Experts ensure continuous flow of goods through Aqaba port

Aqaba Container Terminal ACT
(Photo: Aqaba Container Terminal)
AMMAN— Unionists and traders in the clearance and transport sector have ruled out any shortages in imported goods coming to Jordan through the port of Aqaba, citing indications that the maritime navigation situation in the region is not deteriorating, as per Al-Ghad. They unanimously agreed that the ‘gradual return to regular maritime shipping’ confirms the possibility of a continuous smooth flow of goods and the absence of disruptions in supply chains unless new security events occur in the Red Sea region.اضافة اعلان

Experts confirmed that there are multiple solutions concerning maritime routes to ensure the uninterrupted flow of goods to Jordan. They anticipate an increase in the prices of certain goods due to rising shipping and insurance costs, along with delays in deliveries caused by the adoption of alternative routes through the Bab el-Mandeb strait.

They also confirmed signs of a breakthrough in the international navigation crisis in the coming period. This includes both a gradual return to regularity and the formation of coalitions among shipping lines arriving at the port of Aqaba, aiming to provide larger services to feeder vessels. Additionally, there is an expectation of receiving a larger number of containers based on shipping lines' estimates and the records of the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT).

They appreciated the government's decision to maintain shipping costs at pre-October 7, 2023 levels for customs calculation purposes, which helps alleviate price increases for consumers.

Moreover, they highlighted the ongoing meetings of the involved parties, represented by the government through the Ministries of Transport, Industry and Trade, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Representatives of Transport and Clearance Companies, and all relevant stakeholders.

First Vice Chairman and Representative of Services and Consultancy sector in Amman Chamber of Commerce, Jamal Al-Rifai Jamal Al-Rifai stated that one of the proposed options includes unloading goods at the ports of Salalah and Jebel Ali, then transporting containers via feeder ships or overland to Aqaba.

Rifai believes that the maritime crisis in the Red Sea has prolonged the arrival time of goods and escalated shipping costs, although the situation has improved compared to the initial stages of the crisis, with shipping costs experiencing a recent decrease.

Furthermore, the Head of the Jordanian Logistics Union, Nabil Al-Khatib explained that shipments from Southeast Asia, India, and the Far East will be offloaded at Mediterranean ports in Italy, Morocco, or in Damietta and Port Said in Egypt. They will then be conveyed via feeder ships to Aqaba or to Jeddah port and subsequently to Aqaba, incurring extra expenses and prolonging goods arrival by an additional four to five weeks. As for shipments from Europe and America, they will resort to Mediterranean ports to bypass the Suez Canal due to cost considerations. Goods will be discharged at these ports and subsequently transported via feeder ships.

Additionally, on Wednesday, Minister of Transport, Wesam Tahtamouni chaired a meeting to discuss the latest developments in maritime traffic to and from Aqaba and the resulting effects on economic sectors due to the international shipping crisis.

In a statement issued by the ministry, the meeting concluded with all participants agreeing to maintain coordination among all stakeholders to identify obstacles and offer suitable solutions to address the various issues and complaints raised by industrial and commercial sectors due to the repercussions of this crisis.

In a related development, during a second meeting on Sunday between the Jordanian and Omani Chambers of Commerce, the Jordanian Maritime Transport Association, and the Jordanian Logistics Syndicate, they confirmed positive signs of container arrivals at the Port of Aqaba.

The team highlighted that several ships are set to arrive at the Port of Aqaba in the coming days to unload their cargo, with an estimated 5,000 containers loaded with various goods expected to be unloaded. In addition, they affirmed that February will see the arrival of numerous medium and large-sized ships at the Port of Aqaba, loaded with containers, and these ships will also load containers prepared for export.

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