Red Sea Gateway Terminal – A Gateway to Opportunity

We learn how the Red Sea Gateway Terminal is adapting to meet the challenges of the next century.

Since Red Sea Gateway Terminal began operations over a decade ago, the company has grown into the largest terminal operator in Saudi Arabia, as well as one of the fastest-growing logistics service providers in the Middle East Region. But Red Sea Gateway Terminal has even bigger plans for the future.

We are expanding the scale of our operations to include the adjacent Northern Container Terminal. The proposed infrastructure investment is to be part of a comprehensive plan for upgrading and adding berth capacity, while modernizing the terminal yard and support facilities, with the latest in leading-edge technology and software,” explains Jens Floe, CEO of Red Sea Gateway Terminal. “The new concession is a key component in the ongoing development of Jeddah Islamic Port as the strategic gateway to Saudi Arabia, and the preferred hub for the Red Sea and East Africa, and as an increasingly important link in the global logistics chain. Our goal is to assure that RSGT’s expanded and modernized port facilities will emerge as an even more powerful catalyst for new economic development in Saudi Arabia, and the Red Sea region, and as a launching pad for our own international growth as a terminal operating company.”

The continued growth and development are the cornerstone of Red Sea Gateway Terminal’s identity, with their advanced technology and modern infrastructure allowing the terminal to accommodate the largest vessels currently in the global containership fleet. These hardware and software capabilities are matched by a world-class professional workforce that distinguishes the Red Sea Gateway Terminal in the region.

“RSGT is an international terminal operator representing a partnership between the Red Sea Gateway Terminal of Saudi Arabia and the Malaysian Mining Company (MMC),” Floe tells us. “The combined assets, handling capacity and experience place the terminal operations among the ten largest container terminal operators globally, with a combined annual handling capacity of 20 million TEUs, and equity-weighted throughput of over 10 million TEUs. At present, with an annual container throughput capacity of 5.2 million TEUs, RSGT is providing world-class integrated logistics solutions in one of the world’s 40 busiest container ports, serving as an engine of growth for both local and regional economies.”

Indeed, Red Sea Gateway is the only terminal in the Port of Jeddah with the capacity to accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of 20,000 TEU capacity. and larger. On June 11th this year, RSGT welcomed the Maersk Hamburg, which, with a draft of 16.4 meters, was the deepest draft vessel ever to call the Port of Jeddah.

Ready for Anything

Of course, providing facilities and services of the quality and scale that RSGT offers, doesn’t come without its challenges.

“A major challenge for terminal operating companies such as RSGT being able to anticipate, and invest in, the port infrastructure which will be required ahead, as more Ultra-Large Container Ships enter into the global fleet,” Floe says. “This past April, Korean-based Hyundai Merchant Marine, one of the world’s major container ship lines, announced the introduction of the 24,000 TEU capacity HMM Algeciras, the new record-holder as the world’s largest container ship. The Algeciras is the first of 12 of the 24,000 TEU capacity class vessels scheduled for delivery through September. Vessels of this category are generally deployed in the Far East/Europe trade lane, transiting the Red Sea, and the Suez Canal. ULCS represent a growing proportion of the global container ship fleet, and terminal operators must be ready to meet the operational challenges that vessels of this size represent.”

To stay ahead of these challenges, RSGT must be constantly looking towards the future.

“Through foresight, since inception a decade ago, and an ambitious and ongoing infrastructure investment program, RSGT is the only container terminal at the Port of Jeddah with the STS crane size, depth alongside, and quay length to accommodate vessels of 20,000 TEU capacity and above,” Floe tells us. “Our current expansion and investment plans will solidify this position, and enable RSGT to handle ULCS vessel direct calls as the premier gateway to Saudi Arabia, and the Red Sea region, as international trade and our role in the global logistics chain continues to expand.”

Investing in People

Of course, these efforts are only possible thanks to RSGT’s team of over 1,400 employees. The professionalism and dedication of those employees are one of Red Sea Gateway Terminal’s greatest assets, and one the company continually invests in.

“The core principles of RSGT’s Human Resources philosophy include comprehensive employee training; providing support for working mothers and their children, and employee family medical insurance programs,” explains Floe. “Other HR programs provide opportunities for employee recreational activities, and incentives for ongoing training and advancement, in addition to other employee benefits. Our professional workforce is our most important asset, and we treat them as such.”

How much Red Sea Gateway Terminal values its employees was clear when the COVID-19 crisis hit, although RSGT has been fortunate not to be hit too hard by the ramifications of the pandemic.

“We have accelerated our transition from face-to-face handling of paperwork to digital transmission, enabling our customers to access services such as Real-Time Container Status, Invoice Generation, Pre-pickup Tickets, Return Depot Details, Custom Seal Number Details, and Vessel Schedule remotely 24/7, to save time and contribute to reducing operational cost and decrease container port stay time,” Floe says proudly. “We continue to play a vital role in keeping the food, medicine, and other essential supplies flowing to Saudi Arabia and region.  Other safety procedures have been put into place to assure the health and safety of all of our employees, on the quay, and in the offices.”

As well as playing a vital role in logistics infrastructure, and taking good care of their own people, Red Sea Gateway also takes its other social responsibilities seriously.

“Corporate Social Responsibility, beyond our dedication to our employees, is at the core of RSGT’s business philosophy. A company-wide commitment to the principles of CSR is one of the pillars of our strategic planning process and implementation,” Floe says. “RSGT fully considers and respects the interests of all of our partners, employees, customers and other stakeholders in the local community, and beyond, as we continue to expand our operations and our business presence regionally, and internationally. Our business model incorporates programs and activities to promote and support social, cultural and economic development in every market in which we operate. This is a philosophy to which we are very dedicated, and of which we are very proud.”

One of the ways Red Sea Gateway Terminal is going to contribute to the region is through its support of the Saudi Arabian government’s Saudi Vision 2030 goals.

“The transportation sector is one of the key components of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals. As Saudi Arabia’s most important logistics gateway at the Kingdom’s largest port, RSGT is therefore at the forefront in the National effort to help build Saudi Arabia’s future,” Floe points out.

RSGT’s participation, however, goes beyond its role in shipping and logistics, as Floe tells us, “In collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, RSGT has invested approximately $800,000 over the past three years in developing, and planting, and monitoring over 1,500 segments of artificial coral reef on the floor of the Red Sea, north of the Port of Jeddah.”

Designed to simulate the existing coral reefs found in the Red Sea, home to the world’s longest reef eco-system.

Floe explains, “Aquatic life, including key local fish populations and their supporting eco-systems dependent upon the coral reef environment, is a key element of the Saudi Governments Vision 2030 program.”

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