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Djibouti & Dubai Ports open East Africa’s newest port 23, February 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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(From the FT 22/02/2009)

The Financial Times reports on the opening next month of East Africa’s highest-capacity container port in Djibouti. Dubai Ports World has invested around $400 in the facility that is excepted to capitalise on 30% year on year growth to become the East Africa’s premiere shipping terminal. It hopes to use the new facilities, its strategic location two days sailing from the mouth of the Red Sea and the port’s exceptionally deep water to make a sizable dent in Mombassa and Dar Es Sallam’s trans-shipping trade. These ports compete for the right to off load cargo from larger ocean going vessels to the (relatively) smaller ones used to go up and through the Suez Canal.

The Financial Times quotes Neil Davidson of London’s Drewry Shipping Consultants who cautioned that there was general over-supply is this type of shipment around Djibouti. Large amounts of regional growth would be needed, Davidson continued, if DP World’s goals for the port are to be met.

It seems, therefore, that the biggest winners will be the shipping lines themselves. Now that they have Djibouti as another option, they can further take advantage of an already competitive market to drive down their prices either at Djibouti itself or further south at Mombassa and Dar Es Sallam. So far the FT reports that DP World has been able to persuade APL the operator of the seventh biggest container fleet in the world, to switch to Djibouti at the expense of Sokhna in Egypt.