Gulftainer, the privately owned terminal operator in the Middle East, has welcomed CSCL Mercury, the first vessel on China Shipping's enhanced AEX7 joint service with United Arab Shipping Line. The service between CSCL and UASC, links leading ports across Asia and Northern Europe.
On its maiden call, CSCL Mercury completed cargo operations well ahead of schedule achieving a gross productivity rate in excess of 150 moves per hour with four gantry cranes.
Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) said, "The terminal is witnessing an exciting period in its expansion by drawing on the positive growth in global trade and the development of new services by leading shipping companies. We are delighted to welcome CSCL Mercury on the new service's maiden call, on one of the dynamic global trade routes linking Asia and Europe." KCT is the only fully fledged operational container terminal in U.A.E. located outside the Strait of Hormuz. Due to its unique geographic location, it has been one of the most important transshipment hubs for the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Sub-continent, the Gulf of Oman and the East African markets.
The expanded Asia to Europe AEX7/AEC8 service has 11 ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) in its service, six vessels provided by CSCL and five by UASC. The vessel schedule covers ports in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France, then via the Suez Canal to Jeddah and after calling to Khorfakkan and Jebel Ali in U.A.E., to the Far East covering Singapore, Korea and China.
The current portfolio of Gulftainer, the privately-owned by U.A.E.-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises, covers four U.A.E. operations in Khorfakkan, Sharjah, Hamriyah and Ruwais, as well as activities at Umm Qasr in Iraq, Recife in Brazil, Tripoli Port in Lebanon and also in Saudi Arabia, where it manages container terminals in Jeddah and Jubail ports.
The company recently signed a 35-year concession with the Canaveral Port Authority in Florida marking Gulftainer's first venture in the United States.