During the first half of the year, Port of Beirut’s (PoB) total revenues rose to $105.93 million compared to $85.12 million in the same period last year, especially since the paralysis of the Syrian ports led to merchandise being imported through Beirut and exported back to war-stricken Syria.
Revenues surged due to the 8.43% yo-y rise in total container activity (container activity and transshipment) to 558,162 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) up to June. In fact, the 22.16% increase in container activity to 373,245 TEU offset the 11.62% y-o-y fall in transshipment (TS) volume to 184,917 TEU. However, the decline in transshipment is not to be mistaken with a slow activity at the PoB.
In fact, the Port’s authorities asked the shipping companies to scale down their transferred volumes given the excessive congestion at the port. The extension of the container terminal back in 2009 appeared to be insufficient. Hence, the Port recently allocated $60 million for the purchase of loading and stocking equipment and for a further expansion of the terminal. The latter’s capacity is set to increase from the current yearly 750,000 TEU to an estimated 1,200,000 TEU when it’s fully functional in September.
The bustling activity is also portrayed through the 15.74% y-o-y jump in the demand for cars as they totaled 45,982 units up to June compared to 39,728 units up to the same month last year. Moreover, imported and exported merchandise navigating through the port surged by a yearly 17.37% to 4,091.3 in H1 2013 while the number of vessels docking at the port rose by 4.55% to 1,058 in H1 2013.
The Lebanon Brief – Blom Bank