July 27 - The Saudi Arabian port of Dammam is seeing such severe congestion that shipping lines are considering bypassing the port, according to local media reports.

According to a recent report in the Arab News, some ships have waited three weeks to unload their cargoes Dammam's King Abdul Aziz Port with conflicting reasons being given for the delays.

The reports say that port officials blame more ship calls and greater volumes being loaded and unloaded at Dammam for the delays, whilst others site labour shortages.

A key gateway for trade between Dubai and Saudi Arabia, a significant proportion of transshipment at Dubai's Jebel Ali port heads to Dammam by feeder.