The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has added a wave of remarkable achievements across various fronts during the year 2022 in its pursuit to transform the Kingdom’s trade hubs into an engine of investment and economic growth. And one of the milestones came when Saudi Arabia led the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) for 2021, courtesy of King Abdullah Port, which had occupied the first position after coming second in 2020. However, it was Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdulaziz Port that registered the greatest leaps among Saudi ports in the annual list, with the Red Sea hub soaring to the eighth spot from a modest 53rd position last year and the Arabian Gulf port landing in the fourteenth place after finishing 102nd in the previous edition.
Its golden run in global indicators continued with a score of 71.33 in UNCTAD’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) for Q4 2022, a 1.88-point year-on-year rise that came on the back of the addition of nine new shipping services connecting the Kingdom to ports in the East and West.
The national maritime regulator also stepped up its efforts to upgrade the Kingdom’s trade infrastructure by signing deals worth over 2 billion riyals with industry giants to set up seven world-class logistics parks that will create more than 6,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities. Similarly, it offered 14 lucrative investment opportunities to develop and operate multipurpose terminals last year.
In a bid to expand its current portfolio of top-tier services from 46 to 150 and accelerate the push towards digitalisation, Mawani launched the Smart Ports initiative to automate operations and deploy 5G technologies across Saudi ports through agreements valued at over one billion riyals.
Mawani’s ever-increasing roll of honours saw new additions last year, not least the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) award for best performing national entity in international indices as well as the Deal of the Year prize at the 2022 Maritime Standard Awards.