Israeli and Palestinians discussed last week the opening of a short and fast track for containers, moving from the port of Haifa to the northern part of the West Bank.
The Israeli freight forwarders and customs clearing agents who supported the move Amir Shani chairman of the Israeli Federation of International Freight Forwarders and Customs Clearing Agents (IFFCCA) noted that his organization share a similar view with the Haifa port, that more containers consigned to the northern part of the West Bank should be routed via Haifa.
Shani said: "This is also true in light of the significant economic growth seen in areas like Jenin/Nablus over the last three years, were trade has grown by more than 60%."
Shani added that "In 2012, more than 8,000 containers arrived in Jenin alone coming from Haifa and Ashdod Sea-ports. Currently all ceramic / porcelain, and wood importing companies in Jenin are clearing their shipments at Haifa. Major shipping companies in Israel like Zim Lines and others, realize the potential and are opening sub-offices in the West Bank for the first time to accommodate growing demand to their shipping services by a very large segment of companies operating in different economic areas. There is no doubt that the trade gateway of Haifa port to the West Bank must go through the Jalameh Commercial Crossing."
IFFCCA's view as been that creating a direct link between Haifa port and Jalameh crossing will significantly reduce transportation cost for Palestinian companies by more than 50%. This factor by itself will attract more companies in the Jenin, and Nablus areas to start clearing their containerized shipments at Haifa.