Thursday, May 3, 2018

Qatar Blockade Continues to Produce Container Feeder Services for Freight Carriers

Changing Face of Shipping in the Region as Four Arab Nations Maintain Travel Sanctions
Shipping News Feature
QATAR – IRAQ – Despite pleas for mediation from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the past few days, the near year old blockade of the country by four other Arab states continues. Not that it seems to be affecting Qatari-based maritime transport and logistics conglomerate, Milaha, which has now launched a direct container feeder service between Qatar and Iraq. The new service, which will be an expansion of the existing Qatar-Kuwait service that the company launched last year, will follow a Hamad Port-Umm Qasr (Iraq)-Shuwaikh (Kuwait)-Hamad Port rotation, and will be initially served by one vessel with a 1,015 TEU capacity and 110 reefer plugs.

The service will have a transit time of 2 days, with the first vessel will depart from Hamad Port on May 7 and reach at Umm Qasr Port on May 9. Commenting on the launch of the new service, Milaha’s President and CEO Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai said:

“There has been excellent demand on the Qatar-Kuwait service that we launched last year, and we have been looking at ways to further expand that service to give our Iraqi clients and partners more convenience through greater port coverage and reduced transit times. This new service will contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and will also help boost the growing trade and economic relations between Qatar and Iraq.”

Following new services by the likes of Maersk following the blockade Milaha continues to enhance its international presence and diverse portfolio of maritime and logistics services. Since last year, the company has expanded into several new shipping routes and accelerated deployment of new supply chain solutions across a number of countries.

Milaha currently calls 2 ports in Oman (Sohar and Salalah), 3 ports in India (Nhava Sheva, Mundra, and Kandla), one port in Kuwait (Shuwaikh), one port in Pakistan (Karachi), one port in Sri Lanka (Colombo), and one port in Bangladesh (Chittagong), offering, it claims, enhanced connectivity and transit times to Qatar and the region.