Danish ship corporation AP Moller-Maersk (Maersk) adds Sohar port call to its Ocean shipping services, the Shaheen Express, with a commencement date of 3 July 2023.

By alternating between Jebel Ali, Mundra, Pipavav, Jebel Ali and Sohar, the Shaheen Express will establish a consistent and dependable service for the India-UAE-Oman corridor.

Maersk has stated that the Shaheen Express will continue addressing the rising demand for customers trading between the Indian and the Gulf markets and consists of two vessels with a combined nominal capacity of 2,800 TEUs.

Christopher Cook, MD of Maersk UAE, Oman and Qatar, highlights the importance of expanding its reach into one of the largest ports in Oman and how this will reap positive effects for their market growth.

“Oman is an extremely important market for us. We believe and are fully committed to participating in this market’s growth story. In recent times, we have seen an increased demand from our customers. We recently expanded our office footprint based on the feedback from our customers and are now adding the Sohar port call to our Shaheen Express,” Cook said.

The Sohar port, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam, features a 4,500-hectare development which has attracted over US$27bn in investments.

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Additionally, the Sohar port, which handles approximately 60 million tons of cargo, will improve transit time for some of the inbound corridors, such as from Port Qasim (Pakistan), Port Said (Egypt), Sokhna Port (Egypt), Kolkata Port (India), Jawaharlal Nehru Port (India) and some European ports.

Cook added: “The improved transit times combined with the reliability of the Shaheen Express would render predictable ocean transportation solutions to our customers, which in turn, will help them plan their supply chains better, optimise their inventories in line with their operations and meet the demand from the market.”

With the launch of the Shaheen Express and the availability of end-to-end logistics services in Oman, Maersk will be able to make importers’ and exporters’ operations more competitive.

Furthermore, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the UAE, which went into effect in May 2022, will help the Shaheen Express continue to contribute to the expanding commerce between India and the UAE.