Beirut box trade is back, terminals not badly damaged as feared
CONTAINER lines have resumed calls to Beirut after last week's explosion, with the terminal having sustained only minor damage, say leading companies, reports Reuters
CONTAINER lines have resumed calls to Beirut after last week's explosion, with the terminal having sustained only minor damage, say leading companies, reports Reuters.
The August 4 blast in Beirut's port, which killed more than 160 people and injured 6,000 more, demolished entire neighbourhoods of Lebanon's capital in seconds.
French shipping giant CMA CGM said that one of its Beirut staff who had been missing after the explosion had died.
CMA CGM also said it was fully operational again in Beirut, adding that its first container vessel had discharged cargo in the port.
'The operation was very smooth. The container vessels commercial operations are resuming normally since the 10th of August at Beirut port,' said CMA CGM statement.
Ships were diverted to Tripoli where a logistics hub has been established, as well as to other ports in the region.'
Said German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd: 'We are glad to advise that the container terminal suffered only minor damage and it has restarted operations.
'Alongside our service reinstatement, we are also reopening booking acceptance for cargo to and from Beirut,' the company said, adding that it was still evaluating the loss of containers damaged in the blast.
Hapag-Lloyd's office in Beirut had been completely destroyed but staff were unharmed.
Lebanon, which imports almost everything it uses, relies on container ships to bring in items ranging from refrigerated food cargoes to clothing and other consumer goods.
Beirut's container port has an annual average capacity of just over one million TEU, compared with Tripoli's 400,000.