Singapore-based container carrier APL has suspended its mainline direct calls at the Port of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, until further notice.
The move follows severe terminal congestion and yard delays at the Arabian gateway, the largest Gulf port in Saudi Arabia.
The carrier, the liner arm of Neptune Orient Lines, said the terminal is currently behind schedule by nearly eight days.
“The port operator is making efforts to resolve the issues, which include looking for more spaces to store containers, adding land-side equipment, working with authorities to expedite cargo clearance and pushing shipping agents to get their consignees to take faster delivery of custom-cleared containers from the port,” APL said.
The carrier, however, said the interim measures aimed at yielding some operational improvements have not had the “desired result” yet. “APL has no choice but to temporarily suspend the line-haul service call at Dammam and replace it with a feeder vessel call connecting from Bahrain,” it said.
APL in August issued a surcharge notice on all cargo shipped to and from ports in Saudi Arabia, charging $80 per 20-foot, $125 per 40-foot and $165 per 45-foot dry container, and $130 per 20-foot and $170 per 40-foot refrigerated box.