Clearance and transport sector fares better in 2021

2. Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) copy
According to the Association Owners of Clearance and Transport Companies, the amount of cargo that passed through the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) to Syria and Palestine more than doubled. (Photo: ACT)
AMMAN — The Association Owners of Clearance and Transport Companies issued a statement regarding the sector achievements in 2021, which shows the activity in the sector after the end of closures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.اضافة اعلان

“Transactions in 2021 increased compared to 2020, and the numbers show that,” Daifallah Abu Aqoula told Jordan News.

The figures issued by the association show that clearance and transport companies filled in 784,000 customs declarations during last year, compared to 683,000 in 2020, distributed among export, import and transit transactions.

Abu Aqoula said that last year recorded a more than 100 percent increase in the volume of transit traffic from Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) to Syria and Palestine, compared to previous year, when it had dealt with 7,903 containers.

On the other hand, there was a 4.48 percent decline in the volume of transit to Iraq during the last 10 months of last year, as the number of containers passing through ACT toward Iraq decreased to 5,191 compared to 10,064 in the same period of 2020.

Abu Aqoula added that there was a 28.7 percent decline in the number of containers entering the free and industrial zones during the past year, which registered 3,129 containers, compared to 4,387 containers in 2020.

Abu Aqoula said that 1,845 ships docked in the main port of Aqaba last year, compared to 1,578 in 2020, and the volume of local imports reached 9.885 million tonnes, while the volume of exports amounted to 4.830 million tonnes.

He also said that the problems facing the clearance and transport sector are not new, but started 10 years ago, since trade with Syria was affected due to the situation at the Jaber crossing. Also affecting the sector were the security situation in Iraq and the closure of the Karama port, of Bab Al-Hawa Turkish border crossing, and of the landline with Europe, which was the link between Jordan, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Abu Aqoula said that the fees imposed on Jordanian and Syrian trucks should be reviewed, as should be the fees levied on Jordanian trucks, which are very high.

He also called on the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority to grant discounts on handling fees imposed on transit goods in order to attract imports and goods through the port of Aqaba, and urged the relevant Aqaba authorities to reconsider the percentage of goods undergoing inspection, as this would solve the problem of accumulation and disruption of goods, and of shortage of laborers, and reduce the value of goods imported to Jordan.

Ahmed Wahadneh, owner of a transport and clearing company, told Jordan News that 2021 was much better than previous years, especially concerning land freight between Jordan and Syria. As for problems these companies face, Wahadneh said that the electronic procedures that the government has resorted to, to speed up transactions, are not being implemented as they should.

“There is a very slow response, which obstructs operations, thus indirectly increasing costs for companies,” he said.

Saleh Al-Khatib, owner of a land, sea, and air freight company, said that business had improved in 2021, but not as well as it should. He said that some restrictions and closures still affect the work and cause losses to some companies.

Khatib added that the fees imposed on Jordanian and Syrian trucks are unreasonable, asking the government to reconsider them and activate the memorandum of understanding signed to reduce costs, attract traders and importers, and encourage trade between the two countries.

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