Muscat: Asyad managed ports of Port Sultan Qaboos and Ports of Khasab, Suwaiq and Shinas, witnessed a 17 per cent increase in direct imports compared to 2019, managing to handle one million and 722,000 tonnes of general cargo during the period from January to December 2020.
This surge in the volume of direct imports included 245,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables and 954,000 heads of cattle handled through MARAFI, recording a fourfold and threefold growth of 381 per cent and 181 per cent respectively against 2019.
The commercial vessels rose to 4,350, a rise of 5 per cent in the number of ships in 2020 versus 2019. The cruise vessels decreased by 72 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which caused cruising lines to suspend their operations worldwide.
At the outset of the pandemic, Asyad managed to maintain an efficient supply chain to sustain the delivery of critical and essential cargo to the local market; particularly the food supply. With the opening of new markets as well as direct import and exports, goods were delivered cheaper and faster and Oman has become well connected to the major trade hubs.