Hamad Port has a huge potential to position itself as a major transhipment hub in the region, an official of QTerminals has said.
Notwithstanding the position of Qatar in the upper Gulf, QTerminals CEO Neville Bissett said “there are plenty of opportunities” for Hamad Port to grow not just with gateway cargo (cargo that has landed for use in the country) but also for transhipment to countries like Kuwait and Iraq, among others.
“I absolutely see Hamad Port being a hub. Already we can see vessels coming in of a much larger size than previously. This is because the major shipping lines worldwide are confident that Hamad Port delivers the highest service, so they bring the larger vessels in; it means that transhipment can come in, as well as gateway cargo.
“And we have to understand that there are 2.7mn people in Qatar, so it’s a very attractive market. What we want to do here is not just grow organically but also look at how we can serve the upper Gulf by bringing cargo to Hamad Port and then transhipping it to Kuwait, Iraq, and other ports,” Bissett told Gulf Times.
Bissett said that while Hamad Port is not a dedicated transhipment port, QTerminals is aiming to ensure a good mix of gateway and transhipment cargo. “And through that we will be able to grow very effectively and in a structured and controlled manner so we don’t lose the opportunity,” he noted.
As a transhipment hub, Bissett said that Hamad Port can cater to countries like Kuwait, Iraq, and northwestern Iran.
“Beyond that the opportunities for transhipment are limited, so what we will do is to grow those markets; there’s plenty of opportunity for Kuwait, there’s a huge opportunity for Iraq, bearing in mind that the population in Iraq and Kuwait, certainly, live around the basin area, so there’s a good opportunity there.”
He added: “We’re growing transhipment, but it’s not a big part of our business at the moment. We’re talking with shipping lines and clients about transhipment through Hamad Port, and that’s where we see a lot of development possibilities and a lot of increase in throughput in Hamad Port. It’s small at the moment but we have big ideas.”