Causeway trucks logjam cleared
Manama, November 1, 2011
A backlog of trucks waiting to cross the King Fahad Causeway was cleared yesterday, ending massive delays on the Bahrain side of the border lasting up to several days.
Saudi Customs officers were ordered to work round-the-clock to allow trucks waiting to cross the border from Bahrain in, according to MP and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) transport committee chairman Abdulhakim Shammery.
It follows a call by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on Sunday to end the logjam.
"After three months of struggling it took a few days to solve the problem," said Shammery. "This shows that if Bahrain authorities are serious, they send positive signals to their counterparts."
Trucks have been queuing up in their hundreds for days in open spaces off the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Highway and drivers have been camping in the open with no basic amenities.
The delays had been attributed to Saudi authorities working only during daylight hours and X-raying every vehicle entering the country from Bahrain.
Shammery said the only solution in the long-term was to convince Saudi Customs to work round the clock. "If they work 24 hours, everything will be smooth and there will be proper clearance and inspection of goods," he said.
He added that 80 per cent of trade between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia consisted of exports from the latter, meaning any steps forward at the border would boost Saudi Arabia's economy.
"In the future, the trade ties between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are expected to reach BD30 billion ($80 billion)," he added.
Shammery also called for an immediate revamp of the Saudi Customs; including a new X-ray building and other related expansions to cope with a 24-hour operation. – TradeArabia News Service