New pre-arrival clearance protocols and reduced terminal handling charges for containers in transit, mean that Jordan’s deep-water Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), located on the Red Sea, is now a realistic alternative maritime gateway for Iraq-bound cargo, APM Terminals said in its press release.
Containers imported into Iraq will no longer have to be trans-loaded onto new trucks as they cross the Jordanian/Iraqi border.
“The Aqaba Container Terminal has been working hard over the years to develop a competitive gateway to Iraq," says ACT Managing Director Steven Yoogalingam. “This will enhance the already strong Iraqi port system and gives the business communities of both countries a fantastic transportation system to better support economic development in the region."
Ideally located, the ACT is 550km - or 36 hours by road - from the Iraqi border town of Traibil and 48 hours from Baghdad. This development comes as the volume of Iraqi imports experience rapid growth - 86% last year alone.
The ACT is a joint venture between ADC, the Jordanian Government's development arm for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, and APM Terminals, which manages the facility. It is the second–busiest container facility on the Red Sea after Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
A terminal expansion project completed in 2013 added 460 meters to the existing quay to create a total length of 1 km and increased the annual container throughput capacity to 1.3 million TEUs.
Iraqi imports grew by 86% in 2017 to $36.5 billion - the leading sources being China, Turkey, Iran, South Korea and the United States, with food, medicine and manufactured goods the primary products.
(Source: APM Terminals)