There are 214 Berths, distributed between nine commercial and industrial ports, respectively, 147 and 67 berths of various type, construction and purpose in the Kingdom.

Services And Available Capacities at Saudi Ports

Berths

There are 214 Berths, distributed between nine commercial and industrial ports, respectively, 147 and 67 berths of various type, construction and purpose in the Kingdom.

The ultimate responsibility for the management and operation of these Red Sea and Arabian Gulf ports and berths, the largest such network in the Middle East, rests with the Saudi Ports Authority, headquartered in Riyadh.

Specialized Terminals:

The Saudi ports are subdivided into a number of independent terminals. There are separate terminals for handling containers, general cargo, frozen and chilled cargo, bulk cargo, Ro-Ro vessels, and livestock and further into terminal operational areas, equipment, warehouses, workshops, and open yards.

This specialization in work has led to increases in productivity and savings in operating costs, whilst providing better services.

This organization has also facilitated the participation of the private sector in the management and operation of the ports since each terminal is run independently by the expertise of its field.

Equipment:

The Ports Authority has given high priority to mechanization by providing more than 3500 pieces of equipment that allow the ports to handle all types of cargo and offer services to all types of ships.

This was one of the main factors behind the ports’ success over the last 22 years in handling more than one billion tons of cargo.

 The flexible way in which the Saudi ports are managed, also played a role in utilizing the equipment by exchanging it between fully ports, when required for economical reasons or operational developments.

 Since the modernization of equipment is directly linked to the increase in productivity and the decrease in maintenance costs, the Ports Authority has put on-going programs to develop the port’s equipment periodically.

Two Ship Repair Yards:

The two yards; namely King Fahd Ship Repair Yard in Jeddah port, and King Fahad Ship Repair Yard in Dammam port have attained their position in the field of ship maintenance.

 Both yards are fully equipped with the most modern equipment and provide their services at competitive prices.

 The construction cost of these two centers has reached around SR1.6 billion (US$430 million).

 Since their inception, 2675 ships have been repaired at these two yards.

Lighthouses and Navigational aids:

Marine control towers have been built in all ports to the best international standards, to ensure the safest marine navigation.

There is also a comprehensive network of navigational aids to direct traffic in and out of Saudi ports, and to mark channels and hazards in Saudi waters.

 There are about 932 navigational aids, of which 72% are solar-powered. They are maintained periodically by two vessels dedicated for this purpose. One serves the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, while the other operates in the Gulf.

 These navigational aids have helped to maintain a high level of safe navigation in Saudi ports and regional waters. They have also helped the ships to navigate to and from Saudi ports round the clock throughout the year, thus decreasing the freight rates. This, in turn, has a positive effect at the prices of goods in the local markets and national exports.

Due to the Saudi Ports Authority’s experience and accomplishments in the field of navigational safety, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been re-elected for the fifth time as a member of Executive Committee of the International Association of Lighthouses Authorities (IALA).

Passengers Terminals:

The Ports Authority gives high priority to passenger services, especially pilgrims.

It has constructed two fully equipped terminals; most notable are those in Jeddah Islamic Port, and the port of Dhiba.

Over one million passengers pass across these two ports each year.

 Experience in handling large volumes of Cargo

The Saudi Ports Authority serves the largest economy in the region, handling 95% of the exports and imports of the Kingdom (excluding crude oil). This represents 61% of the total cargo handled in the GCC states.

The Saudi ports have efficiently handled more than 1.3 billion tons of imports and exports during the last 23 years.

This flow of cargo is sufficient to ensure an adequate volume of work for the private sector, hence, makes the participation and investment in the Saudi ports economically a profitable one.

 Transit:

Although the Ports Authority has successfully utilized the Saudi ports’ capacities and[IMG] strategic geographical locations, it has employed all of its resources and expertise to attract more ships and cargo to Saudi ports.

 To achieve this goal, the Saudi Government has consented to introduce transshipment service in Jeddah, Dammam, and Jubail ports.

These ports were designated because they have the expertise, equipment, and open spaces to provide the new service, which is expected to boost the leading position of Saudi ports in the region.

 Re-export:

The Ports Authority, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and National[IMG] Economy, has also introduced a new service; “Re-export”. This service will gradually be provided in all Saudi ports.

 Open yards, covering an area of 1,500,000sqm, have been designated for re-export services in the ports of Jeddah and Dammam. The private sector will manage and operate these areas.

 The new service it is believed will strengthen the role of the Saudi ports in the national economy and open new markets for local trade. It will help in providing a strategic storage of goods for the Kingdom’s markets with lower expenses than those of the neighboring markets.

 Many trading sectors will benefit from the new service especially the trades of cars, spare parts, electrical machines and food products.

 Training Centers:

The Ports Authority owns and operates two training centers, one in Jeddah port,[IMG] established in 1977 and the other in King Abdul Aziz port in Dammam, established in 1979. Both centers provide intensive training programs in many fields such as pilotage, diving, navigation of marine craft, maintenance and cargo handling.

 These programs are provided for the local staff of the Ports Authority, other government sectors and the port related private sector.

 Since they were established, over 14,500 Saudis have been trained in these two centers.

 The Ports Authority’s success in its training plans is demonstrated by the increasing number of Saudi nationals employed in SEAPA reaching 97%, while piloting positions are fully occupied by Saudis.

 As a result of the professional training services the Saudi Ports Authority provides, the Gulf Co-operation Council States have chosen the Training Center in Dammam port to be for training GCC seaports staff.

Unified Rules and Regulations

The Authority has published a comprehensive list of rules and regulations to indicate what is expected from all involved parties, locally and internationally dealing with Saudi ports including shipping lines, shipping agents, cargo brokers, and consignees etc.

 It gives a clear, unified guidance to all port users, and is printed in both English and Arabic.

 These rules and regulations were adopted by the G.C.C. states in 1985 and subject to periodic reviews.

 A reasonably priced Tariff:

A unified tariff applies in all Saudi ports. This tariff is clear and easy to apply. It specifies the tariffs to be paid by all the port related parties whether agents, exporters, or importers, in return for the services rendered by the ports.

 It is also considered profitable for the investors and at the same time competitive with international seaports’ tariffs.

 A wide Statistics Database

Since inception, the Ports Authority has maintained a comprehensive and wide database of statistics for all the Saudi ports. This information is published monthly and annually in both Arabic and English.

 These publications provide complete statistics of ships calling the Saudi ports (discharged or loaded), types of cargo, their origins, and quantities (imported or exported) and are categorized according to international standards.

 This information is of great significance to investors. It provides them with the resources for developing their feasibility studies and also gives them a clear picture on their intended investment fields.