Sharjah-based port operator Gulftainer has taken a controlling interest in UAE-based Avalon General Land Transport.

The deal will allow Gulftainer wider access to the Gulf region and an increased ability to bid for major contracts in the logistics and distribution industry.

Avalon’s main business involves the cross-border road transportation of packed, dry and refrigerated cargo throughout the Gulf region.

Gulftainer has recently been increasing its activities in Iraq where it now operates three berths at Umm Qasr port, which is currently the only deep-sea port in Iraq. Gulftainer now operates berths 8, 10 and 11 at Umm Qasr.

The company also operates two ports in the UAE, including Khorfakkan Container Terminal and Sharjah Container Terminal.

The volume of cargo that passed through Gulftainer’s two UAE ports increased 9.9 per cent in 2009, due to a relatively buoyant regional economy. The company’s total throughput was 2.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2009, up from 2.5 million TEUs in 2008 (MEED 7:1:10).