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Saudi shipping line to link Jeddah with Chinese ports

Passengers on a cruise ship watch activities in Jeddah port, Saudi Arabia Alamy/Jan Butchofsky via Reuters
Passengers on a cruise ship watch activities in Jeddah port, Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia launches CBS service
  • Weekly capacity of 4,000 TEUs
  • Linked ports include Shanghai, Tianjin

The Saudi Ports Authority has launched a new shipping service, CBS, at Jeddah Islamic Port in partnership with China’s NewNew Shipping Line, strengthening trade links between the two nations.

The arrangement also aims to improve Saudi Arabia’s position on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, increase operational efficiency at ports, and strengthen the country’s connectivity with global markets, the kingdom’s press agency said in a statement on Monday.

The new CBS service will connect Jeddah with major Chinese ports Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as Damietta in Egypt. 

It will operate weekly, with a capacity of up to 4,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units – the dimensions of a standard shipping container).

The initiative is part of a National Transport and Logistics Strategy, which aims to establish Saudi Arabia as a global logistics hub bridging three continents, a crucial aspect of the Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.

China remains Saudi Arabia’s main trading partner, even after a fall in crude oil exports in the first half of the year that led to an Aramco price cut, effective this month

The latest international trade bulletin from the General Authority for Statistics reports that China accounted for 16.6 percent of exports in April 2024, ahead of Japan with 9.2 percent and India with 8.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia also sees potential for China to help fund its giga-projects. In April Neom kicked off the China leg of its global tour, meeting 500 business leaders and officials in Beijing and Shanghai.

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