Port of Duqm aims to leverage its geographical location at the crossroads of international East-West shipping routes, as well as its proximity to sea lanes entering and exiting the Arabian Gulf. In fact, Oman – and Duqm in particular – finds itself bang in the middle of international shipping lanes linking the key production markets of the East with the consumer markets of the West. It is this advantageous location that Duqm Port aims to exploit by positioning itself as a transshipment hub on the global supply chain, and a distribution hub serving regional Gulf and Middle East markets.
Duqm’s location far outside the Hormuz Strait means that large containerships, typically of 16,000 – 18,000 TEU capacity, can save two – three days of expensive steaming into the Gulf if they offload their Middle Eastern cargoes at Duqm. Furthermore, these vessels also tend to save on steep insurance costs that are applicable to shipping entering the Strait. But with a butterfly service operating out of Duqm, transshipped cargoes can be shipped onward to Dubai and Salalah through the deployment of smaller vessels – a strategy that guarantees major savings for shippers and shipping lines.
Additionally, there are the booming markets of the Indian sub-continent and East Africa that also fall within Duqm’s convenient reach. Most of the ports on the west coast of India and east coast of Africa suffer perennial congestion problems, thereby opening up opportunities for Duqm as a transshipment centre catering to these markets. Duqm Port, in effect, makes for a splendid economical alternative to hubs in the region.
In targeting global and regional markets for its business growth, Port of Duqm is committed to complementing – and not competing – with fellow Omani ports at Salalah and Sohar. This is in line with the Omani government’s philosophy of nurturing the growth of individual ports based on their inherent strengths and for the ultimate benefit of the national economy.