Business Profiles Featured

Maldives Ports Limited: World-Class Port Services

Established as a beacon for reliability and efficiency across the commercial cargo imports of the Maldives, Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) develops, manages, and operates the ports across the islands. The Maldives has become such as popular tourist destination, which sees an increasing number of cargo shipments needed to meet the needs of these visitors whilst also maintaining the existing cargo supply chains operating between the region and the rest of the world.

Instituted by a presidential decree, MLP was established to oversee the ports of the Maldives and regulate them as a hub for international maritime and commerce operations. MPL offers a wide range of port services across its ports and terminals, with cargo services covering a large part of this. For cargo, MPL works to provide container unloading, ship-to-shore, stuffing/unstuffing, container inspection and clearance services to vessels visiting the ports across the Island region. This cargo is then facilitated through MPL’s transit cargo department which is designed to move this cargo from anchor to other boats and land transport partners which keeps supply chains moving with such an efficient service. Throughout these operations, MPL has implemented a set of regulations to ensure the safety and security of its port activities, whilst also providing the essential navigators and pilots to help every vessel arrive safely into the port’s wharfage.

MPL has a range of ports under its operations, including Malé Commercial Harbour, the main port for the Maldives. The port is located in the north-western corner of the Malé Island and is a key player in international maritime operations as the ‘gateway’ to the Maldives. The port’s location close to the capital of the Maldives means that cargo travelling into the port can then be distributed across the islands and onto further international markets through MPL’s network. Malé Commercial Harbour has a quay length of 102M with a depth of CD-9.25m. The port provides docking and clearing, as well as storage operations at the Malé Commercial Harbour facility.

The Hulhumale International Terminal is another key port terminal under MPL’s operations which is owned and operated by MPL. The terminal has been in operation since 2013 and is a focal point for the smooth transport of cargo through the Maldives. Hulhumale International Terminal works with the Malé Commercial Harbour to help prevent container congestion that often occurs at the central port of the island. The terminal has an existing storage capacity of 500 TEUs and operates two warehouses and 5 plug points for reefer containers. The port specialises in the handling and storage of perishable cargo, and so has the facilities to accommodate the conditions needed to keep this kind of cargo including food safe and temperate.

The third port operation under MPL is the Kulhudhuffushi Regional Port (KRP) which is located in the north of the Maldives. Its operations span back almost 20 years and support the Kulhudhuffushi Island which is known as the central economic capital for the north of the islands. The port’s main role is across the domestic, inter-island and distribution activities to support the movement of goods and merchant trade from Malé Commercial Harbour and to the north area of the region.

MPL has developed new plants for KRP to expand its port so that it can receive cargo directly from India via the Cochin Ferry Link. This would expand MPL’s role in Indian markets and allow perishables and other consumer goods to be transported directly into the port to bring continued benefits to the island communities. Whilst it will offer greater accessibility to these goods to the Maldives, it opens up a vital connection between India and the Maldives which will bring continued economic benefits to the region. Additionally, KPL benefits international customers with fast clearing speeds through its warehousing facility in up to 10 days, and at a 30% tariff on imported goods making it a competitive choice for exporters to the Maldives.

The final central port operation under MPL is the Hithhadhoo Port Limited (HPL) which oversees the Hithadhoo Regional Port located in the south of the Maldives. The HPL operates as a distribution hub for the sound of the islands, providing cargo handling and storage-related services for businesses and industries established in the south. Much like, KRP, the port also has a 30% tariff on imported goods, which is designed to help encourage cargo processing through the port by minimising the cost of warehousing and double handling from the Malé Commercial Harbour.

As we have seen, MPL covers the entire span of the Maldives with vital ports, terminals, and warehouses under its operations to promote the vital role of the Maldives in international trade routes and shipping lines. However, as MPL moves towards the future, it has just announced the appointment of Mohamed Wajeed Ibrahim as CEO. Ibrahim brings with him 9 years across the MPL family and aims to steer MPL towards its next phase of development. The future of MPL is set to focus on excelling with innovation and operational optimization to make all port activities even more seamless, efficient, and competitive in international markets. Therefore, the appointment of Ibrahim to see the company into the next phase of its development highlights MPL’s commitment to providing essential stability and leadership across the Maldives maritime landscape.

Ultimately, MPL is uniting the Maldives industry with a leading force to promote operational excellence across the region’s maritime industry. With a range of cargo handling, warehousing, pilotage and stuffing/unstuffing services, every port across the Maldives is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and services to make all handling efficient. With such a vast spread across the Maldives’ cargo industry, MPL is therefore vital in bringing economic growth to the region from the import and export markets. Therefore, with MPL’s implementation of internationally recognised regulations and standards, the Maldives maritime industry continues to thrive. We look forward to seeing how the new CEO Mohamed Ibrahim will take MPL into the future, as he continues to focus on developing port optimization.