A new route for the export of goods to Asia and the Arab world from the Eilat and Aqaba ports was inaugurated today in a ceremony attended by dozens of Palestinian businessmen who hope that exports via Aqaba will prevent delays and remove obstacles at Israel's ports. The Eilat Port Company Ltd. and Shlomi Fogel, an owner of the port and the private port Israel Shipyards Ltd. are behind the initiative.
Two months ago, "Globes" reported that the Eilat Port began operating a feeder container ship to carry up to 124 containers at a time on the 40-minute trip between it and the Aqaba Port. The idea is to create an trade route in addition to Ashdod Port Company Ltd. and Haifa Port Company Ltd. using Aqaba Port facilities, which are among the largest and most modern in the Middle East. "The entire process takes no more than 24 hours," Eilat Port CEO Gideon Golbar. "Our objective is to create an alternative to overland transport, which limits capacity and availability."
Aqaba Port Corporation manager Yaffa Neiman Janssen told "Globes" that it was a port of call for major shipping companies and goods could be delivered to destinations all over the world. He said that the port could unload up to 30 containers an hour, compared with 25 containers an hour at Israeli ports.
Golbar estimates the cost of shipping a container to the Far East at a few hundred dollars, while importing a container is almost $1,000. Exports via Aqaba will shorten shipping times by several days, and saves the need to transit the Suez Canal. The fee for transiting the canal NIS 300,000 for a 5,000 TEU container ship.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 20, 2014
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