Revenues of ACPOM increase in 2021, while handling of containers drops

A general picture of the Aqaba Container Terminal. (Photo: Shutterstock)
AMMAN — Handling of containers at Aqaba ports has dropped due to the rise in international freight rates and the decline in demand by traders and investors, coupled with uncertainties emerging from an ongoing pandemic, a problem that economists say has affected countries globally.اضافة اعلان

General Manager of Aqaba Company for Ports Operation andManagement (ACPOM) Khaled Maaytah said that the number of containers inspected at Yard 4 reached 68 containers in 2021, compared to 74 in 2020, whereas the general volume of handling (excluding containers) reached 15 million tonnes last year compared to 14.6 million tonnes in 2020, and revenue reached JD66 million in 2021, with an increase of 4 percent, compared to 2020.  Commodities, according to Maaytah, include foodstuff, livestock, and vehicles.

The first investment cargo received this year through the ports of Aqaba was from the Republic of Djibouti; a ship loaded with 1,320 camels that were transported to the city of Maan for breeding.

2021 witnessed an increase in the movement of passengers and tourists, whereby the number of travelers through the port of Aqaba reached 250,000 passengers compared to 76,000 in the previous year.

The demand on commodities, other than essentials, like food and oil, has dropped globally due to the hike in freight prices and due to the uncertainty felt by importers and traders under COVID-19, economist Yousef Damrah said.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have lowered global growth projections for 2021 to 5.9 percent and 4.9 percent for 2022, said Damrah, adding that this measure affects the confidence of business owners and importers, adding that this is a global situation that affected all countries including Jordan, calling for a focus on increasing the volume of exports to improve the Kingdom’s trade balance.

Wajdi Makhamreh, an economist, said that these figures are a good sign that the trade flow has started to recover due to reopening several sectors and removing restrictions.

During the first year of the pandemic, trade was affected by the lack of smooth movement, Makhamreh said, noting that the numbers of containers that arrive at the port has plummeted also due to hike prices of commodities from the countries of origin.

In 2020, the port of Aqaba witnessed a record drop in the number of docking ships, receiving only 11 ships out of 88 that were scheduled to dock in Aqaba, compared to 70 ships in 2019.

He noted that the number of days of stay for goods decreased in the years 2019 and 2020 to five days instead of nine, which enhanced the port’s competitive advantage, in addition to reducing the costs of consumer goods.

Established in 1952, ACPOM is an independent governmental body mandated to establish, develop, maintain and operate port activities, including receiving ships, handling and storing cargo.

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