The Hamad Port is expected to benefit considerably in coming weeks as Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world's second-largest shipping line in terms of container vessel capacity, has announced its plans to operate new weekly services from and to the major Turkish port of Mersin.
The first MSC ship, MSC Sariska, under the company's new plans, will start the service from Mersin on September 11, according to a report in an exclusive shipping manual. Inquiries found the cargo vessel has a capacity close to 5,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
Calling directly at Hamad Port would ensure faster transit for cargo shipped from Turkish and Greek ports, said the operators while adding that the vessel would reach Doha's new port on the 22nd day of its departure from Mersin.
The ship would also cover such ports as Istanbul, Tekirdag, Canakkale, Pireus (Greece) and Iksenderun (Turkey) while on its course to Hamad port, sources said.
The company also hopes the service would enable exports from Hamad Port to Sohar in Oman, Mundra and Nhava in India and the eastern Mediterranean ports.
It is also learnt that another large vessel of the MSC, with a capacity close to 4,900 TEUs, Veronique, is already on its course to Doha from the Turkish region, and is expected to call on the Hamad Port on September 17.
Since the economic blockade of Qatar by some Gulf-Arab countries started on June 5, MSC has been operating regular vessels to Hamad Port from the Far Eastern sector. At least six major vessels of the company have already called on the port since then.
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