After the deadly blast on the 4th of August 2020 in the port of Beirut that ruined the entire port and half of Beirut city, another dramatic event has occurred this week due to drugs smuggling. In details KSA, decided to ban Lebanese food import after the seizure of nearly 2.5 million amphetamine pills coming from Lebanon. This decision will have a catastrophic effect on Lebanese exports, as Lebanon could lose more than $200M yearly as revenues from exports to KSA. Lebanon should take serious measure to fight drugs smuggling, and must negotiate with Saudi authorities in order to solve this issue and resume exports movements to KSA.
The figures released by the Port of Beirut (PoB) revealed an annual increase of 8.80% in the Port’s revenues which settled at $9.31M by February 2021, compared to last year’s $8.56M.
In details, Total container activity including transshipment (TEU+TS) fell by a yearly 21.50% to stand at 11,240 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). In contrast, Container activity (TEU) increased by 58.24% year-on-year (YOY) to 50,352 TEU by February 2021. In its turn, Transshipment activity (TS) plunged by 65.23% YOY to 14,735 TEU over the same period.
Accordingly, the transshipment volume of CMA CGM, one of the two major shipping lines operating at the Port of Beirut, fell by 21.50% YOY to 11,240 TEU. Similarly the transshipment activity of MSC decreased by 88.46% YOY to 2,023 TEU by February 2021. In addition, the local volume of CMA CGM rose by 219.19% to 17,437 TEU, while the MSC local volume increased by 5.19% to 9,458 TEU.
Lebanon should take serious measure to fight drugs smuggling, and must negotiate with Saudi authorities in order to solve this issue and resume exports movements to KSA.
Port of Beirut Revenues by February ($).