Monday 19th of April 2021 |
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Aqaba port readies to receive stranded vessels as Suez Canal traffic resumes


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Aqaba Company for Ports Operation and Management said that it had prepared a strategic plan to receive the vessels that were stranded in the waterway for nearly a week due to a blockage in the Suez Canal caused by a giant container ship.
The move, in implementation of international maritime law, comes to preserve the safety of livestock onboard, General Manager of the Aqaba Company for Ports Operation and Management, Khaled Al Maaytah said.
The 400m container ship, the Ever Given, was refloated and the Suez Canal reopened on Monday, global news agency, AFP, reported
Cost of each day of the blockade to global trade is estimated to be $6-$10 billion, according to a study published by German insurer Allianz on Friday. 
Authorities reported that about 369 ships were waiting for the canal to reopen, AFP reported. 
Transport Minister Wajeeh Azayzeh said that the closure period that affected the Egyptian Suez Canal due to the stranded Ever Given did not affect the shipping activities in the port of Aqaba, whether for the ships in the port or the ships coming to the Kingdom through the canal, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
“Most of the imports come from the Far East,” Azayzeh added, indicating that the ministry has taken the necessary measures to prevent any negative effects on the local market in cooperation with all partners, according to Petra. 
Azayzeh added that following the resumption of traffic in the canal “it is expected that more than 13 ships will arrive at once at the port of Aqaba loaded with goods and containers.”
A meeting was held on Sunday for Aqaba’s ports company’s senior employees to discuss the latest developments, Maaytah told The Jordan Times on Monday. 
“We were assured of the company’s readiness to receive all ships according to priority. Priority will be given to ships carrying livestock according to maritime law and marine international agreements.” Maaytah added.
Maaytah indicated that the berths designated for receiving livestock vessels, as well as discharging paths have been prepared. Full coordination is in place to perform unloading at maximum speed, all the while following the applicable standards, such as agricultural inspection, Pratik (freedom of communication), sterilisation, as well as provision of trucks to transport livestock, confirming that land transport companies have been contacted for this purpose. 
Maaytah stressed the “full readiness” and the operational capacity at the Aqaba ports to handle the situation.
Maaytah noted that some ships will not be unloaded directly, as they will be subject to laboratory tests by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Corporation. Such vessels will be put into berths until test results appear. Further, the sterilisation process for vessels will be carried through as per normal procedure.
“We, the Aqaba Company for Ports Operations and Management, are in contact with all relevant authorities to facilitate all procedures and overcome any obstacles that may hinder transporting the vessels to the port of Aqaba,” Maaytah told The Jordan Times.

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