Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/08/2013 -- The outlook for the Saudi Arabian freight transport sector is sanguine indeed. The government stimulus package continues to make itself felt through increased consumer confidence which is driving up container volumes at the kingdom's ports. This in turn will boost road haulage volumes. Total tonnage volumes at Saudi ports are also undergoing strong growth, and will be supported over the medium term by the massive house-building programme that is getting underway. The country is well supported by a growing fleet of dry and liquid bulk tankers which continues to expand through company mergers and vessel acquisitions, and the national air carrier, Saudia, has been generating strong revenue and volume growth in 2012. Specific investments in expanding the kingdom's maritime facilities, and in projects such as the Saudi Landbridge and the North-South railway, coupled with strong economic growth on the back of large oil receipts, will further boost freight volumes.
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Headline Industry Data
- Total Saudi Arabian trade set to increase 5.9% in 2012 in real terms, with imports growing 7.5% and exports by 4.3%. Real trade growth will average 3.2% to 2016.
- Air freight volumes set to grow 8.8% in 2012, to reach 660,865 tonnes. Growth to 2016 to average 10.3% per annum.
- 2012 Jeddah Islamic Port total tonnage throughput growth forecast 29.5%, and to average 12.9% per annum to 2016.
- 2012 rail freight volumes forecast to grow by 7.1% in 2012 and to average 7.7% over our forecast period.
Key Industry Trends
Extra Freighter On Saudia's Hong Kong Service
Saudi Airlines Cargo (Saudia), the air freight arm of Saudi Airlines, announced in September that it is to add an extra weekly freighter service between Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, taking the total to eight flights a week. BMI believes that this new flight is indicative of the strong growth being enjoyed by the Middle Eastern airline, the largest cargo carrier in the region. It could also help boost business at Hong Kong airport, currently showing a year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in terms of volume throughput.
Authorities To Invest SAR2.8bn In King Abdulaziz Port
Saudi Arabia intends to invest more than SAR2.8bn (US$750mn) to expand the King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam, according to the port's general manager, Naeem Ibrahim al-Naeem. The port will expand its container terminal capacity by allocating SAR2bn (US$535.71mn), while it will allocate SAR800mn (US$213.28mn) for other facilities. The port registered a 10% increase in container handling to 822,093 units in H112, compared with 748,498 units in H111.
Delegation To Expedite Studies On Proposed US$3bn Causeway
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