Gulftainer, the largest privately owned, independent port operator, received the largest container vessel to call at Iraqi ports to date. The vessel, YM Wealth, deployed by Taiwan-based shipping line Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (Yang Ming), arrived at Gulftainer’s Iraq Container Terminal (ICT) facility.
Gulftainer marked the momentous occasion with a reception that drew the participation of Omran Radhi Thani, Director General of the National Ports Authority of Iraq, Osama Ali al-Maliki, Director of the Umm Qasr Customs Authority, and Rafi’e Yosif Abbas, Director General of the Iraqi State Company for Maritime Transport. Representatives of the Basra Governorate, shipping agencies in Iraq and other senior officials were also in attendance.
ang Ming currently operates a fleet of 98 vessels, primarily container ships, with the combined capacity of approximately 590,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The company deployed the YM Wealth for the China Gulf Express (CGX) service on a revised route that now includes a call at the Umm Qasr Port, offering a direct connection between the Far East and Iraq. On her maiden call to ICT, the 5,551 TEU vessel discharged and loaded over 2,500 containers.
Speaking on the occasion, Flemming Dalgaard, Gulftainer’s CEO, said: “The arrival of the YM Wealth marked a major milestone for Gulftainer as well as the Umm Qasr Port. This achievement reinforces Gulftainer’s commitment to providing Iraq with best-in-class container handling facilities. Having witnessed the tremendous potential this market offers, we remain dedicated to enhancing our capabilities in Iraq to attract the world’s leading operators and take on larger-capacity vessels.”
Gulftainer expanded its operations to Iraq in 2008, making it the first international company to set up a container terminal at the Umm Qasr Port. In addition to ICT, the company operates the Iraq Project Terminal (IPT). In 2015, Gulftainer also set up the Umm Qasr Logistics Centre (UQLC) a 750,000 sq m facility, which offers significant logistics support to Iraq’s oil and gas projects sector. Managed by its 3PL logistics arm, Momentum Logistics, UQLC provides a wide range of value added services to customers in the port, including customs clearance, bonded and non-bonded storage areas, warehousing, cold storage, LCL services, rental offices and accommodation.