APM Terminals says Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), a gateway to Jordan and beyond, showed strong resilience in 2019 in the face of challenging local economic context and a strong start in 2020.
ACT volume increased by 3.4% for the period of August to December compared to the previous year. The first two months of 2020 have confirmed the trend with a growth in import container volumes of 13% and in export container volumes of 6%.
ACT CEO, Steven Yoogalingam, stated:”2019 was a year with many challenges. 2020 had a strong start but the year will not be free of challenges. The coronavirus outbreak has prolonged the period of low trading activity well beyond Chinese New Year so we naturally expect lower volumes in March.”
The terminal’s strategy to promote Aqaba as a gateway to Iraq and the wider Levant delivered a sharp increase in containers to Iraq (up 367% compared to previous year), and contributed to the positive results recorded for the past few months, according to APM Terminals.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, the global humanitarian agency for the protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict providing support and emergency relief to Syrian refugees, and Nile Forwarding, the project cargo expert who ships several hundreds of containers into Iraq, both made Aqaba their preferred gateway.
In addition, APM Terminals highlights that the drive of Jordan Customs authorities to digitalise essential cargo clearance processes have led to improvements in the dwell-time (average number of days that an importer leaves a container at ACT), reducing by a full day in 2019 compared to 2018 and reaching record low levels in January this year‒ down 3.3 days compared January 2017.
Moreover, the new Jordan National Single Window enabled pre-arrival clearance process which in turn allowed customers to clear their containers in as little as 48 to 72 hours after discharge in Jordan, in line with the best international standards.