Bahrain Shipping Report Q2 2014 - New Market Report

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Apr 29 2014

Things are looking up for the Bahraini shipping sector. The Khalifa bin Salman Port (KBSP) is seeing volumes rise on the back of the massive hike in demand at Saudi Arabian ports. The consumer demand story also bodes well for domestic demand over the medium term, while the port of Mina Salman could see tonnage volumes rise due to a house-building programme underway in the Kingdom.

Headline Industry Data

* Growth in KBSP total tonnage throughput forecast at 6.0% in 2014, with average annual growth forecast at 5.5% between 2014 and 2018.
* Growth in KBSP container throughput forecast at 13.5% in 2014, with average annual growth of 10.8% over our forecast period.
* Real growth in total trade forecast at 4.3% in 2014 and to average 3.9% over the medium term.

Key Industry Trends

KBSP Goes Deeper, But Will New Clients Come?: We believe that the deepening of the channel at the Bahrain port of Khalifa bin Salman (KBSP) is a positive move by the operators APM Terminals (APMT), providing an added inducement for vessels to stop at KBSP, but we do not feel the project is likely to succeed in garnering the port the gateway status and attendant flow of container traffic that KBSP desires. We do believe, however, that KBSP has a chance to take on the role of a smaller inter-regional rather than international hub.

Full Report Details at

APMT Bahrain, Khalifa Port Workers Sign Agreement: In February 2014, APM Terminals Bahrain and the operator of Khalifa Bin Salman Port signed a three-year collective bargaining agreement valid from 2014 to 2017. As part of the agreement, port employees and their families will be provided medical insurance from April 2014.

Cabinet Approves Draft Law For Light Cargo Vessels: In October 2013 the Bahraini cabinet approved a draft law that includes safety regulations for light cargo vessels that do not fall under international maritime treaties in Bahrain. The new bill will be implemented across the Gulf Cooperation Council and has been referred to the National Assembly.

Key Risks To Outlook

The establishment of a 'seabridge' to transport volumes between the KBSP and the Saudi port of Jubail could see a further uptick to already strong container throughput growth. The deepening of the channel at KBSP also presents upside risks to our forecast. Risks to the downside come from the continued risk of further political unrest, which would cause another downturn in volumes following 2011's 1.0% contraction in box throughput.

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