The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the world’s main oil exporting country. It has the largest and most diversified economy in the Middle East with industrial exports that are internationally oriented. The Kingdom, therefore, has to have efficient, fully equipped ports that are capable of doing the job as it should be done.
The past years have witnessed great achievements:
95% of Saudi imports and exports pass through the Kingdom’s sea ports.
55% of the cargo handled are exports.
The capacity of the Saudi ports has increased from 31 berths to 206 mechanized and organized berths.
Operating costs were reduced from U.S. $40/ton to U.S. $1/ton.
More than 5 million TEUs are handled annually.
11,000 ships visit Saudi ports annually .
There are 633 Navigation Aids off the Kingdom's coasts, 72% of which are Solar Powered;
97% of The Ports' staff are locals. In marine piloting they are all Saudi nationals.
All the Saudi ports have unified rules and regulations.
In late 1997 the Ports Authority started passing the responsibilities of ports management, operation and maintenance to the private sector, in order to provide services capable of regional competition.
Today, the Saudi Ports are fully managed and operated by the private sector on a commercial basis. The Ports Authority still retains its supervisory role.
The Saudi ports provide excellent services:
Handling of all types of cargo.
Four major container terminals, Three on the Red Sea (Jeddah Port), the Fourth in the Arabian Gulf (Dammam), and there is a new terminal under construction in Dammam to be in operation by 2014 .
Two ship repair yards (in Jeddah and Dammam) with 4 floating docks for each.