Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited Welcomes The New Yang Ming Service

Gulftainer, the world’s largest privately owned port management and logistics company, welcomed the Yang Ming YM Xiamen to Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT) for the first call of a brand new service.

The YM Xiamen arrived for what will be scheduled weekly visits to SCT on the new Gulf feeder Service (TGS). The Gulftainer team were responsible for the movement of 377 TEUs, completed in just over three hours.

To mark the occasion Master, Capt. Huang Tze Show, of the YM Xiamen, was presented with a shield by Gulftainer’s Group Director of Operations, Steve Ogden, and SCT Operations Superintendent, Matt Thompson.

“The arrival of the YM Xiamen in Sharjah will have a significant effect on the Gulf Feeder Service,” said Peter Richards, managing director of Gulftainer. “The team is looking forward to further strengthening the relationship with Yang Ming and this will be a firm fixture at Sharjah for the foreseeable future.”


Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited records golden half-year at Sharjah

Gulftainer Company Limited, the largest privately-owned port operator in the Middle East, has recorded a 14% year-on-year growth in container volumes in the first six months of 2014 at its Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT).

Gulftainer stated that the growth in volume has been influenced by the booming United Arab Emirates – East Africa trade route, as well as new developments in Sharjah.

The strong performance of SCT shows that commerce is growing in the area, as the global economy continues to rise after the inevitable post-recession flatline.

Managing director Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited said: “The positive performance of SCT is led by the improved trade climate, specifically between the UAE and African nations. The port continues to be a popular choice for shipping lines as it offers a flexible and cost-efficient alternative to access the UAE hinterland.”

SCT’s decision to introduce an online application system to automate information exchange between the Sharjah Port Authority, Customs and Gulftainer has been vindicated, as the new feature has made port turnaround time much more efficient for shippers.

Gulftainer currently operates terminals in the UAE, Iraq, Brazil, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Ramesh Shivakumaran Gulftainer Company Limited plans ambitious future with Nexthink

Port management and logistics specialist Gulftainer has declared it has opted for Nexthink via its partner Anzemato to realise its plan to hit new growth targets by improving its IT infrastructure.

Gulftainer’s aim is to reach 35 terminals across five continents and handle around 18 million TEUs by 2020.

The ambitious project requires streamlined IT operations, with Nexthink, an end-user IT analytics specialist for security and workplace operations, meeting Gulftainer’s requirements.

The partnership means that Gulftainer will have total visibility of its IT environment, having the capacity to monitor changes on a daily basis to ensure safe and efficient port operations, as well as third-party logistics.

Vinay Sharma, group IT manager at Gulftainer, said of the move: “Real-time analytics from Nexthink brought significant benefits to Gulftainer and facilitated us to establish a more proactive IT support system that we did not have before.”

“We are able to implement compliance standards, IT governance, application standardisation, application use and real-time visibility of our IT infrastructure. Nexthink allows us to strengthen internal security, identify problems quickly and help support teams to provide faster response, lower-cost support while improving end-user satisfaction,” Sharma added.

IMPACT ON ECONOMY – Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited

In many instances the arrival of Gulftainer Company Limited has not only radically changed the fortunes of an ailing port, it has also transformed the regional economy. A prime example is the port of Moroni, capital of the Comoros Islands where prior to Gulftainer taking up the concession, ships were taking four weeks or more to discharge their cargoes.

“We utilised a crane and barge operation along with the limited berth space enabling us to drastically reduce the time the vessels had to spend there,” says Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited. “Within eight or nine months we were able to reduce the price of cement, sugar and even rice for the islanders because we were able to cut the cost of bringing those goods in,” he notes, proudly.

It was a similar story at the Brazilian port of Recife, existing in the shadows of the modern port of Suape 70 km away, though Richards points out that Gulftainer’s logisitics arm Momentum, set up in 2008, provided further impetus to the project.

“By offering a package we can detract from the fact Recife is a smaller port. By bringing in Momentum’s expertise we can say ‘call at out port and we’ll arrange customs clearance, the actual processing and delivery to the end user, all done by us.”

Momentum was set up in 2008, shortly before, in Richards’ words, “the logistics world fell apart” in 2009.

“It has been nowhere near as rocket-fuelled as we had hoped,” he admits, “but we have learnt some valuable lessons because we really had to fight to get business in the hugely competitive logistics environment in the Middle East. Momentum has got itself involved — through our port operations — in Iraq, Brazil, Turkey and Pakistan and now because of that international presence we are starting to see bigger jobs coming our way.

A major part of Momentum’s business has been supply to Iraq — both from Gulftainer’s port and logistics city in the southern part of the country but also from the North, via Turkey. Richards is particularly proud that Momentum was selected as one of very few logistics companies authorised to supply goods in Afghanistan via Pakistan.

“Momentum Pakistan was selected after only being in existence for six months,” he notes. “It took a lot of hard work to get such a tight set of requirements set by the authorities to qualify for the short list of recommended companies, and it showed me that with the right push Momentum can really achieve.”

Momentum will also play a big role in Gulftainer’s latest port concession in Tripoli, Lebanon, which could have a huge role to play in the overland transport of goods and materials needed throughout the Middle East. It will also create up to 1,000 much-needed local jobs, in keeping with its mantra to ensure that up to 98 per cent of its workforce is local, wherever possible.

Gulftainer’s strong reputation in the UAE has led port authorities across the world to grant it concessions for operating their facilities

Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited Poised To Double Size

The UAE’s largest private port operator has dramatic plans, which could ‘virtually double the size’ of the company, managing director Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited has said.

Richards is tight lipped about the details of the deal, which will be formally announced this month, but estimates that the expansion will thrust Gulftainer into the world’s exclusive group of top port operators.

