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International Cargo Seaport: Port of Salalah

Posted in International Seaport - 28 Feb 2022, 8:13 AM

One of the vital trading hubs in the Arabian Sea, the Port of Salalah is the largest in Oman, playing essential roles in the country’s economy and international trade. Since its development in the late 20th Century, the port has served over 3,000 vessels and employed over 2,100 workers.

About Port of Salalah

Port of Salalah is situated in Dhofar, 15 km away from the city of Salalah in southern Oman. The port has a strategic location between the trading routes of Europe and Asia. There are 35 total berths in this port for various purposes, with six of them used for containers.

The primary commodities handled at this port include building materials, auto components, machinery, garments, agriculture products, food and beverage, and chemicals. The location of this port provides the best access to trading routes in East Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent.

The History

The Port of Salalah was inaugurated in 1998 as a joint investment between Maersk Line, Sealand, several private companies, and the government of Oman. However, its history is tied to the rising sea trade in the 1970s. Large vessels must unload their goods at offshore feeders and launchers during that time. These goods were later unloaded at a separate port—a complicated method, especially during monsoon.

The first port development project started between 1971 and 1974 at the outskirt of Salalah. The port was named Raysur Port at that time, and it could only accommodate small vessels up to four meters of draft. The following stages of development happened between 1976 and 1996, allowing the port to serve larger vessels.

Volume of Transaction in Port of Salalah

According to the World Shipping Council, the Port of Salalah is the 47th busiest port globally based on the TEUs of containers transported through it. In 2019, the port managed to handle 4.1 million TEUs of container traffic. The average revenues this port brings to Oman are around USD448 million per year, and the numbers are increasing.

The Port of Salalah manages vessels from Europe, Asia, North Africa, and America. The rising economic potentials in India, China, and East Africa increase the importance of this port in international trade. The port is also known as the largest private-sector employer in Oman. The joint investments allowed this port to have cranes and other facilities to handle the largest container vessels worldwide.

Interesting Facts

According to the port’s official website, the Port of Salalah is projected to become “Salalah Hub” in 2030. The port will be developed into a trade and tourism hub, combining trade port facilities with logistic and distribution centers, warehouses and liquid storage, food reserves, and terminals for cruise ships. It will also provide facilities to support small and medium-sized business owners.

The logo of this port is an orange propeller; the color is purposefully selected to reflect vitality and energy. Orange was also picked because it looks noticeable against the backdrop of the sea. The cranes used at the port are prominent because they are painted orange, reflecting its logo and philosophy.

With its rising development, facilities, and strategic location, it is no wonder that the Port of Salalah has become one of the most crucial trade facilities in Oman and the Arabian Sea in general.

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