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Aqaba Container Terminal: 20 Years as the Backbone of Jordan’s Trade Industry

As Jordan’s only container terminal, the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) has played a vital role in supporting the national and regional economy of the country through its crucial services in importing and exporting goods. Under the joint ownership of APM Terminals Group and the Aqaba Development Company (ADC), it has provided seamless movement across its operations to regulate operations across the port whilst providing vital services to benefit the container terminal. The development in ACT by ADC comes as part of a crucial project taken out in 2004 to unlock the potential of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA) by accelerating its economic growth and development. Now in 2023, ACT has seen new changes which has seen a new Chief Executive Officer appointed to bring his breadth of expertise across the global maritime industry to ACT.

Located in the city of Aqaba in Jordan, at the meeting point of three continents and four countries, the services that ACT provides for the movement of cargo across these regions benefit both global and local markets, all whilst developing the economy of Jordan. ACT provides key logistical and economic operations across the ASEZA, as it is the chosen entry point for many active markets around the world due to Jordan’s political stability. Acting as a key corridor for trade, ACT works to provide world-class services powered by advanced technology and equipment across its terminal facilities. Consequently, ACT has developed a reputation for efficiency and proficiency as it is dedicated to establishing the container terminal as a crucial player in global markets through its promise of speed, safety, security, and transparency across all its services.

The container terminal provides a range of container services to seamlessly move cargo from vessels and through to land transport links. These services include providing berths, ship-to-shore operations, stacking and unstacking containers, transferring containers, carrying out temperature checks on reefer containers and technical conditions on containers. Additionally, ACT provides storage container facilities, equipment interchange reports, executes documentary controls, supplies vessels with portable water, weighs containers, provides value-added services, as well as facilitating labour and equipment hiring needs. Marine services are provided through AMPSCo, and include anchorage, pilotage, towage, and berthing whilst working with ACT to facilitate the easy movement of cargo from vessels from the port and into the container terminal.

Furthermore, as part of ACT’s vision to be the sustainable gateway for Jordan and beyond it is constantly looking for ways to develop and upgrade its services towards a more sustainable, modern, transparent, competitive, reliable, and profitable supply chain. These are commitments that ACT is working towards to continually develop the company’s value chain. ACT announced in July that a new CEO has been appointed to take on the crucial role of overseeing the company’s operations. APM Terminals Group named Harald Nijhof as its new chief executive officer. Nijhof has had an impressive career across the maritime industry and brings over 30 years of experience to the role having worked in the UK, India, Denmark, Spain, Singapore, and South Africa.

Having joined APM Terminals in 2020 as Head of Operations Execution globally, his expertise was seen across the overarching company’s operations which now is being adopted across ACT. In the press release announcing Nijhof’s position at ACT, he stated “I am truly honoured to assume the CEO role at Aqaba Container Terminal. Leading this exceptional team, continuing ACT’s growth and development, and contributing to Aqaba’s future vision is a privilege. Together, we will strive to achieve new milestones in our aspirations of becoming a green trade hub for Jordan. We will focus on delivering an unparalleled port experience, fostering community prosperity in Aqaba and its surroundings, and further solidifying ACT’s position as the leading trade hub in the Levant region and beyond. I am extremely confident that our team will achieve great things.” It is clear to see that under Nijhof’s management, ACT is setting itself up for even greater achievement as it works to strategically place Aqaba’s container terminal as a vital access point for importing and exporting cargo not just for the prosperity of Jordan, but for the added benefit of its surrounding countries.

Furthermore, ACT has implemented a range of projects that are working to care for the well-being of the citizens of Aqaba and its surrounding communities. Act believes that focusing on the community is a fundamental way that it aspires to the container terminal’s business operations. ACT has an established broad portfolio of community investments that directly support a number of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. These investments in Jordan are focused on education, healthcare, and the environment. ACT’s role in the community of Jordan is therefore crucial as it provides key donations, sponsorships, and community engagement projects all with the united goal of benefitting the local community outside of the terminal. Consequently, ACT is working to develop both its container terminal and beyond, to bring a myriad of benefits to Jordan and beyond.

Overall, the Aqaba Container Terminal has established itself as a sustainable gateway for Jordan and its surrounding countries. The container terminal has been developed over the years to provide modern, transparent, competitive, reliable, and profitable supply chain operations. Furthermore, with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, we look forward to seeing how he brings his experience across the maritime industry to this role as he continues to help develop ACT’s position as a world-class provider of cargo handling across the industry.