Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) has announced a new port of call at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for its Dragon Service between Asia and the Mediterranean.
The Dragon Service was introduced in February this year, with stops at Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Singapore, Ashdod, Naples, La Spezia, Genoa, Fos sur Mer, Gioia Tauro, King Abdullah, Singapore and Shanghai.
The weekly string deploys 12 vessels of 15,000 TEUs each, on average.
“The latest connection is pivotal to the Kingdom’s ambition in expanding its network of global maritime routes that generate a wealth of possibilities for the local economy as per the objectives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS),” the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) said in a statement.
The authority further noted, “Jeddah’s inclusion as a port of call by MSC also reflects the Red Sea port’s indispensability to global trade besides its reputation as a world class destination characterized by high levels of efficiency and productivity, a fact validated by its advanced ranking in major international indices.”
At the time of launching the Dragon Service, MSC had said, “With this enhanced service, MSC will be the first carrier offering a direct call into Naples that will allow shippers to get the best coverage into the South Italian market.”
Jeddah Port, Saudi Arabia’s busiest cargo gateway, saw 5 million gateway TEUs and 3 million transshipment TEUs in 2022, according to the national port authority. Combined volumes handled by various terminals under the Saudi Ports Authority in April reached 681,663 TEUs, up 13.5% year-over-year, data shows.
As part of a long-term growth vision, Saudi Arabia aims to quadruple its yearly container throughput to 40 million TEUs by 2030.
Jeddah has lately become a focal point for carriers serving India and the Middle East trades as they target additional regional volumes to compensate for the demand pressure in primary markets.
For example, MSC recently extended the port rotation of its Himalaya Express (IEX) Service between West India and Europe with a call at Jeddah. The Indamex 2, jointly operated by Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM between West India and the US East Coast, also added Jeddah to its schedule from January this year.
MSC has been realigning its networks and vessel deployments across trade lanes in an effort to bring capacity more in line with current market conditions.
Contact email: [email protected]