz but close to the main consumer markets of Iran and the Gulf States. We remain fully committed to building a modern and sustainable logistics infrastructure that will support Oman in achieving all our Vision 2020 objectives."

Notwithstanding the ongoing political impasse involving some GCC members, Oman is continuing with its plans to transform itself into a major industrial and logistics center linking east and westbound trades.

Jamal Aziz, CEO of Sohar Freezone added: "As the port continues to grow in size and regional significance, so too does our adjacent Freezone. Our efforts here focus on value-added downstream manufacturing industries that can leverage the availability of feedstock from the Port and benefit significantly from the first-class logistics on offer in Sohar by sea, land or air."

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