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Iraq’s Umm Qasr port gets direct freight service from UAE

Purpose-built RORO freight vessels allow customers greater flexibility. (Image source: DP World)

Dubai-based logistics provider DP World launched a direct freight service between UAE and Iraq on 22 May 

The service will link Dubai’s Jebel Ali port to Iraq’s Umm Qasr port. It will handle "unaccompanied trailers" called roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight ships, which are sent by ship without a driver or truck cab following behind them. Instead, the driver leaves the trailer at the port's quayside so that it may be pushed into and off of the ship by itself.

An Iraqi vehicle can transport the trailer to any location inside the nation when it arrives at Umm Qasr Port. After everything has been delivered, the empty trailer is brought back to Umm Qasr and sent by ship to Jebel Ali. This is the first service of its kind in the UAE and runs under the name of P&O Maritime Transports, which is a DP World company.

Between Jebel Ali Port in the United Arab Emirates and Umm Qasr Port in southern Iraq, the journey takes around 36 hours to traverse.  It provides a new way for road trailers to go between the two nations, easing the difficulties experienced by consumers utilising cross-border land transportation, which may take up to 14 days.

Prior to this service being launched, freight travelling by road from the UAE to Iraq had to be transloaded, which required moving the cargo from the original truck to a vehicle with a local licence. Additionally, it puts the cargo at danger of harm, contamination, and security. With this unaccompanied trailer service, cargo owners and logistics firms may load a trailer with a UAE licence plate at a nearby warehouse, send it safely to Iraq, and then get the same trailer back without the cargo changing hands along the way.

This is especially useful for transporting palletised or project cargo – large, heavy duty, or complex pieces of equipment, due to the greater payload capacity of road going trailers. Purpose-built RORO freight vessels allow customers greater flexibility in the planning and movement of over-dimensional packages on low-bed and heavy-axle trailers. This generates significant cost savings versus traditional break bulk operations, as the cargo loaded on board a trailer is available to be delivered directly on site in Iraq.

Jesper Kristensen, group chief operating officer for DP World Marine Services, said, “The launch of this new route is a step change in our service offering in the UAE. It is a great example of our customer-focused approach at DP World, using innovative and tailored solutions to enable the flow of goods. Iraq's economy is growing rapidly, but until now it relied on transit through its neighbours for its import and export needs. Our new direct service starts to address this, opening a new more efficient trade route for the country."