DP World, a provider of global supply chain solutions, has launched the first direct freight service between the UAE and Iraq, according to the company's release.
The service caters for what the industry calls "unaccompanied trailers” -- trailers which can be transported by sea without the driver and truck cab travelling alongside them. Instead, the trailer is left at the quay side at the port by the driver and is then pulled on and off the ship alone.
This is the first service of its kind in the UAE and runs under the name of P&O Maritime Transports -- a DP World company.
The service takes approximately 36 hours to travel between Jebel Ali Port in the UAE and Umm Qasr Port in southern Iraq. It offers a new route between the two countries for road trailers, alleviating challenges faced by customers using cross-border land transport, which can take up to 14 days.
Unaccompanied trailers are loaded on to roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight vessels, leaving the driver and cab behind at the port. Once the trailer reaches Umm Qasr Port, an Iraqi truck can drive it to its final destination anywhere in the country. Once delivered, the empty trailer is then returned to Umm Qasr and shipped by to Jebel Ali.
Until now, goods transported by road from the UAE to Iraq must be transloaded – a time consuming exercise of transferring cargo from the original truck to a locally-licensed vehicle. It is also risky, exposing the cargo in terms of damage, contamination and security.
DP World’s unaccompanied trailer service allows cargo owners and logistics companies to load a UAE-plated trailer in their local warehouse, ship it securely to Iraq and get the same trailer back, without the cargo having to change hands along the route.
This is especially useful for transporting palletised or project cargo – large, heavy duty, or complex pieces of equipment, due to the greater payload capacity of road going trailers. Purpose-built RORO freight vessels allow customers greater flexibility in the planning and movement of over-dimensional packages on low-bed and heavy-axle trailers. This generates significant cost savings versus traditional break bulk operations, as the cargo loaded on board a trailer is available to be delivered directly on site in Iraq.
The first customer to use the route was the ADSO Group, a UAE-based logistics firm.