Port Congestion is a Consequence of Global Ripple Effects

Shahab Al Jassmi of DP World said, “The last two years have taught us how to adapt ourselves to meet the challenges.” As a port and service provider DP World has been preparing, planning and expanding Jebel Ali for years using the latest technologies and most advanced systems and equipment. And yet they had to face challenges during the pandemic.

The reason for that according to Al Jassmi is that it is not just “one party’s responsibility”. When congestion occurs at Jebel Ali, or any other port, it becomes the focal point for media and shippers’ attention. But there are many stakeholders in the sea cargo supply chain including traders, shipping lines, truckers, feeders and various governments and authorities playing various critical roles.

In the last two years DP World has faced numerous complexities while supporting different parts of the supply chain. For example, when a vessel sets sail from the Far East it has many stopovers in many different countries before it arrives at Jebel Ali.

Elaborating further, Al Jassmi said that during the pandemic many countries radically altered many rules to deal with the changing scenarios and Jebel Ali has had to keep up with the changes at various ports before the vessel arrives. And then before it departs they have to ensure that it is able to dock at ports further up along the vessel’s route.

Operations at Jebel Ali have consequently been affected by these changing rules in terms of stowage planning for the vessel, delayed services at prior ports, and crucially, in terms of documentation prior to vessel arrival and its subsequent departure.

Al Jassmi said that Dubai has been working very hard to automate as much documentation as possible in order to streamline the requirements of different nations and DP World has been working very closely with customers to overcome the challenges of the changing documentation requirements of various port authorities and governments.

Today, congestion is the result of a complex interplay between changing requirements and situations of the multiple stakeholders and doesn’t just depend on the efficiency of one port authority or terminal operator. “So we have to compromise and we have to find customised solutions. That is the life of a terminal operator,” concluded Al Jassmi.


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