Global port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is preparing to take over operations of one of its recent port acquisitions, the Tartous International Container Terminal (TICT) in Syria.

ICTSI is working double time for the prompt take over of operations of the TICT, the company’s latest port venture in the Middle East, sometime this June, and eventually prepare it for increased global trade.

Working closely with port authority Tartous Port General Company, ICTSI aims to transform the port of Tartous into the leading trading gateway into the capital, Damascus. In addition, the terminal is also eyed to serve as a junction of southern European, northern African and Middle East trade.

‘We are delighted to have won the concession to develop, invest in, operate and maintain the Tartous terminal. This is an exciting development for Syria which allows it to compete on equal terms with other container ports in the region and has only been possible due to the foresight of the President and his Cabinet and the support of the General Manager of the port company,’ says Budhajev Majumdar, TICT General Manager and Chief Executive Officer.

‘With TICT’s heavy investment in new handling equipment and systems, container trade in Tartous is expected to grow ten fold within a short time,’ he adds.

The port is set to benefit from ICTSI’s international experience, having a successful track record in numerous ports all over the world, attributed mainly to the company’s state of the art security and information technology systems, its expertise in handling the intricacies of port labor management, and constant business and marketing support for all operations.

TICT has placed an order for two new mobile harbor cranes, which can handle Panamax-size vessels that are expected to flock to the terminal in the next few months. An ICTSI start-up team was sent to Tartous and is currently planning yard layout and traffic management at the same time putting systems in place. The team is to make sure that ICTSI’s world-class standards, seen in all ICTSI terminals, are replicated in Tartous.

TICT is also currently on a recruitment drive, identifying and selecting the most competitive personnel to man over 150 vacant positions in the company. Upon selection, the personnel are to undergo intensive training under ICTSI’s most experienced equipment and systems trainers.

The port of Tartous has experienced 12 percent throughput growth in the past 10 years, making the TICT project promising for ICTSI. Already, container shipping operators in the region have expressed support and interest in the TICT development, confident that with a world-class port operator like ICTSI at the helm of terminal operations, the port of Tartous will give clients a competitive advantage.

Based in Manila, Philippines, ICTSI is a leading operator, innovator and pioneer in the business of acquiring, developing, managing, and operating container ports and terminals worldwide. The company manages five ports in the Philippines including its flagship Manila International Container Terminal. In its overseas portfolio, ICTSI operates the Suape Container Terminal in Brazil; Baltic Container Terminal in Poland, Madagascar International Container Terminal; Naha International Container Terminal in Japan; Makassar Container Terminal in Indonesia; and the Yantai Gangtong Terminal in China. ICTSI recently signed a concession for the operation of two terminals in Guayaquil, Ecuador.