Saudi Ports Authority joins International Port Community Systems Association
Saudi Ports Authority has taken a major step forward in its ambitions to develop a Port Community System covering nine different ports – by joining the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA).
In confirming the Saudi Ports Authority as a new member, IPCSA has continued its expansion and also strengthened its presence in the GCC region.
“We are delighted to welcome Saudi Ports Authority as a new member,” says IPCSA Secretary General Richard Morton. “As IPCSA, we have created five regions which match those of the UN Regional Commissions, so that as our membership increases, we can ensure that we address the needs of members on a regional as well as international basis. Saudi Ports Authority will play an important role in our influence and activities in the GCC region.”
Saudi Ports Authority has embarked on an ambitious project to develop a Port Community System (PCS) to cover all of the nine ports within its remit.
The largest of these is Jeddah, on the Red Sea, handling 60% of Saudi Arabia’s imports, while the second largest is Dammam, on the Gulf. Overall, the nine ports include six commercial ports handling general cargo and containers, mainly imports (Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail, Dhiba, Yanbu and Jizan); two industrial ports focusing on petrochemicals (at Jubail and Yanbu), and Ras-Alkhair, a minerals export port handling phosphates and ammonia, and other minerals.
“We are looking to develop a local PCS for each single port together with an overall PCS covering the network of all nine ports,” says Tariq Hussainan, CIO at Saudi Ports Authority. “Clearly there is no single solution for a PCS – it depends on the cargoes handled and the particular environment of the port, and it isn’t a copy-and-paste situation. We know we face challenges in developing our system; we are confident that being a member of IPCSA will enable us to learn from the experience and expertise of other ports that are ahead in the process.”