Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), the world’s gateway to Jordan and beyond, ended the year 2012 by adding new milestones to its long track record of success, thus making noteworthy achievements in areas of operational productivity, business development, and community service.
On the operational level, the terminal’s berth expansion project continued to make steady progress, with the civil infrastructure portion making substantial advancement. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by Q1 2013, with the total quay length increasing from 540 to 1000 meters.
In terms of figures, the container throughput had reached 817K in 2012, thus translating into a 15.8% increase when compared to corresponding figures from previous years. In December 2012 alone, this figure was reported to be the highest to date, reaching a total weight of 79K.
These ongoing terminal facility development plans fall in line with ACT‘s strategic expansion strategy. To this effect, the Company’s future outlooks comprise; increasing its inventory of STS cranes to a total of 7, including 2 new 41 meter above rail, and 22 wide rows cranes. More plans are also underway to add 4 RTG cranes to the existing reserve, in addition to 16 more Truck heads and 16 Trailers.
From another angle, ACT organized a two-day Aqaba Trade Mission in Dubai last April, an initiative it planned as part of its strategy to secure aggressive commercial expansion within the region. This event was organized as part of a series of campaigns ACT strives to implement around the globe, promoting Aqaba as a commercial hub and lucrative investment gateway to the region. The initiative was held in collaboration with the Aqaba Development Company (ADC), the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), APM Terminals and Arab Transit Corporation (ATC).
In the training field and following an agreement signed between ACT and Jordan’s Business Development Center, the Company formed a program in 2012 in which it will provide specialized training and potential employment opportunities to members of the local community.
To this effect and following the terms and conditions of the agreement, ACT will train more than 50 individuals within its team. During the course of the trainings, trainees will receive a modest stipend to cover their cost of living. The training sessions will be conducted by experts and they will serve to prepare beneficiaries for the job market.
In 2012, ACT also continued to strengthen its presence in local community initiatives. Contributing positively to the local health arena, it held a free medical day at four unprivileged villages located in the Disi providence. This event was held under the patronage of Mr. Thamer Alfayez, Aqaba Mayor, and in collaboration with the medical center at Al Munsheer village, the Arab Orient Insurance Company, Hikma Pharmaceutical Company, and a number of specialized doctors.
The Company also organized a Women’s Health Day later in the same year. The event primarily aimed at raising health awareness amongst the women of Aqaba, through an agenda included awareness lectures and seminars on pressing health issues including: obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, breast cancer, and blood pressure control.
In the area of environmental conservation, ACT organized a cleaning campaign targeting the shoreline and seabed of the diving area within the Aqaba Marine Park. The campaign was organized in collaboration with the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, the Aqaba Diving Association, and the marine park itself, bringing together 37 divers from several diving schools, the Marine Science Station, and the Royal Marine Forces, in addition to 40 students from Al-Shamila School for Girls, and a number of independent volunteers. Together, these parties collected 50 bags containing hard waste scattered across the shoreline and the seabed.
The year 2012 also saw the launch of ACT’s pro-cycling campaign, held under the heading “Cycle for Green”. This campaign was organized in line with the World Environmental Day celebrations around the globe. It was held as part of an ongoing series of eco-friendly endeavors organized by ACT on a continual basis.
On the educational front, ACT supported members of its local community and especially less fortunate families facing financial challenges at the start of the academic school year. The Company also launched the “Ekfal Taleb” Campaign, through which more than 300 students from the Al-Shamela Secondary Comprehensive School for Girls, Safia Primary School, Al-Sawarie Primary School, and other government schools across Aqaba were supported in terms of stationary and tuition fees.
Striving to further educate its team members, ACT also celebrated Global Safety Day on the 16th of October this year, whereby its agenda revolved round the theme of intervention, thus highlighting every team member as a responsible party in the overall safety of the workplace. This annual occasion was honored in an interactive celebratory event held under the patronage of the ASEZA Chief Commissioner H.E. Mr. Kamel Mahadin.
The event featured a session on traffic and routine inspection for trucks, alongside a session on intervention in the field of workplace safety, a department equipments display, and an award ceremony for Safety Heroes, trainers and safety quiz.
Finally and in observation of the Holy Month of Ramadan, ACT also launched in 2012 the second phase of its “Ahl Al Khair” (People of Charity) initiative. The initiative covered the city of Aqaba and the surrounding villages, where food packages were delivered to the underprivileged families in the area.
It also included the distribution of food, stationary, and clothes coupons for the benefit of deprived families in the city of Aqaba. These coupons were exchanged by beneficiaries in shops across the city with all relevant transportation expenses paid.
It is worth noting that ACT is a joint venture between the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) and APM Terminals — the leading global provider of advanced logistical services — operating via a 25-year build-operate-transfer agreement signed in 2006. The terminal constitutes the logistical and economic backbone of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), serving as the preferred gateway to the region for many active markets around the world. Over the years, the terminal has been a shining example of a large-scale establishment operating under a progressive leadership with an uncompromising dedication to sustainable growth.