ContainersMiddle EastPorts and Logistics

Jebel Ali port rocked by containership explosion

An explosion and subsequent fire rocked DP World’s Jebel Ali terminal in the United Arab Emirates last night.

Social media posts caught the huge explosion from afar in scenes reminiscent of last year’s Beirut port blast.

Dubai Media Office confirmed the source of the blast was a small containership preparing to dock at the Jebel Ali container terminal. The media office said the fire was extinguished in 40 minutes, with the cooling process now underway. No casualties have been reported.

The ship was identified by the UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure as the 210 teu Ocean Trader, owned by local company Sash Shipping Corp according to Equasis.

The port is still being assessed for damage, but operations are running at 100% a source at the port told Splash, providing some relief to shippers who have had to contend with Covid outbreaks in Yantian, backed up Californian ports and the fallout from the Suez Canal blockage in what has been the most challenging year operationally in the history of containerisation.

“We assure the people of Dubai and the UAE, including individuals, institutions and those associated with the maritime sector, that the logistics and operational facilities of Jebel Ali Port have not suffered any damage, and the accident has not affected the movement of ships due to its distance from the main shipping line and the water channel in the port,” said H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE’s minister of energy and infrastructure.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.


  1. “Praying all are safe.” Right, that should really solve the problem shouldn’t it.
    Anyway, one would hope no-one was seriously hurt.

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