Friday, November 20, 2009

Truck Build Up On Saudi Border Again Causing Shipping Delays

Thousands of Lorries Queue for Days at a Time to Cross from UAE
Shipping News Feature

SAUDI ARABIA – UAE – Just as happened in June a huge build up of trucks at the border once again grows daily as Saudi Authorities subject all manner of freight to more stringent inspection. Trucks sit in an ever increasing queue as pilgrims travelling to the annual Hajj are allowed past. At the Al-Ghuwaifat Emirati border control, the numbers of stranded vehicles has reportedly reached 5000 in a line which reaches back fifteen miles causing a logistics nightmare.

The truckers have to carry sufficient supplies to endure the minimum three day wait, there are no Little Chefs or McDonalds for these drivers as they wait stoically by their vehicles. No reports of a conciliatory meeting between Customs officials reach us, the way June’s similar problems were eventually resolved.

Saudi officials are determined to crack down on the contraband cargo they know frequently crosses the border and they have reduced the number of commercial vehicles allowed entry to two hundred a day from the normal five hundred to give them time to adequately examine every drivers load and documents.

The usual problems associated with this type of delay, higher costs for shippers, lower wage returns for drivers, are exacerbated by the extremes of temperature which cause fresh produce to spoil whilst vehicles sit and wait. Drivers, who normally transit between centres like Dubai and Doha twice a week, can only manage half as many trips with consequential losses, and increased freight costs, for all concerned.