(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar's Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports remained busy this March owing to a robust upward trajectory in general cargo and containers year-on-year, indicating the buoyancy and resiliency in the domestic economy, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Mwani Qatar data.
Specifically, the building materials handled by the ports witnessed a double-digit growth year-on-year in March 2021; an indicator of momentum in the country's real estate and construction sectors, as corroborated by the rising trends in building permissions issued in the recent months.
Despite the pandemic, Qatar's merchandise trade has been showing resilience; indicating promising potential for the logistics and other support services segments as well as for the special zones.
The general cargo handled through the three ports stood at 134,320 tonnes in March 2021, which showed a 2.17% increase on a yearly basis. It however declined 4.04% month-on-month in the review period.
On a cumulative basis, the general cargo movement through the three ports totalled 462,570 tonnes in the first three months of this year.
Hamad Port's strategic geographical location offers opportunities to create cargo movement towards the upper Gulf, supporting countries such as Kuwait and Iraq and south towards Oman.
The container handling through the three ports stood at 137,737 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), which grew 22.18% and 1.36% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2021. The container handling totalled 411,132 TEUs in January-March this year.
Hamad Port, which is the largest eco-friendly project in the region and internationally recognised as one of the largest green ports in the world, alone saw 135,494 TEUs of containers handled in February 2021.
Qatar's share in the overall Middle East trade is expected to significantly increase with the robust technological infrastructure supporting the Hamad Port's second container terminal (CT2). Recently, the 332m MSC Tomoko with a capacity of 8,400 TEUs was berthed in Hamad Port's CT2.
The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 250 this March, which was 11.11% higher on yearly and monthly basis. As many as 722 ships had called on the ports during the first quarter (Q1) of this year.
The building materials handled amounted to 48,294 tonnes in March this year, which shot up 16.22% year-on-year but showed a 49.84% decline month-on-month. A total of 198,320 tonnes of building materials had been handled by these three ports during Q1 2021.
The rebound of business activities, especially in the construction sector, rather corroborates the Qatar Financial Centre's positive outlook on the non-energy private sector.
'Al Ruwais port plays a vital role as an additional commercial access facility that promotes export and import of general cargo, containers, commodities and project cargoes, Mwani Qatar said.
The three ports together handled 6,669 vehicles (RORO) in February 2021, which was up 9.54% and 13.03% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively. They together handled 19,729 vehicles in the first three months of this year.
The three ports had handled 25,638 livestock in March, which plummeted 56.98% on a yearly basis but witnessed 28.19% growth on a monthly basis. Together they handled 105,492 heads in the first three months of this year.
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