(MENAFN - Arab News) The Riyadh Dry Port is expanding its handling capacity from the current 400,000 containers to one million units per year in a step to cope with the volume of business and economic activities in the Kingdom, Mohamed Al-Suwaiket, president of Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), told a logistics gathering in Dammam.
Al-Suwaiket's remarks came as he opened the fourth Saudi Arabia International Transportation, Materials Handling, Warehousing and Logistics Exhibition and Conference (Saudi Transtec 2013) at the Dhahran International Exhibitions Center in Dammam.
The SRO plans to invite specialized global firms to bid for a detailed railway design within the GCC interlink rail project, which will be announced by the beginning of 2014, the SRO chief said.
Al-Suwaiket said the Kingdom enjoyed a reputed position regionally and globally in the area of transport and logistics services.
The Kingdom realized the highest growth rates in these areas among the world countries, he added.
Saudi Transtec 2013 is primarily aimed to provide the ideal environment for local, regional and global companies to benefit from the continued growth and focus on Saudi Arabia's transport and logistics sector.
He said Riyadh-Kharj rail line will be rehabilitated and its speed raised from 60 km/h to 180 km/h.
The new year will also witness nonstop and direct trips from Riyadh to Dammam as soon as the dual rail project is completed.
Riyadh-Dammam trip is currently passing through Bqiq and Ahsa towns.
Saudi Transtec 2013 represents a platform for companies to showcase products and services at the exhibition and present their expertise through conference presentations in diverse areas such as transport, logistics, material handling and warehousing sectors.
Saudi Arabia is targeting 100 billion (SR375 billion) of investment in port, airport, rail, road and logistics center projects over the next decade, with a strategy to make the Kingdom one of the world's leading transport and logistics hubs by 2020.
The Kingdom offers large-scale venture opportunities through projects including airport renovations and a number of large rail developments, the organizers said.
In a separate development, the SRO carried out an all-out review of its existing safety measures and standards prior to signing a deal with a German specialized firm in this regard.
The German firm will be assigned to assess safety standards, prepare guides in the area of operation and maintenance of rail locomotives, train manpower, and develop work milieu.