Engineering Post Report
Gwadar Port is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Balochistan. It is about 630 kilimeters away from Karachi and 120 kilometers from the Iranian border. It is strategically locate at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, the key shipping route in and out of the Persian Gulf.
Gwadar Port is in the process of fast becoming the Gateway Port for Pakistan as well as for the region. It is the first Deep Sea Port of the country, complementing and supplementing the other two vibrant ports i.e. Karachi Port and Port Qasim. Its development is regarded as critical to stimulate the economic growth of Balochistan, area-wise largest province of the country with thin population here and there, in particular and Pakistan on the whole in general as it is an outlet for land-locked Central Asian Republics (CARs), Western China and Afghanistan.
Way back in May 2013, the port’s Concessional Rights were transferred to a new operator, China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited which has since been working on improving the port facilities , operations and businesses and the surrounding environment. It has already invested well-over $ 40 million for upgrading the port facilities which was now fully operational and receiving commercial basis on regular basis. The Web based One Customs system was operational at the Gwadar Port since 2019 and was playing a significant role in early and efficient clearing of cargo.
For operationalization of the Gwadar Port, Gwadar Port Authority had since started developing the first Free Zone of Pakistan spread over 9.5 square kilometer area in collaboration with China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited. Work on its first phase ( Southern Free Zone) has since been completed in a record time and is expected to increase the port’s throughput substantially.
The Federal Government had provided tax incentives for the Gwadar Port Free Zone. And Gwadar Expos were being held regularly in the Free Zone quite successfully to attract the prospective investors. The Chinese Operator was also working on increasing the number of ships calling at the port. Two ship liners i.e. COSCO and Sino-Trans are calling regularly at the port since March 2018. Weekly container service has also been started by COSCO.