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Port of Salalah Secures Second Place in Global Efficiency Ranking for the Third Consecutive Year

Despite regional disruptions impacting global container port performance, the Port of Salalah has once again proven its excellence by retaining its position as the second most efficient container port in the world. According to the 2023 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) released on 4th June, 2024, Salalah Port also claimed the top spot in the West Central and South Asia region.

The CPPI, developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, is based on an extensive dataset from 405 ports worldwide, the largest to date, comprising over 182,000 vessel calls, 238.2 million moves, and approximately 381 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the full calendar year of 2023. 

Three top five facilities operated by APM Terminals

Amidst the changes in global rankings caused by regional disruptions, China's Yangshan Port retained its first-place position, while the Port of Salalah secured its second-place ranking. The Port of Cartagena in Colombia moved up to third place, Tanger-Mediterranean in Morocco held fourth, and Malaysia's Tanjung Pelepas Port rounded out the top five. Notably, three of the top five ports are operated by APM Terminals.

Port performance is measured by the efficiency of vessel turnaround time, known as 'Total Port Hours' – the total duration from when a ship reaches the port limits, pilot station, or anchorage zone, until it departs the berth after completing its cargo exchange. According to the report, the Port of Salalah, with 1,146 vessel calls, achieved 164.72 index points, ranking second only to Yangshan in China, which had 3,509 vessel calls and an index score of 177.9.

The Port of Salalah's strategic location, expanding connectivity, and world-class operations provide its customers with a significant competitive edge in the region. As a vital transshipment hub, Salalah also plays a crucial role in boosting the local economy in Dhofar by offering exceptional connectivity for importers and exporters to trade globally. The port's high efficiency enhances local business confidence and attracts investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI).

USD 300 million Port Expansion

To ensure Salalah maintains its position in the ranking, the Port is currently carrying out a USD 300 million container terminal upgrade and expansion project. Next week the port will receive the final four out of 10 new ZPMC ship-to-shore cranes. The first cranes, with a 75 m/26 container outreach, arrived at the start of 2024 are currently being commissioned and tested to start operations. 

Once the project is completed in the first quarter of 2025, annual capacity at the terminal will increase from 5 million to 6 million TEU. The extra capacity will allow it to efficiently serve as a key hub for the Gemini Cooperation - a long-term operational collaboration between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, which will start in February 2025, with additional capacity available for other shipping lines.

The Port of Salalah attributes its success to the dedication and continuous improvement mindset of its team, along with the support from customers and prompt service from various authorities, including the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technology, ROP Customs, and ASYAD.

"Retaining this title for the third consecutive year, reaffirms our strong commitment to continuous performance improvement, even during challenging times," said Keld Christensen, CEO of Port of Salalah. "This achievement is a testament to the incredible tenacity of our people, and we are proud of their efforts. It highlights our stability and commitment to serving our customers in the best possible way. I salute our hardworking employees for this great accomplishment and thank all the stakeholders who supported us."

Scott Selman, COO of Port of Salalah, added, "I am pleased to see the Port of Salalah retaining our position despite the challenges to global container trade that have negatively impacted vessel schedules. 2023 has been particularly challenging operationally due to the ongoing Container Terminal upgrade construction. This achievement is recognition of our people's commitment, as we continue to invest in our workforce, technology, and processes to deliver outstanding results for our customers in this competitive space."