With a population of roughly more than one million people, Beirut is a great City in Lebanon. It is the country’s Capital and also the largest city. Beirut boasts of hosting most of the country’s seaports. Actually, Beirut is the major and largest seaport in the country. It is a City lying at the base of the Lebanon Mountains that is the Al-Ashrafiya in East of Beirut and the Al-Musaytibah in the West of Beirut. The service industry mostly dictates Beirut’s economy with main focus on tourists. Additionally, the thriving banking sector also contributes majorly to the city’s economic prowess.
Traffic In Beirut
Like any busy city in the world, Beirut City is at times congested. Equally, the status of roads in the city makes it hard to manage traffic especially in rainy and festive seasons. Of great concern however, is how the ports in Beirut facilitate trade in the region. Despite the fact that Beirut ports have been experiencing traffic snarl ups, much has been done to facilitate easy processing of imports and exports. For instance, because of inadequate transit services, other means of transport are allowed by the government to ease traffic. Also, the container terminal has an extensive quay 16 with the capacity to harbor many large vessels. Expansion programs have been launched every now and then to ensure smooth running of port activities.
Maritime Ports In Beirut
Because of Beirut’s location, its ports have been used to clear cargo for shipment into more than five countries in the region. This translates to the large volumes of transactions taking place through the port. The Port of Beirut is the major in the country and it is also the busiest in the East of the Mediterranean in the region. Additionally, there are divisions of the port dealing with general cargo, the container cargo and a free zone division alongside the silo area.
Capacity of Beirut-Port
Beirut port is the main port in the region. It works together with the Rafic Hariri International Airport cargo services to satisfy the region’s importation and exportation needs. The port is under the management of the Lebanese government and has been undergoing frequent expansion programs. As such, there is much space totaling to over one million and two hundred thousand square meters with a similar space composed of water basin. There has been renovations that currently facilitate the handling of containers at the port. Quay 16 is the most used because of deeper waters and larger area but other quays such as number 12 and 13 are used for smaller vessels to divert traffic.
Over the last three years, the Beirut Port has been a harbor for more than three thousand large ships owned by more than two of the world’s largest shipping companies alongside over thirty other companies. Additionally, more than 8,000,000 metric tonnes have been cleared. On top of that, the port has a draft of over twelve meters that can accommodate a ship carrying more than sixty five thousand metric tonnes. On average, it takes less than one day to clear goods from a ship in quay 16 annually. It is also important to note that there are state of the art machinery to facilitate easy loading and offloading.
Information On Terminals
As noted earlier, the Port of Beirut has several terminals. These are the General Cargo Terminal which has 12 warehouses and a grain silo. Further, it has Ro-Ro services. There is also the Container Terminal which is the most used facility. It is under the management of Beirut Container Terminal Consortium. It is surrounded by deep waters measuring over 15 meters to facilitate vessel berthing. Thirdly is the Passenger Terminal situated at quay 5 covering more than 600 meters squared. Fourthly is the Free Zone. It has state of the art industrial buildings namely No. 5 and No. 6 on an area of over 4000 meters squared. Each building has more than fifty warehouses measuring over 200 meters squared. The other building is building No. 2 with similar measurements and 51 spacious warehouses that are equipped with most recent handling equipment. Lastly is the Silo Area that handles grains by sucking grain into silos with extra powerful machines at the rate of over six hundred metric tonnes per hour. Despite having no temperature controlled facilities, the terminal has over eight hundred points referred to as reefer points to provide refrigeration.
According to the Beirut Container Terminal Consortium, since 2008 to the year 2017 the following have been the shipment statistics in terms of twenty-foot equivalent unit commonly referred to as TEUs’
1. 2008: 945,134 TEUs;
2. 2009: 994,601 TEUs;
3. 2010: 949,155 TEUs;
4. 2011: 1,034,249 TEUs;
5. 2012: 1,041,756 TEUs;
6. 2013: 1,117,334 TEUs;
7. 2014: 1,211,033 TEUs;
8. 2015: 1,130,300 TEUs;
9. 2016: 1,147,219 TEUs;
10. 2017: 1,305,038 TEUs.
Of all the ports in Lebanon, Beirut port accounted for over 90% of region’s imports and over 84% in sea exports and over 2,500 vessels docking annually amounting to millions of tonnes of cleared cargo annually.
Restricted Goods Or Vessels
Inasmuch as Beirut is a diverse City, there are restrictions on certain vessels. This is mainly because of the restriction imposed on Israel by the Arab League. As such, vessels that come from Israel cannot be allowed at the ports. Further, any vessel that docked at any Israeli waters cannot be allowed into Lebanon waters. Also, if a vessel is carrying goods that were sourced from Israel the vessel would not be allowed to berth at the Lebanon Ports.
Beirut is a busy city in Lebanon. It is also the main shipping port that has been serving over five countries in the region. It has a size of over one million square meters coupled with great facilities with the ability to process over eight million metric tonnes yearly. The port has different divisions ranging from multi-purpose terminal facilities to silos and grain handling warehouses. It also has over eight hundred reefer refrigeration services. Its deep waters can handle a vessel packed to its maximum carrying capacity. The transit problems should not worry anyone as there is alternative transport services. With the continued expansion programs, Beirut Port would definitely be one of the shipping destinations for many countries in the region.