Number of Ships Berthing in Oman Soars after Qatar Crisis

Image Courtesy: Port of Salalah

Oman seems to have benefited considerably on the back of the Qatar-Gulf Crisis as it has seen the number of vessels berthing in the country jump by 75 pct during the same week as the diplomatic fallout, CargoSmart’s data shows.

Specifically, prior to the dispute the highest number of recorded vessel arrivals per week from March to May amounted to 8 vessels, which increased to 14 ships per week after the start of the crisis.

One of the possible reasons for the increase is the launch of new services from Qatar’s port in Hamad to Oman’s port in Sohar, as announced by Qatar’s port authority.

In addition, there has also been a rise in number of berthing vessels smaller than 4,000 TEUs in Oman, the shipment management software provider said. From previous months’ records, the highest number of vessels smaller than 4,000 TEUs in Oman was 5 vessels per week. It doubled to 10 vessels in Week 23 at the start of the Qatar crisis.

Maersk Line announcing that it would use feeder vessels between Qatar and Oman to avoid trading restrictions by Arab countries is believed to have helped the number boost.

In addition, Iraq had an increasing trend of vessel arrivals from Week 22, possibly due to the re-routing of vessels. Port officials in Hamad, Qatar indicated that the vessels from China that pass through Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, have been re-routed through Iraq to avoid port restrictions. The number of vessels berthing in Kuwait has had a gradual decreasing trend from March through June.

On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade, and transportation ties with Qatar. Air, sea, and land border connections were cut off, blocking all vessels coming from and going to Qatar from the four countries. When the trade embargoes went into effect, ocean carriers including COSCO, Evergreen, and OOCL suspended their shipping services to Qatar, while Maersk and MSC re-routed shipments.

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