Iraqi imports grew by 86% in 2017 to $36.5 billion - the leading sources being China, Turkey, Iran, South Korea and the United States
Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), located on the Red Sea, is leaving no stone unturned in becoming a viable alternative maritime gateway for Iraq-bound cargo.
Containers imported into Iraq will no longer have to be trans-loaded onto new trucks as they cross the Jordanian/Iraqi border.
“The Aqaba Container Terminal has been working hard over the years to develop a competitive gateway to Iraq," says ACT Managing Director Steven Yoogalingam.
“This will enhance the already strong Iraqi port system and gives the business communities of both countries a fantastic transportation system to better support economic development in the region," he adds.
Ideally located, the ACT is 550km - or 36 hours by road - from the Iraqi border town of Traibil and 48 hours from Baghdad. This development comes as the volume of Iraqi imports experience rapid growth - 86% last year alone.
Last month, ACT welcomed the maiden call of the new AR1 direct service linking Aqaba in Jordan with ports in China, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.
The service is jointly operated by Wan Hai and container shipping group THE Alliance which is made up of Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming (YML) and the Ocean Network Express (ONE).
The extra capacity deployed by the lines into Aqaba provides ample space to support the needs of the Iraqi market.
With its deep draft, state-of-art facilities and best in class performance, ACT has been able to handle ever-increasing vessel sizes - from 5,500 TEU vessels in 2014 to more than 14,500 TEU today.
The terminal handled 804,000 TEUs in 2017, with calls made by ships from the world's largest container shipping lines. This provides the Jordanian and Iraqi business communities with the largest choice of carriers.