Georgian ports need to improve their services and logistical connectivity in order to maintain the country’s position as a key transit corridor for the Caucasus.
This was the message of Jacob Gulmann, ICTSI Europe, Middle East and Africa Business Development Director, during his presentation at the 6th Black Sea Ports Conference and Exhibit held last 18 to 19 May at the Sheraton Batumi Hotel in Adjara, Georgia. The annual transport event was co-hosted by Batumi International Container Terminal (BICT) and the Batumi Sea Port Ltd. (BSPL).
According to Mr. Gulman, Georgia’s role as a logistics corridor to the Caucasus and Central Asia region is facing a growing threat from the ports in Iran and West Asia.
“The emergence of Iran and other West Asian ports prompted [BICT] to take action and expand for us to be able to compete and be at par with the best ports in the world. We fully support the Georgian government’s initiatives to ensure that the country’s ports remain globally competitive,” said Mr. Gulmann.
Since 2014, Georgian ports have experienced a decline in container throughput due to economic weakness and the re-emergence of Iran. In order to rebuild volume, Georgian ports would have to improve their services and connectivity to the hinterland.
BICT’s current annual capacity sits at 150,000 TEUs. Its 284-meter long container berth is equipped with two mobile harbor cranes averaging 35 moves per hour. The terminal has a 14-hectare yard area, 625 square meters of which houses the customs warehouse. For the expansion, BICT looks to increase its annual capacity to 200,000 TEUs; add another 100 metric-ton capacity mobile harbor crane; double the number of reach stackers to eight; increase its empty handlers to four; and deepen its controlling depth to 12 meters.
In addition, more than 800 kilometers of road network and rail construction projects, estimated at around USD 3.5 billion, are currently in place in Georgia.
“With these road construction projects and terminal equipment acquisitions, we feel it can help us serve our clients better and be able to grow and expand our business in Georgia,” added Mr. Gulmann.
At the 6th Black Sea Ports Conference and Exhibit (from left): Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Head of EMEA Region, joins Zurab Pataradze, Adjara Autonomous Republic Chairman; Murat Jumadillaye, BSPL Director General; and Rory Doyle, Transport Events Management Managing Director for the ribbon-cutting.
Headquartered and established in 1988 in Manila, Philippines, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is in the business of port development, management and operations. As an independent business with no shipping, logistics or consignee-related interests, ICTSI works and transacts transparently with any stakeholder in the port community. ICTSI’s portfolio of terminals and projects spans developed and emerging market economies in the Asia Pacific, the Americas, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ICTSI has received global acclaim for its public-private partnerships with governments divesting of their port assets to the private sector.