Since 2014, Georgia has been experiencing a decline in container throughput due to economic weakness and the re-emergence of Iran. In order to maintain the country’s position as a key transit corridor for the Caucasus, Georgian ports would have to improve their services and connectivity to the hinterland.
This was the message of Jacob Gulmann, Middle East and Africa Business Development Director of International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) Europe, during his presentation at the 6th Black Sea Ports and Shipping held from May 18 to 19 in Adjara, Georgia. The annual transport event was co-hosted by Batumi International Container Terminal (BICT) and the Batumi Sea Port Ltd. (BSPL).
According to Gulmann, Georgia’s role as a logistics corridor to the Caucasus and Central Asia region is facing a growing threat from the ports in Iran and West Asia.
“The emergence of Iran and other West Asian ports prompted (BICT) to take action and expand for us to be able to compete and be at par with the best ports in the world,” Gulmann said.
“We fully support the Georgian government’s initiatives to ensure that the country’s ports remain globally competitive,” he pointed out.
Part of ICTSI, BICT has a current annual capacity of 150,000 TEUs. To expand, BICT looks to increase its annual capacity to 200,000 TEUs by adding another 100 metric-ton capacity mobile harbor crane, doubling the number of reach stackers to eight, increasing its empty handlers to four and deepening its controlling depth to 12 meters.