Port terminal operator DP World has introduced a new coastal service to link its Jebel Ali hub to other ports in the UAE, in an effort to ease supply chain bottlenecks for crucial customers.

The first shipment of about 200 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) left from the Jebel Ali Port to the Port of Ajman and reached on time on 7 October, stated the company.

To overcome congestion by calling smaller berths, a fleet of modified multi-carrying vessels (MCV) are engaged to serve the new routes.

Designed to use less space, the shallow draft vessels can access areas of ports, where larger ships cannot be accommodated given their size and length.

Furthermore, these draft vessels can turn around at least twice as fast as large vessels on shortsea routes.

This mechanism of operation is more useful when linking UAE coastal feeder ports with hub ports.

Customers can efficiently access Jebel Ali Port and transit times get reduced by days due to the addition of marine services to the UAE’s 700km Arabian Gulf coastline.

Initial shipments will cover food imports into the UAE and move commodities such as cement out of it, said the company.

Focusing on linking the UAE to the wider Middle East, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Far East, the service starts with 2-3 calls per week.

DP World will link customers and mainline carriers to an integrated ecosystem at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) by moving additional volumes of containerised cargo between Jebel Ali and other ports in the UAE.

Serving more than 3.5 billion people across the globe, JAFZA helps to link over 150 ports worldwide.

DP World marine services group’s chief operating officer Jesper Kristensen said: “We’ve created this new coastal service to better support our customers in the UAE region and mitigate the rapidly increasing costs of trade.

“Our hope is that our customers can enjoy a more seamless and sustainable solution along the coast of the UAE, as well as secure better access to our global hub, Jebel Ali.”