(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) has moved 90 per cent of its container business to Khalifa Port just two months after the terminal commenced commercial operations, the port operator announced today.
ADT has planned the strategic redirection of container traffic from Mina Zayed, a historical port in the city centre, to the new Khalifa Port, at Taweelah, located around 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of Abu Dhabi city. The move is taking place as the volume of containers handled by the port operator continues to grow.
ADT calculates the "container business" that has moved to the new port by determining what percentage each carrier using Abu Dhabi's ports makes-up of the overall trade. It then totals up the percentages of the shipping lines that have already made the switch.
ADT handled almost 639,000 TEUs, or Twenty Equivalent Units, an industry term used to describe twenty-foot long containers, as of the end of October in 2012. The figure is 3.7 per cent higher than the number recorded over the same period last year.
"These are pioneering times for ADT," said Martijn Van de Linde, the Chief Executive Officer of ADT. "International shipping lines are making use of the deep sea berths at Khalifa Port to send larger container vessels to Abu Dhabi than we have ever seen before".
"By enabling big ships to berth in Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port is eliminating the need for goods to travel by feeder ships from other ports to reach the local market," Van de Linde added. "This is driving down the cost of trade".
The move of container traffic to Khalifa Port is two months ahead of schedule and will be completed in the first month of 2013, Van de Linde said.
Around 70,000 TEUs have been handled by six Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, the largest of their kind, since commercial operations commenced at Khalifa Port on September 1st. On the Port Island, containers are stored and moved to trucks by the only automated stacking cranes in the Middle East.
"The port's technology is the first of its kind in the region and it's proving to be a big draw for our customers," Van de Linde said. "World-class operational efficiency and automation means we can unload ships faster than ever before, allowing our customers to serve their customers quicker and more efficiently.
"Khalifa Port is enabling industry to grow and adding value to every business in the emirate".
Mediterranean Shipping Company, a Geneva-based shipping line, was the first line to move its operations from Mina Zayed to Khalifa Port in September.
In addition to containers, larger volumes of wheeled vehicles are passing through ADT's ports.
The number of Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) units - shipped wheeled vehicles - transported through Mina Zayed until the end of October in 2012 was 64,615. This figure is over 41 per cent greater than the same period in the previous year and more than ADT handled in all of 2011.
The amount of goods passing through ADT's cold stores has also increased. Mina Zayed handled 42,120 tonnes of goods in the first ten months of the year, a rise of more than five per cent on the equivalent period in 2011.
The transition of 90 per cent of ADT's container business to Khalifa Port will enable its other facilities to continue focusing on different sectors of the business. The extra container capacity at the new terminal - it can handle 2.5 million TEUs every year - means its reputation is already becoming established an international logistical hub.