Oman Shipping Company (OSC) is launching a new freight service that would connect all Omani ports to the United Arab Emirates by mid-April, 2016.
Through its new fortnightly Oman Express Service, run by OSC subsidiary Oman Container Lines (OCL), OSC will be the first freight feeder operator to connect all Omani ports, the company said. By launching the service, OSC endeavors to connect Oman with the rest of the world with a regular service linking the Omani ports of Salalah, Duqm and Sohar, with the UAE.
OSC Chief Executive Tarik Mohamed Al Junaidi said the new service will be cheaper and faster than the road transport which currently handles all freight to the interiors.
The new service will employ the company’s multi-purpose vessel of 350 TEU capacity to carry containers, break bulk and project cargo.
“Duqm is set to become Oman’s gateway for heavy cargo and the Sultanate’s next industrial hub once it is fully operational, with major construction work in hand to handle greatly increased container, project and general cargo,” said Al Junaidi.
“So there will be a demand for equipment, project cargoes, supplies for construction projects and container services. We are discussing this with the port authorities of Duqm, Salalah and other government authorities.”
OSC already operates a weekly feeder service connecting Sohar with Jebel Ali port. Al Junaidi said that within a few months of starting the new service, OSC will be able to evaluate the actual requirement and, if necessary, exchange the vessel to meet whatever needs would have arisen.
OSC’s fleet is expected to rise to more than 50 vessels this year. It spans from very large crude carriers (VLCCs), liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, product tankers, multi-purpose vessels, bulk carriers and container ships, which are all intended to be managed by Oman Ship Management Company, currently technically managing 32 vessels.
“Five of our latest ships are the 183m long, 29,354 gross tonne product and chemical tankers, which have been recently constructed at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, as part of a deal for 10 medium range (MR) tankers. All the vessels will be chartered to Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd for its Project Silver,” he added.
“This recent investment will strengthen and consolidate our position in the hydrocarbon shipping sector.”