Doha Port handled 15% more containers last year

Despite a challenging business environment and market volatility, Doha Port saw about 22 percent rise in container volume handled in 2015 with the total volume reaching 568,166 TEUs, up by 100,555 TEUs compared to 461,863 TEUs in 2014. In terms of the number, over 530,000 containers of TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) were handled at the port in 2015, which was nearly 15pc higher than the previous year. When it comes to handling of Bulk/Break Bulk and General Cargo, the year 2015 saw a sharp jump of over 140 percent, the total reaching about 1.76 million freight tonnes against 731,045 tonnes in 2014.

The car carrier freight tonnes in 2015 also increased to 2.71 million, up 9 percent compared to 2.48 million tonnes in 2014, according to the latest data released by Qatar Navigation (Milaha) in its Annual Report 2015.

“The year 2015 was exceptional for the Port Services unit. Container volumes and general cargo volumes increased by 15 percent and 127 percent, respectively, compared to 2014. The main driver for the significant increase in overall volumes was continued government spending on infrastructure and critical long- term projects,” said the report.

Doha Port is officially operated and managed by Milaha Port Services company, a subsidiary of Qatar Navigation.

It is the main commercial port in Qatar that handles most types of cargo (with the exception of liquid bulk). Some of the major types of cargo handled though the port include fast-moving consumable goods, food, meat, livestock, cars, machinery and equipment. There is an exhaustive list of items sourced from different parts of the world.

When most items imported in the country have witnessed a rise due to the growing population, the number of livestock heads handled (largely sheep and goat imported from overseas) through the port during 2015 declined to 560,487, down by about 7 percent from 603,065 in 2014.

Milaha Port Services assumed operational and management control of Doha Port in February 2011, and has created a one-stop shop employing advanced technology and stream-lined procedures to improve the cargo clearance process, including customs, environmental and health activities.

A sophisticated short- and long-term berth planning system has also been implemented resulting in minimal waiting time, if at all, for vessels in the anchorage area.

The company is committed to increasing Doha Port’s annual container throughput capacity to a minimum of 750,000 TEUs through improved operational processes and yard strategy.

“The Board of Directors (of Milaha) continued to invest for long terms in the company’s core maritime shipping activities.

“In the first quarter of 2015, Milaha Maritimes & Logistics, which delivers integrated transport and supply chain solutions, launched the first direct container liner service between Qatar and India,” Ali bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman, Milaha, told a recent annual general meeting of the company.

“The non-stop service connects Doha Port with Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), India’s largest container port. The launch was in response to the remarkable growth in trade between the two countries in recent years,” he added.

Source: The Peninsula