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ACT scores elevated ranking among global container ports

By JT - Jun 27,2022 - Last updated at Jun 27,2022

Aqaba Container Terminal posts higher ranking among global container ports (Photo courtesy of ACT)

AMMAN — Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) has climbed in ranking among global container ports to achieve a position of 35 out of 370 ports listed for 2021 — a jump of six places compared to its ranking in the previous year, according to an ACT statement released on Monday .

ACT is now "the most efficient port in the Levant", by a considerable margin, and it comes as a direct result of the large investments made to enhance operational performance at the Aqaba terminal in recent years, said the statement.

The results were published in a recent report entitled, "The Container Port Performance Index 2021" or the (CPPI), which was compiled by the World Bank Group together with S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

The CPPI rates the performance of shipping ports by comparing the amount of time container ships spent in port to complete workloads over the course of 2021.

ACT is Jordan’s only container port and essential to the Kingdom’s supply chain. It is a regional transit hub which holds a strategic location, linking more than 45 million consumers in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia to the world.

As the ranking proves, it is outperforming competing ports in the Mediterranean on efficiency, becoming the preferred gateway to the Levant for major shipping lines, which can make considerable savings by calling at Aqaba to avoid  heavily congested routes. According to the ACT statement.

 As a result, the port has seen in-transit volumes, that are destined for other regional markets, grow consistently.

Moreover, ACT is a major partner in Jordan’s infrastructure development plans, with a particular emphasis on connections to neighbouring markets, to help ensure that it remains efficient and sustainable going forward.

The port’s results also show that investments at the container terminal itself are paying off. 

Since 2006, when it was established as a joint venture between Aqaba Development Corporation and APM Terminals, a company of the A. P. Moller-Maersk Group, more than $320 million have been invested to upgrade its facilities and technology, which includes bringing specialised machinery and digitising tasks to make them faster, safer, and more accurate.

The statistics used by CPPI 2021 are based on measurements of total port time and compared with ports in their region as well as global ports of similar call sizes. This was made possible by data collected through the Automatic Identification System, which is used to track and monitor ships as the navigate the globe. 

Recent supply chain issues have led to shortages and price increase of certain products, and is also putting stress on ports, disrupting schedules, and increasing delays on ships when docked.

The reason why CPPI is based on dwell times is that when ships fall behind schedule there is a risk for congestion which has a snowballing effect on subsequent arrivals. When ships arrive at ports outside of their agreed timeslot, the effects can be felt beyond the port as disruption to supply chains and damage the national economy. In order to address this risk, ACT has successfully implemented measures that prioritise ships which arrive within their designated berthing windows, thereby maintaining the efficiency and reliability of the port’s operations.

In fact, it has reduced both truck waiting times and vessel port stays, with delivery of cargo decreasing to just a week, according to the statement.

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