The emergence of the Strait of Hormuz as a transshipment hub is a recent phenomenon since the area was mostly focused on the oil trade. Economic growth and diversification have been associated with growing cargo volumes around the Persian Gulf, contributing to its insertion as a major trade and logistics platform. Transshipment almost solely focuses on Dubai, with Jebel Ali and Khor Fakkan as major facilities, the outcome of massive investment in port infrastructures. Dubai has become a hub for relay and interlining, with feeder services in the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and East Africa.
The port of Salalah in Oman is also a competing transshipment hub, but its volume has declined in recent years, mainly due to the decisions of shipping lines to use other ports in light of the political instability of nearby Yemen. Other ports in the Persian Gulf, such as Dammam servicing Saudi Arabia and Shahid Rajaee servicing Iran, are hinterland based. The recent decline for Shahid Rajaee, which handles about 80% of Iran’s container trade, is linked with international trade sanctions put in place after 2011.