By doing so it would be in esteemed company, joining industry giants such as A P Moeller, Hutchison and ICTSI, and is the latest step in a carefully planned strategy that has seen Gulftainer acquire port concessions around the world since Richards was promoted to his current position in 2006.

“When I took over the reins of the company, I asked our shareholders permission to expand internationally on the basis that because of our reputation we were getting so many invitations from so many government organisations, port authorities and commercial partners the world over who were saying ‘we have heard about you and our port is in need of an uplift, an expansion, an improvement and we would like to bring you on board to do it’,” Peter Richards explains.

Gulftainer’s productivity levels at Khorfakkan Container Terminal and Mina Khalid are considered industry benchmarks by shipping lines

“That became the start of Gulftainer International and from 2006 onwards we have taken on concessions in Africa, Brazil, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia and Lebanon.” The company was formed in 1976 to manage the newly-opened container terminal at Mina Khalid, the Middle East’s first container terminal.

In 1987 Gulftainer was awarded the concession to operate Khorfakkan Container Terminal on the UAE’s east coast, the same year Richards joined the company.

“When we started Khorfakkan we could see the potential for it becoming a transshipment hub for the area. So we promoted it on the basis that larger vessels — which were about 2,000 teu (20-foot equivalent containers units) in those days compared to the 18,000 teu vessels we have now — could transship their containers to smaller vessels at Khorfakkan and it could be a transshipment hub for the Upper Gulf and region,” he explains.

“Khorfakkan Container Terminal has always attracted a lot of attention as shipping lines were trying to save money wherever they could. We concentrated on productivity — on turning the ship around as quickly as possible — and we developed not only a loyal customer base but also a reputation as one of the world’s most productive port operators,” Richards continues.

Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited Hosts Board Meeting of the Arab Federation


Gulftainer Company Limited will be hosting the Board of Directors meeting of the Arab Federation for Freight Forwarders and Logistics (AFFFL). The board meeting and conference will take place between 10th and 11th November 2012 at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). It is the first time the meeting is to be held in the UAE and the high profile gathering will see the participation of freight and logistics leaders from across the GCC and the Middle East.

Ambassador Mohammad Al-Rabie, Secretary General of the Arab Economic Unity Council, will graciously attend the meeting.

On the hosting of this upcoming event Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited, Managing Director of Gulftainer said, “We are delighted to host the AFFFL board meeting in Sharjah. The meeting will focus on developing joint Arab cooperation related to logistics and transportation sectors. As Gulftainer is expanding regionally, we believe that regional cooperation and unification of regulations and procedures is of great importance to the logistics sector and will help to boost the trade between these countries.”

Richards also remarked, “The participation of the Secretary General of the Arab Economic Unity Council in the meeting, is a sign of trust in and support of the Federation in general and Gulftainer in particular. It is our hope that this trust will aid in relaying various recommendations to the Ministerial meetings of the League of the Arab Countries, in order to further facilitate the growth of this vital sector.”


The federation meets frequently with Arab Ministers of Transportation to discuss standardization of the industry in the Arab world. The Arab Federation for Freight Forwarders and Logistics (AFFFL), which operates under the Arab League, is considered one of the Council of Arab Economic Unity’s Quality Federations, and also an advisory body to the Arab Ministers of Transportation. It has several activities; the most important of which is submitting suggestions and draft resolutions related to the transportation and logistics industry to the Arab League and Arab Governments.

Record Year for Peter Richards Gulftainer Company Limited

– Middle East’s largest terminal operator set to exceed current growth targets

– Expands 2013 operations by 50 percent

Gulftainer, the largest terminal operator in the Middle East by number of terminals operated, expanded its operations by 50 percent in 2013 with increased investments in overseas interests and operations.

During the course of the year, Gulftainer accomplished a significant throughput of 6 million TEUs at its terminals. This achievement reinforces Gulftainer’s position as one of the leading operators in the Middle East and supports its goal of handling 18 million TEUs and operating 35 terminals across five continents by 2020.

Across the Middle East in 2013, Gulftainer’s facilities in Iraq and Saudi Arabia witnessed double digit growth and continued to gain momentum as markets expanded due to improved infrastructure and investment prospects. In Iraq, Gulftainer, which currently operates two container berths in Umm Qasr, anticipates an influx in new business opportunities this year as a result of the opening of the newly built 750,000m2 Umm Qasr Logistics Centre.

In Saudi Arabia, following the acquisition of Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO) in June 2013, Gulftainer Company Limited achieved 34% growth at the Jubail Container Terminal, and saw the import markets grow by 10 per cent.

In the UAE, Gulftainer achieved a healthy three percent increase in cargo throughput over the last year. Its Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT), despite a slower year-on-year growth due to the loss of cargo impacted by the international sanctions, has grown at an average of 6.5 % per annum over the last five years.  In Lebanon, Gulftainer has begun civil works to develop facilities within the port of Tripoli and aims to start handling vessels by the end of the year.

On a global level, growth in Brazil has been significant with the first container traffic being handled in the Port of Recife in more than a decade. Trade is expected to grow significantly in the coming months as extensive investment and expansion plans are undertaken by the port authorities at Recife.

“The overall growth achieved in the last 12 months has exceeded anything we’ve done in previous years, said Peter Richards, Managing Director of Gulftainer. “We are at an exciting stage where we are being invited by port authorities to enter and establish our facilities in new territories. We are keen on extending our expertise in domestic and international markets to meet our growth strategy and are continuously reviewing new projects. We are confident of meeting our goals and with the long-term investments we fully intend to develop our market share and continue to break expansion records as we go.”