Maersk Line restarts shipping of containers to Qatar through the ports of Oman. The direct feeder service from the port of Salalah in Oman to Doha will depart on June 19. The frequency of dispatches will be 10 days. The new service was launched by Maersk in connection with the sanctions imposed to Qatar by the Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. However, this option is offered for the delivery of only those containers, the carriage of which was booked before the introduction of sanctions. The new container shipping order to Qatar is still closed.
Qatar is building a new port complex in the Hamad port to be able to directly accept large container ships by 2020. In the meantime, most of the cargo is delivered to Qatar either by land transport from the ports of Saudi Arabia or by feeder vessels with transshipment through other major ports in the region, mainly through Jebel Ali.
However, this week DP World, which is the operator of the Jebel Ali port, imposed a ban on calling ships under the flag of Qatar and unloading cargo destined for delivery to Qatar.
Earlier experts from the analytical agency Drewry assumed that the lines could transfer the transshipment of Qatar containers to the Omani port of Sohar, as it is located closer to the emirate than Salalah. In addition, to circumvent the blockade of Qatar, the alternative is to deliver through Iran’s ports, in particular Bender-Abbas, and Kuwait.