Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) have recently celebrated a record number of containers handled through Khalifa Port in its first year of operation.
A million TEUs or containers have now been handled by container terminal operator ADT at Khalifa Port, since its commercial opening at the end of 2012.
In October of this year, more than 100,000 TEUs passed through the port in just one month. These are very significant figures for Khalifa Port and the highest number of containers ever handled in a single month in the Emirate.
Mohamed Al Shamisi, Acting CEO ADPC said: “One million containers is an important record for Abu Dhabi, not just Khalifa Port. It’s a great achievement for everyone working at the port, demonstrating that the container terminal operations are efficiently and effectively handling the growing import and export volumes that the port was designed for.”
Martijn Van de Linde, CEO, ADT, commented: “We are very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year. Surpassing the one million TEU mark is very a significant milestone in the development of Khalifa Port and a clear testament to the efforts and hard work of our teams but even more so, the strong and loyal support we have witnessed from our ever growing customer base.”
Khalifa Port began commercial operations at the end of last year when all container traffic was transferred from the city centre port Zayed Port, to the new state of the art flagship Khalifa Port.
Zayed Port had been serving the emirate for more than 40 years, but had reached full capacity with no space to expand. When Zayed Port opened the shipping container- which has revolutionized global trade – was a very recent invention.
Introduced in the 1960s, the container is a brilliantly simple idea. Loaded in a factory, the steel box can be put on a lorry to travel by road, loaded onto a railway train, or onto ship to travel by sea.
The term TEU stands for Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit and refers to the length (20 feet = 6.1 meters) of one standard intermodal steel container.
In recent years, the ships carrying containers have got bigger and bigger, the largest ships sailing today can carry 18,000 TEU in total, these containers are stacked 23 across and the ships need much deeper water because of their size.
Zayed Port cranes are not wide enough and the water is not deep enough, but Khalifa Port is the emirate’s purpose built port of the future and can meet all of these requirements with ease.
Khalifa Port also has excellent hinterland connectivity with direct access to one of the world’s most modern road networks, good connections to multiple international airports and in the near future, as the very first port in the region, direct rail connection to the GCC rail network.
A million TEUs is the equivalent of more than six million camels or 18,500 medium-sized dhows. That is a lot of goods being exported and imported into the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and as the population continues to grow and the Emirate diversifies its economy, those volumes are predicted to increase.
Currently, Khalifa Port has the capacity to handle 2.5 million TEU with its six super panamax ship to shore cranes, its 30 automated stacking cranes and 20 straddle carriers. This capacity will be developed as the trade increases and the market demands.
By 2030, as part of the drive to diversify the Emirate’s economy away from hydro carbon revenue, Khalifa Port will be able to handle 15 million TEUs a year and together with the adjacent Kizad industrial zone, is expected to contribute 15% of non-oil GDP.