Monday, June 14, 2010

Oman Container Terminal Opens to Shipping

First Inland Clearance Depot for Region
Shipping News Feature

OMAN - The Muscat Container Depot, which opened for business at the weekend, is Oman’s first ICD complete with customs facilities. As a “dry port”, it allows for the handling of containers at a point between Muscat city and its hinterland and the Port of Sohar. Oman International Container Terminal (OICT) is a modern container-handling facility that can accommodate the latest mega-vessels. The ICD serves as an extended gateway for OICT, offering shippers and consignees within Muscat easier access to the Port of Sohar. All import and export formalities can now be undertaken at the depot itself, including customs clearance, customs inspection, customs duty payment for import cargo and the completion of re-export documentation.

A single-window customs clearance system for the import, export and re-export of containers, combined with faster vehicle and cargo turnaround, will create significant economic benefits for shippers. Additionally, a sophisticated electronic data interchange will enable shipping lines and shippers to track the status of containers routed through OICT in Sohar and Muscat.

OICT commenced operations in September 2006. It includes a 28-hectare yard, a total quay length of 520 metres, a depth alongside of 16 metres, four quay cranes and eight rubber-tyred gantry cranes. The terminal is located inside the port of Sohar on the Gulf of Oman, on the seaward side of the Straits of Hormuz, and approximately 200 kilometres from Muscat and 160 kilometres from Dubai. It is a joint-venture between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), Dutch stevedoring giants Steinweg and a number of other well-established Omani investors.