Hamad Port eases off-loading of ships at Doha Port
Hamad Port is proving its value already by helping reduce container ships’ waiting time at Doha Port, unburdening the customs clearance system, reducing the long lines of ships waiting to dock.
Container ships waiting to clear customs can expect a more rapid clearance time as the new Hamad Port is sharing the burden with Doha Port.
The customs clearance system has been speeded up since the new Hamad Port opened for operation in December last year.
The new port is helping reduce container ships’ waiting time at Doha Port, unburdening the customs clearance system, reducing the familiar queues of ships waiting for two to three days to dock
Since Hamad Port has started sharing the burden of Doha Port, problem-free off-loading of consignments have become more regular, said industry sources.
“We noticed significant changes at Doha Port. There are no more hassles. Giant vessels have begun to easily dock and offload at Hamad Port,” said a clearance agent.
Marine traffic has increased substantially at Hamad Port multiplying by more than four times as many ships using the port in the period between April and May, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The number of ships docking at Hamad Port climbed from 36 in April to 145 in May this year, an increase of 109 within a single month, the data cites.
Qatar’s ports received 361 ships in April this year, with Ras Laffan port witnessing the lion’s share of 52%, which equates with 189 vessels.
According to the figures published on at the ministry’s Twitter account, Doha Port received 70 ships (20%), Al Ruwais port 58 ships (16%), Hamad Port 36 ships (10%) and Halul port eight ships (two%).
Previously Doha Port experienced severe parking problems at the facility, to the extent that security officers had refrained from supplying entry tokens to the truckers at peak hours owing to the rush.
This however, is no longer the issue, the source commented: “Giant vessels carrying heavy equipment and vehicles and open ships loaded with pipes and building materials like cement, steel, gabbros and chemicals, among others, head to Hamad Port.
“Ships carrying general goods like foodstuff, garments, footwear, subsidised ration materials and fodders dock at Doha Port,” the source outlined.
“Earlier, almost all types of vessels used to anchor at Doha Port, including those loaded with heavy equipment causing delay for ships during offloading, putting burden on the port management and customs and giving a hard time to agents running from the pillar to the post for clearance,” said the source.
However, while clearance agents have acknowledged improvements in expediting the system for consignment clearance, they are urging authorities to speed up customs performance at Doha Port.
“The government took two major steps launching Al Nadeeb, the single window customs clearance system, and Hamad Port to make Qatar’s customs clearance of international standard,” said an agent.
“Now there is no excuse for delaying clearance of containers at Doha Port. Consignments could be cleared in standard time with a little improvement in customs performance,” another agent commented.