Bahrain-Saudi causeway truck crisis ‘deepening’
Manama, June 30, 2013
The lingering trucks crisis on King Fahad Causeway may push major foreign companies to move to neighbouring countries, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) said.
Leading Bahraini companies and factories have also reduced their production due to massive stocks of unsold goods as a result of the crisis, the BCCI statement added, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"Some companies have incurred losses averaging 80 per cent," it said in a statement.
Exporters are also complaining of skyrocketing costs of transport, which have trebled because of the persistent problem.
The chamber urged Bahraini and Saudi authorities to step in and ease the crisis, which has repercussions on economic activities in both countries. "Bahrain can't withstand further trade and economic losses as it is still trying to recover from the 2011 unrest," it said.
The crisis has left its toll on the industrial sector, particularly export-oriented firms.
Balexco chief executive Jassim Siadi stressed the detrimental impact of the crisis on national companies, warning against repercussions on trade.
Local transport and shipping companies have reportedly lost 80 per cent of their customers due to the crisis. Some companies have resorted to air cargo in a bid to honour their deals and get rid of stocks.
"More than 500 trucks report to the causeway daily but only 100 are processed through," Alwardi Transport Company general manager Farhat Al Wardi said, cautioning that the ordeal may get worse during Ramadan.
Al Kubaisi Group director-general Abdulla Al Kubaisi stressed the need to streamline measures, pointing out that local firms are resorting to sea transport to avoid the causeway ordeal.
Al Halwachi Food Company general manager Mohammed Al Halwachi said he was forced to shut down his firm for 20 days last May due to the crisis.
"Our exports have dropped from 70 trucks every month to 20 now," he said, representing a 70 per cent drop in production.
He said his company has lost several contracts and reconsidered expansion schemes and plans to purchase new equipment.
Bahussein Middle East Fibre Glass Company also reported losses exceeding BD150,000 ($391,000) due to the crisis. – TradeArabia News Service