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Saudi Ports Authority: A history of continuous support from the state

Friday, 28 September 2018 | 16:00

Maritime ports in Saudi Arabia had been receiving great attention since their inception under the Kingdom’s founder King Abdelaziz, to form one of the nation’s most important economic and commercial streams, as well as playing a major role in boosting its regional and international trade.

The ports also contribute to the national economy by playing a main role in development plans. The Kingdom’s wise leadership has provided them with all the necessary capabilities, services and facilities to develop and increase their capacity, thus contributing to strengthening its regional and international stance.

The ports have undergone various stages of construction and development since the foundation of Saudi Arabia up until the General Ports Organization was established in 1976. This was followed by the establishment and inauguration of several ports until 1997, during which the operation of ports was handed to the private sector.

In 2018, the cabinet approved the renaming of the General Organization of Ports in order to become a public body and it was named the Saudi Ports Authority.

The decision, a very important one, contributed to strengthening its services and raising its capacity, and supporting the process of construction and development in the Kingdom, to fulfill Vision 2030.

It allowed ports to perform its supervising, coordinating and legislative role with a lot of flexibility by giving its board of directors clear validations, which contributed to the rapid response and interaction with all developments in the maritime industry.

The Saudi Ports Authority governs the operations of nine ports in the country, six of them for trade and three for industrial uses. Four of them overlook the Arabian Gulf, while the other five overlook the Red Sea.

Trade ports play a key role in facilitating the importation of all goods and services necessary for social, economic and industrial development.

Meanwhile, industrial ports play a key role in supporting and encouraging national industries by expanding production areas and facilitating the export of petrochemical and petroleum products.

The authority has been keen on providing the ports with latest equipment to serve ships and facilitate the goods they load, and has prepared its docks to receive large ships owned by global navigation lines.

It has also implemented a number of development and expansion projects in all ports to increase their capabilities and improve performance, and adopted a package of regulatory and administrative procedures that meet the requirements of the next phase, including: implementation of the port community system in all ports, implementation of KPI’s international, implementing clearing of containers during 24 hours, which led to a reduction in the time of clearing goods in all ports to only three days, issuing the regulation of the maritime agents for obtaining a license to practice the work of the maritime agent within all ports of the Kingdom.
Source: Arab News

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