(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Gulftainer on Sunday announced plans to increase its capacity three-fold by 2020 by expanding its port operations to more mature markets across the globe, its top official said.
The Sharjah-based port management and logistics company, which unveiled a new vision and brand identity, aims to grow its global portfolio to reach 35 terminals across five continents to handle approximately 18 million twenty-foot equivalent unit, or TEUs, during next seven years. At present, it has 11 terminals and expects to surpass six million TEU this year.
At the launch event at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the company chalked out its expansion goals to become a top six global container terminal operator by 2020. Shaikh Khalid bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi; Shaikh Khaled bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Ports Authority; Dr Rashid Al Leem, director-general of the Sharjah Department of Seaports and Customs and Sharjah Free Zones Authority; and senior Gulftainer officials attended the ceremony.
"From our humble roots nearly 40 years ago in Sharjah, we learnt that strong business values and operational efficiency were what the industry thrived on, and following this ethos we have successfully been able to export our expertise and professionalism from the UAE to numerous global key operational hubs since," said Badr Jafar, chief executive of Gulftainer's parent company Crescent Enterprises and vice-chairman of Gulftainer.
Gulftainer, which will adopt the brand name GT, wants to boost revenue by 500 per cent by the end of the decade through expansion in new markets.
"Gulftainer is now targeting a strong strategic growth during the next seven years and is aiming to grow its global portfolio to reach 35 terminals across five continents during this time," Peter Richards, managing director of Gulftainer, told Khaleej Times.
He said the company has been increasing the capabilities of its current facilities and will invest in new facilities with the aim of handling up to and in excess of 18 million TEUs annually by 2020.
"The ultimate aim of the company is to become a top-six global container terminal operator."
Richards said Gulftainer is a rapidly-expanding, dynamic ports and logistics company, operating and managing businesses in several countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil and Turkey.
"Gulftainer aims to continue this growth momentum and expand its expertise across more mature markers in the coming years. The ports and containerisation sector in Asia, East and West Africa, and the Americas have immense business opportunities and Gulftainer is in active discussions with potential partners in South America, India and select south East Asian markets," he said.
Gulftainer operates four main UAE ports: three on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority - Sharjah Container Terminal, Hamriyah Port and Khorfakkan Container Terminal; and one in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, on behalf of international plastics solutions company Borouge.
"Today, Gulftainer manages more terminals in the Middle East than any other port operator. This has been made possible through well-defined long-term investments across all its terminals. These investments have helped the company to stay competitive and maintain high productivity and efficiency levels," he said.
Gulftainer has seen consistent growth over the past decade, averaging more than 12 per cent compared to global market growth of 8.6 per cent in the same period. In 2012, Gulftainer's terminal at Khorfakkan was the fastest growing transhipment hub in the world with 28 per cent growth.