• July 07, 2020

SOHAR Port and Freezone Launches Tasheel

In line with the directives of the Omani Government, SOHAR Port and Freezone continues to digitalise its services in order to offer its tenants with high-quality services as well as ease of doing business. In this regard, an easy-to-use online permit management platform, “Tasheel” was officially launched on July 7 by HE Dr Mohammed bin Nasser Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Board, during a digital video conference. Through this system, tenants and service providers can conveniently apply for relevant Port and Freezone permits.

Highlighting the importance of Tasheel, Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port, said, “Taken from the Arabic word for ‘Simplified’, Tasheel has been set-up to provide our tenants with ease of doing business and making their permit application process as convenient as possible. We felt it important to streamline the process and ensure that everyone is aware of the main assets at SOHAR Port and Freezone. The canals, oil, and gas that flow through the pipelines at the port are crucial to the work environment and having a permit system in place enables us to maintain order and ensure the safety and security of all people and SOHAR assets.”
SOHAR Port and Freezone Management will provide the necessary credentials for tenants and service providers when they apply. Tasheel has been set up as a simple and transparent permit application system that also allows for communications and applications, all in one platform. It includes filling out information to apply for Plot Work, Common Area and Special Transport permits. This is the first phase of the application and it will see several more features and flexibility options rolled out in the future.
From his side, Omar bin Mahmood Al Mahrizi, CEO SOHAR Freezone, DCEO SOHAR Port said: “SOHAR Port and Freezone is on the fast track to becoming a key logistics hub in the region, as well as on a global scale. Our ability to offer simplified online systems, alongside our One-Stop-Service and several attractive benefits, is vital to increase the inflow of visitors to our Port and Freezone. This way, we can contribute to the diversification efforts of the local economy while creating job opportunities.”

 
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  • May 21, 2020

SOHAR Witnesses Surge in Cargo Throughput for Q1

  • 18% more break bulk volume handled and 2% increase in liquid bulk
  • Vessel calls rose by 4%
  • STS operations grew by 90%

Despite the current situation surrounding the prevalence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), SOHAR Port and Freezone has reported an increase in cargo volume and a significant performance for the first quarter of 2020. Break bulk rose to 18% and liquid bulk to 2%, as compared to statistics of Q1 2019. The Port also saw a 4% increase in vessel calls, standing at 825 and a 15% increase in anchorage calls. Moreover, ship-to-ship (STS) rose by 90% during the same period. This is also due to the position of SOHAR, taking into account the benefits of its various direct connections to renowned global ports.

 

Commenting on the cargo growth, Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port said, “The Sultanate and the entire world is going through a difficult time since the onset of the virus. However, since SOHAR is a key logistics gateway for incoming goods, we are committed to playing a part in the endeavours of the nation to double our efforts to make sure that there is an uninterrupted flow of goods to meet the demands of the local market. With the implementation of our business continuity plan and together with the efforts of our marine team, we have been able to effectively manage the shipping goods and logistic operations, while simultaneously keeping in mind the highest levels of safety at all our facilities, following the directives of the relevant Supreme Committee.”

 

“The hard work and dedication of SOHAR team did not unnoticed, since it was through their high-performance, that we have seen cargo inflow and an increase in the number of goods handled. This, in turn, affirms our vital role in supplementing the initiatives of the Omani Government to diversify the local economy, with logistics at its core,” Mark added.

Form his side, Omar Mahmood Al Mahrizi, CEO SOHAR Freezone said, “Complementing the Port, SOHAR Freezone also achieved positive performance in Q1 2020, as construction work on 8 new projects have begun, which were signed last year. Furthermore, several of those projects are also expected to be operational by the end of this year. With regard to ready warehouses, which span across an area of 78,000 square meters, occupancy rate stood at 71%, as of the end of March, thus indicating positive growth for the upcoming period. We are extremely thankful for all the efforts of everyone that has been involved in ensuring that SOHAR Port and Freezone remains on top of its activities to deliver high-quality services to all its customers. We believe that together, we will be able to fulfill our commitment of further positioning SOHAR as a key logistics hub, not only in the region but in the world as well, in line with SOLS 2040, which focuses on the development of logistic infrastructure. Furthermore, this will also see us meet the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, regarding economic diversification, led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq – May the Almighty protect and preserve him.”

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  • May 19, 2020

SOHAR Signs Agreement to Establish SERO

Despite the current unprecedented situation due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the management team at SOHAR Port and Freezone affirms that business continues to operate as usual, while implementing the highest preventive measures at SOHAR facilities in line with directives of the Supreme Committee. SOHAR entered into an agreement with Unity Fire & Safety Services LLC, an Omani company, for the management of the Sohar Emergency Response Organisation (SERO). The signing took place on 19th May between Mark Geilenkirchen CEO of SOHAR Port, representing SOHAR and Kevan Whitehead, Managing Director of Unity Fire and Safety Services LLC.

