Mega ships are playing a greater role in transportation efficiencies, Abdulla Bin Damithan told the Middle East Port Development Conference. The commercial director of DP World said ports have had to factor in the need to cater to these larger vessels. The comment was part of broader message that extra attention must be paid to planning and deploying the right mix of tonnage and routes. He stressed the need for proper infrastructure to maintain the handling capabilities of ports. Container port capacity peaked at 455.9 million TEUs in 2006, said Bin Damithan, and total demand is forecast to reach 490.28 million TEUs in 2009, which means continued expansion is necessary.
Abu Dhabi is said to be considering pre-qualification bids by eight consortia for the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. The contract, which could be worth $1.5 billion, will help Abu Dhabi develop as a major transshipment, industrial and logistics hub.
In other maritime news, Panalpina and NYK Group have agreed to an alliance in which the NYK subsidiary Yusen Air & Sea Service will become Panalpina’s agent in Japan. At the same time, Panalpina will represent Yusen in several countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.