Kuwait has seen a large increase in containerised goods over the past few years, driven by a booming economy and rising demand for consumer goods. In 2005 Shukweih Terminal handled 550,000 teu, an 18% increase on 2004 volumes and almost 300% up on 2002. It received 522 container ships, a 21% increase from 430 in 2004.
Despite handling more ships, Shukweih has cut its turnaround times. There is virtually no waiting time at anchor and – with two gantry and two mobile ship-to-shore cranes – the facility’s productivity rates often exceed 50 moves an hour. It operates 24/7 and, even during this year’s four-day Eid holiday, moved nearly 6,000 containers from eight ships.
All three of the world’s top container lines – Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM – call weekly at the terminal, as do United Arab Shipping, American President Lines, P&O Nedlloyd, Simatech, Hanjin and Orient Express. China Shipping recently announced a new service from the US West Coast.