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International Cargo Seaport: Jeddah Islamic Port

Posted in International Seaport - 7 Feb 2022, 9:36 AM

The Middle East is famous for its economic trade volumes supported by numerous seaports around the region. One such seaport is the Jeddah Islamic Port, or Jeddah Port, a major seaport in Saudi Arabia, and the region’s second-busiest and second-largest seaport.

About Jeddah Islamic Port

The port is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s economic center in the Hejaz region. The city has direct access to the Red Sea, which provides the port a direct route to numerous marine trade routes in the sea.

In Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah Islamic Port connects the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Jeddah functions as a primary gateway for foreign Moslems to go to Mecca (65 kilometers to the east) and Medina (360 kilometers to the north).

The History

The Jeddah Port has a long history, starting from the early days of the Islamic religion expansion in the Arabian Peninsula. Originally founded as a fishing village by the Yemeni Quada tribe, the village was then expanded into a major seaport by the Caliph Uthman bin Affan in 647 to provide an entry point for Moslems from domestic abroad who wanted to perform the obligatory Hajj to Mecca.

For hundreds of years, the city’s ownership changed from one side to another as the city became a major strategic point for powers vying to gain control of one of the most important seaports in the Red Sea.

Although the city of Jeddah and Jeddah Port no longer hold any political status in the early 20th century, due to the division of the historical Hejaz province into smaller regions under the rule of the Al-Saud dynasty, the city and the port now found a new purpose as the country’s economic development center.

Volume of Transaction in Jeddah Islamic Port

From its original ten berths, the Jeddah Islamic Port now has 62 modern berths capable of accommodating container ships with a capacity of 19.800 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

In 2020, the port reported a 6.8% growth of TEUs volume from 4.3 million TEUs in 2019 to 4.7 million tons in the next year. From the findings reported by Lloyd’s List of Top 100 Ports in 2021, the Jeddah Port managed to improve its handling of cargo shipments worldwide.

The port implements the build-operate-transfer (BOT) container terminal agreement, increasing the cargo terminals’ capacity to 70 percent (more than 13 million TEUs) to expand the increasing number of cargo TEUs in the future.

Interesting Facts

Unlike other major seaports globally, Jeddah Port is unique thanks to its role in accepting visitors from around the world who are on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. This particular role has not changed for almost 1500 years, and the port continues to function as an entry point to Islam’s holy cities.

Related to its strategic position in the Red Sea, the Jeddah Islamic Port is also a part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that connects China to Central Europe via maritime routes that are intended as the sea-based routes of the ongoing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) under China’s authority.

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