Aqaba Container Terminal – Great Model for Public Private Partnerships

The Jordanian government has issued a report at the end of March 2014 compiled by financial, legal and business experts, representing a variety of market sectors in Jordan to access the operations of privatized entities.

The report showed the success of privatization efforts depends on operational structures, transparency of operations, market structure, expenditure, and the monitoring process. Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) was seen as a good example of achievement based on its solid operational structure, performance monitoring, sustainability and privatization success.

The report showed ACT excelled in operational safety and quality, and its social and economic impact, amongst other areas. ACT was deemed a model privatization venture within its category i.e. ventures based on a build-operate- transfer (BOT) structure that are owned by The Kingdom, but partnered with the private sector in operations and management/administration. This set-up resulted in improved company performance in both increased productivity and efficiency.

The numbers reflect monthly throughput showing a significant increase between the years 2006 and 2013. In 2006, volume was 405,658 TEU while in the year 2013 it reached 872,809. In-transit TEUs (cargo destined inland to other markets) increased from 26,307 TEU to 92,097 TEU for the same period. New jobs in ACT also increased following the privatization from 748 to 886 between 2006 and 2013. Gantry crane productivity improved from 24 moves an hour in 2007 to 29 in 2013.

The number of port calls increased during this same period from 378 to 443. The size of vessels also increased from 1000 TEU feeder vessels to 7200 TEU main line vessels with more than nine weekly services calling today. In 2013, over 333,000 trucks were handled at ACT’s gate.

“These results reflect the agility and efficiency of our company’s operations. We are proud to have our name listed as a leader in port privatization,” stated ACT’s CEO Mr. Jeppe Jensen. “We will continue to work hard on delivering His Majesty King Abdullah II’s vision for transforming the city of Aqaba into a regional transportation hub through our global expertise, best practices and people.”

ACT is a joint venture between the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) and APM Terminals — operating a 25-year build-operate-transfer agreement signed in 2006. The terminal constitutes the logistical and economic backbone of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), serving as the preferred gateway to the region for world markets.

Since 2006, APM Terminals has invested USD 240 million in the Aqaba Container Terminal to create the transportation hub for the Levant region. The port’s expansion plan included a 460 meter berth extension and six new cranes in the 1.3 million TEU capacity terminal.

The Kingdom of Jordan is bordered by four countries and two continents, and has 26 km (16 miles) of coastline at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. Jordan has a population of 6.5 million whose leading export markets are the USA, Iraq and India, and primary import sources are Saudi Arabia and China, followed by Germany and the USA. The World Bank has projected a GDP growth rate of 3.1% for Jordan in 2014 and 3.3% in 2015.

Press Release, April 29, 2014

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