With a declared capacity of 14,100 teu, the CSCL Star, built by Samsung Heavy Industries, is 366 m long with a width of 51.2 m (more than 20 container rows across), and with a draught of 14.5 m, it is the largest container vessel ever to call at Jeddah Port.
RSGT, which started commercial operations at the end of 2009 has a deep water navigation channel with a draft up to -16.5 m, and is well placed to handle the next generation of Triple E- Class mega vessels (18,000+teu) soon to be deployed. Prior to RSG, these vessels were unable to berth due to the draft and breadth restrictions.
In 2010, mainly due to RSGT’s increased capacity, the port handled 3.9m teu, an increase of almost 24% compared with the 3m teu handled in 2009, with transhipment traffic jumping by more than 40%. As a result, Jeddah overtook Salalah to become the Middle East’s second busiest container port after Dubai. A further increase is likely this year with Jeddah handling over 867,000 teu in the first three months of 2011, 7% more than in the equivalent months of 2010 and traffic at the terminal almost reaching 1m teu this month (June).
“As global shipping turns to the economies of scale to drive costs down, terminal and port operators will in turn need to invest in increased capacity and new infrastructure, as well as improved and more efficient operational solutions,” said Aamer Alireza RSGT’s CEO. “To keep up with these trends, RSGT has implemented the latest infrastructure, equipment and state-of-the-art technology, offering enhanced access, berthing and handling as well as best in class logistics and business facilities required.”
Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects including US$400bn to be spent in the five years to 2013, and over US$130bn to be spent on social and infrastructure projects.