12th June 2017
Container lines suspend Qatar services
Freight forwarders and shippers needing to ship cargo to and from Qatar are faced with increasingly limited options as a result of the Saudi Arabia-led moves to block transport, trading and diplomatic links with Doha.
Several shipping lines have cancelled their services to and from Qatar and begun seeking new solutions for customers after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday extended a ban on vessels entering its ports under the Qatari flag to include vessels destined for or arriving from Qatar.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have announced similar bans, although Egypt’s Suez Canal transits have not been affected and all Qatar-flagged vessels are free to transit, Lloyd’s List reports. A local representative of a ship management company in Fujairah said: “Container lines that run a regular service calling at Gulf ports including Doha are likely to be most severely impacted by any bans relating to Qatar. Containers that originated from or are destined for Doha will likely be disrupted until a logistics solution can be found.”
Industry sources suggested that the ports of Salalah and Sohar in Oman could for the time being replace Jebel Ali as the main hub for container traffic to and from Qatar while the diplomatic dispute continues between Qatar and the Saudi-led coalition.