The Iraqi port of Umm Qasr in late July received Taiwanese container ship the YM Wealth, the largest vessel ever to berth at the Iraq Container Terminal (ICT).

Owned by Taiwan-based shipping line Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, the vessel, with a capacity of 5,551 20-foot equivalent units, discharged and loaded more than 2,500 containers over the course of three days, en route to Jebel Ali Container Terminal in Dubai. The arrival marked Umm Qasr becoming part of the China-Gulf Express service, a direct connection between east Asia and Iraq.  

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The ICT is operated by UAE-based private port operator Gulftainer, the first international company to establish operations at Um Qasr.  

“This is a significant moment for Iraq and Iraqi business,” said William Wakeham, director at conflict insurance and infrastructure services firm Alfagates. “According to the World Bank’s East of Doing Business Index, Iraq sits 165th of 190 countries. Time to import is one of the eight measures. YM Wealth’s deposit of 2,500 containers represents a significant milestone for the country.”