Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/29/2014 -- Kuwait's ports have struggled to recover the volumes they enjoyed prior to the global economic downturn, but BMI expects that growth will continue over the medium term. If there are continued instances of industrial unrest and strikes, however, as Kuwait's ports have struggled with since the Arab Spring of 2011, then we may have to revise our forecasts down. The air freight sector was also hit in 2011, with volumes falling. We forecast slow but steady growth in Kuwaiti air freight over the medium term.
What continues to bode well for Kuwait's freight transport is our macroeconomic outlook for the country. Although oil prices are forecast to fall in the coming years they will remain high, and this is translating into spending by the Kuwaiti government and greater wealth among the populous. This is attracting logistics companies to add services to the country. Kuwaiti logistics company Agility continues to develop rapidly.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Port of Shuaiba tonnage throughput growth forecast at 13.0% and to average 9.5% to 2018.
- 2014 Kuwait International Airport air freight tonnage forecast to grow 1.2% and to average growth of 1.3% a year to 2018.
- 2014 total trade real growth forecast at 2.4% and to average 2.5% to 2018.
Key Industry Trends
Industrial Unrest: There have been a number of industrial disputes between Kuwaiti ports and the oil sector and their workers over the past quarter. In December 2013, the Kuwait Ports Authority Labour Syndicate threatened to halt work at the country's three premier ports of Shuwaikh, Shuaiba and Doha if new insurance contracts were not drawn up for employees.
Growth In Profits: The Kuwait-based logistics and freight transport solutions company, Agility, announced healthy growth in its third quarter profits. Net profit for the three months to September 2013 came to KWD12.1mn, a 26% gain on the same period in 2012.
Kuwait Airways To Develop Fleet: It was reported in December that national carrier Kuwait Airways, as part of its ongoing fleet development, is to purchase 10 A350-900 and 15 A320neo aircraft from Airbus. Acting chairman of Kuwait Airways, Jassar al-Jassar, said of the move: ' The A350-900 will strengthen our long-haul route development, whilst the A320neo will further boost our regional route network. These aircraft are an essential part of our ambitious growth plans.' These new aircraft will be able to carry freight in their bellyholds, enabling Kuwait Airways Cargo to boost volumes carried on its network, and in Kuwait's airports.
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