Commenting on the new partnership, Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port said, “At SOHAR, we believe that ensuring high standards of safety, which also includes the presence of a well-prepared Emergency Response is vital for our business continuity. The agreement will help to minimise the financial, reputational, environmental and human safety impacts of any incidents that might occur. We have identified the need to strengthen the Emergency Response system and align it better with the area risk profile. Therefore, for several years we have been preparing the establishment of a specialised Sohar Emergency Response Organisation (SERO), which will become the collective first responder for all incidents within the Port area, while simultaneously working in a formal, well-trained Mutual-Aid system with OQ and PACDA in the case of very large incidents.”

From his side, Kevan Whitehead, Managing Director of Unity Fire and Safety Services LLC stated, “As a local Omani company, Unity Fire & Safety Services LLC is extremely proud and delighted to have been chosen to be a part of the management of the Sohar Emergency Response Organisation. We believe through various developments SOHAR will become the best practice model for all Sea Ports within Oman. We envision that SERO will be responsible for the creation of local employment opportunities with a target of around 90% Omanisation, furthermore creating a cost-effective and efficient emergency response organisation for all the tenants and customers at SOHAR Port and Freezone.”

SERO is highly trained and prepared to handle various incidents ranging from building and industrial fires to traffic accidents to medical emergencies and traumas. SERO has several key capabilities and is tasked to provide medical assistance, standard and industrial firefighting, HAZMAT and technical rescue, including rope and confined space rescue. On a 24-hour basis, SERO maintains an emergency response and dispatch centre to handle incident reports and alert ER team members. SERO is tasked with providing assistance anywhere within the port within six minutes of an emergency being reported. An important additional task is to add value for tenants, with services that include fire equipment maintenance and prevention advice.

“We began using the brand SERO in 2018 mainly within the Port industrial community and we aim to continue to brand it in this manner. SERO reflects international best practices while being custom-tailored to fit the local needs and customs of SOHAR port in each and every aspect. To this end, the SERO model was developed in close cooperation with the tenants as well as the Safety Authority Rotterdam, from the Netherlands. Currently, we have several emergency response units operated either by individual tenants or by Public Authority for Civil Defence (PACDA). These teams do not have the guaranteed capacity and skills to fight the industrial incident scenarios that can happen throughout the area. With the introduction of a centralised SERO, Emergency Response can be set up more efficiently to be able to handle larger incident scenarios effectively,” Mark added.

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  • April 26, 2020

SOHAR Port and Freezone Strengthens Efforts to Supply Local Market

The management team at SOHAR Port and Freezone affirms the continuation of its business operations, despite the current health crisis surrounding the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). SOHAR team has increased efforts to ensure an uninterrupted flow of operations and a continued supply to the local market. SOHAR has activated its business continuity plan, while also adhering to the health and safety directives mandated by the Supreme Committee, throughout all its Port and Freezone facilities.

 
Highlighting the importance of the plan, Batti Bin Mohamed Al Shibli, Harbour Master at SOHAR said, “We are truly facing a difficult time during the current situation, but have been able to overcome certain challenges by having a plan in place to enhance the activities of the Marine Department. This strategy supports the efficient and effective handling of shipping goods and operations, allowing for a smooth flow of logistic operations while continuing to supply the markets with its required needs.”
 
“I would like to commend the hard work and dedication of all members of the Marine Team, over the past few weeks. The ability to execute port operations successfully and simultaneously maintain the highest standards of safety and preventive measures is not an easy task. I also believe that the high inflow of work is due to the influx of demand, which means we are playing our part in bringing in added value to Oman’s import and export sector. We are confident that with the support and cooperation of everyone involved, we will not only help to overcome this difficult time but will also see the creation of a brighter and sustainable future.” Al Shibli added.
 
"Moreover, it is important to highlight the high-level collaboration between various entities in both the private and public sectors. Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude to every individual who has been involved and is still working during these unprecedented times. It is only through their hard work and efforts that the effects of this pandemic have been mitigated, as much as possible,” Al Shibli concluded.
 
SOHAR Port and Freezone is recognised as a key logistics hub in the Sultanate, with a majority of good coming via the Port to be distributed within the local market. Over the past few weeks, SOHAR activated its business continuity plan, together with the support of ASYAD, Oman’s flagship logistics group, the Directorate General of Customs, Royal Oman Police and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. SOHAR Freezone continues to provide all facilities for its customers at competitive prices, with the availability of ready warehouses contributing towards facilitating the import of large quantities of food products in bulk, alongside ensuring proper storage to meet market demand.
 
For more information on SOHAR Port and Freezone, visit soharportandfreezone.com
 
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