KARACHI: A United Arab Emirates-based port terminal operator plans to establish a direct connection between Pakistan’s Karachi and Khor Fakkan port in Sharjah through shipping lines using the fastest maritime route, said its top official on Thursday.
The Gulftainer company was launched in 1976 to operate the Middle East’s first container terminal in Sharjah. It has become a globally competitive port operator and third-party logistics provider, managing some of the most productive harbors in the world.
The Khor Fakkan Container Terminal itself is known to be one of the fastest facilities in the world.
“The thing about Khor Fakkan is that it’s only about 25 to 26 hours steaming distance at 20 knots from Karachi,” Andrew Hoad, the company’s group chief commercial officer, told Arab News while visiting Pakistan.
“We’re trying to hook up with shipping line services that are looking to directly connect the UAE with Pakistan, Karachi because Khor Fakkan is such a rational place to do it from, with a short steaming time, quick clearances, rather than going all the way through the Straits of Hormuz and further on up into the Gulf,” he added.
Hoad said his company was going to hold roadshows to introduce opportunities and expertise in Pakistan to attract exporters.
“We’re certainly going to be on a number of roadshows within Pakistan, talking to the exporting community for various commodities and trying to sell to them the benefits of that fast transaction into the UAE through Khor Fakkan,” he continued.
The port operator boasts of being one of the world’s leading international ports and logistics solution providers and the first and only operator from the Middle East to manage ports in the United States.
Gulftainer’s portfolio also encompasses seaports in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, along with freight forwarding, supply chain operations, and logistics cities through Momentum Logistics and Avalon Transport.
Hoad said the UAE had become a hub of expertise over the past 15 years that could be shared with Pakistan.
“The United Arab Emirates has a number of really good quality port operators,” he added. “DP World is one; Abu Dhabi Ports and Gulftainer are others. The UAE has become sort of a hub of expertise, I think, over the last ten or 15 years.”
“So hopefully we can share some of that expertise as Gulftainer if it is requested or required.”