The recent launching of Qatar’s 2nd National Development Strategy (NDS2) 2018-2022 will help boost the performance of Hamad Port and improve the cost of services offered by the Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar), an official has said.
According to Mwani Qatar Strategy & Business Development manager Jabor Ali al-Sulaiti, the company is keen on optimising its services, which include lowering freight costs and improving other services.
The move was part of Mwani Qatar’s efforts to address the challenges raised by various businesses during a seminar held recently at Qatar Chamber titled ‘Challenges Facing Services Provided by Government Bodies to the Privates Sector’.
“Hopefully, within one year of implementing the new national development plan, we can see a huge difference on the performance of the port and this would be reflected on the prices of the services that Mwani provides,” al-Sulaiti told reporters on the sidelines of the seminar.
To lower freight costs, al-Sulaiti said Mwani Qatar and other government agencies have tapped other shipping lines to establish new maritime trade links. He noted that the prices of services at the port “are less than the regional benchmark.”
“We are also communicating with shipping lines to reduce their trip time and taking over the upper Gulf transshipment to be loaded in Hamad Port, and would go via feeder to the upper Gulf. I think that would assist in lowering the prices of freight because vessels need not go to the upper Gulf. The price of the feeder is not that high.
“And by having long-term contracts or MoUs with these shipping lines, I think we can reduce cost, and that would be reflected on the market here. We are working on that…we are communicating with Qatar Chamber regarding any comments about obstacles facing the trade sector,” he said.
Al-Sulaiti also emphasised that part of the objectives of NDS2 is to involve the private sector in various investment initiatives.
“We are encouraging the private sector to invest on export goods, and this will also help reduce the prices of services at the port. What we have done now is that we take containerised products to be exported through Hamad Port. This helps achieve a part of what the shipping lines want – they want the volume to be exported, so they can open a direct line.
“We achieved that by signing an MoU with Muntajat, which is the agent for Qatar Petroleum for all their products, so we raised the volume of exports just only for these petrochemical exports of around 180,000 containers per year, which is a high volume,” he said.
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