Sharjah – MENA Herald: Gulftainer, the world’s largest privately-owned, independent port operator based in the UAE, recorded a strong performance in 2015 with an overall growth of four percent across its global portfolio.

Gulftainer’s operations in the UAE currently include the Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) and the Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT) at Port Khalid and the Sharjah Inland Container Depot (SICD). The company’s international presence spans the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas with projects in Iraq (Umm Qasr), Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Jubail), Brazil (Recife) and the US (Canaveral).

In the UAE, Gulftainer’s Khorfakkan Container Terminal and Sharjah Container Terminal collectively achieved an impressive nine percent surge in container volume. KCT registered the strongest growth of nine percent across the company’s portfolio, and set a new record of handling a total volume of 19,561 TEUs for a single vessel during 2015. KCT is an award-winning shipping port, and one of the most important transhipment hubs for the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Sub-continent, the Gulf of Oman and the East African markets.

Flemming Dalgaard, CEO, Gulftainer, said: “The container industry worldwide is witnessing challenges in growth volumes due to a slowdown in the Chinese and European markets. However, Gulftainer’s success in bucking this trend with positive and robust performances across our terminals underlines our ability to adapt to market volatilities and economic fluctuations.

“Gulftainer is currently on a growth path to expand organically as well as through leveraging new contracts from 2015. Our outlook for 2016 remains cautiously optimistic. We will continue to invest in infrastructure to meet the requirements of our customers serving newer, larger ships and step up our capacity to handle higher volumes per call. As we steer ahead with this goal, it is encouraging to note that our terminals continue to build credibility both at home and internationally with their above market operational performance.”

In Iraq, Gulftainer’s Umm Qasr Logistics Centre marked another significant milestone notching up one million TEUs which were handled over a five-year period since the commencement of operations in 2010. Meanwhile, the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia continued to deliver strong performance through the year, and is well-positioned to achieve its long term targets.

2016 also marked the beginning of Gulftainer’s operations in the US, at Port Canaveral, where StreamLines, part of the SeaTrade Group, started operations with its ‘Blue Stream Service’ – a weekly container cargo service connecting Port Canaveral to Europe, the French West Indies, and Central America. The Blue Stream Service comprises five ships with 1,300 TEU capacity and 250 reefer plugs that work on a weekly rotation.

In addition to port activities, Gulftainer’s 3PL company, Momentum Logistics, which operates freight forwarding, trucking, warehousing, container repair and contract logistics, also recorded positive growth in 2015.

Over the next decade, Gulftainer has earmarked an ambitious growth strategy to triple volumes. The company aims to continue expanding operations through investments in infrastructure towards accelerating operational efficiency and benefitting from new opportunities as they emerge. As part of immediate plans, Gulftainer aims to launch its operations in Lebanon.