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A CBM MEDIA GROUP PUBLICATION

News Mergers and acquisitions

Opinion Industry challenges

Technology Blockchain and logistics

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The region’s new No 1 for insider info and better business

TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM | EDITION 1 - AUTUMN/WINTER 2019

Top 50 transport and logistics CEOs revealed p33


50 years ago our founders started the company by carrying documents as excess baggage on commercial flights. From these beginnings, we built our own airline, which is one of the largest in the world today. It’s amazing where a “Can Do” attitude and Passion for Customers can lead.

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2019 OUTLOOK

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INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the first issue of TLME magazine, featuring the Middle East’s finest Our launch edition sees the announcement of the Top 50, as well as a blend of the best in logistics and expert insight, and reviews of all major sectors in trade

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ransport & Logistics Middle East (TLME) is proud to announce the launch of its long-awaited first ever print edition. The special first issue features the finest 50 performers in the logistics sector within the Middle East (p33), covering excellence in liner shipping, air transport, shipping, traditional logistics and smart operations. We’ve also rounded up expert insight on the key sectors within global trade, providing an outlook for the future and a clear vision into the present state of play for supply chain executives. TLME CEO Sam Khan said: “2019 is a year full of challenges yet ripe for world-changing innovations, especially within the transport and logistics sector. “This is why we wanted to create the Top 50 – we wanted to explore, expose and celebrate those who are bringing true innovation to this industry, and show how they are changing it.” Mr Khan went on to emphasie the issue’s focus on digital technologies and their importance. He said: “Challenges have stimulated innovation across all levels of industry, and this is why the inaugural edition analyses how digital technologies are transforming our world. “Key innovations we cover include such developments as

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sea freight operators using live tracking of containers and selfdriving terminal trucks. “We also look into how companies like Aramex are automating fulfilment centres to more efficiently support the rapidly growing ecommerce market in the Middle East region. “Finally, we have sourced leading expertise for all the latest on AI and what that means for companies, jobs, society and the bottom line of all our businesses.” The edition also features exclusive interviews with rising stars in the transport of trade. A few examples of this include a lively discussion with Tristar CEO Eugene Mayne (p100), in which we discover the unique challenges of “liquid logistics”, while CEO of online freight booking platform Shipa Freight, Toby Edwards (p22), highlights how an increasing number of logistics activities are moving online. Technology has always been a key focus of TLME, especially with regard to how it has permeated transport and logistics in its digital form, and this is why this edition is so exciting for the TLME team. It really brings together years of hard work, passion and effort into one opening issue. Sunil Thakur TLME Editor sunil.thakur@cbmmediagroup.com

EDITORIAL editorial@cbmmediagroup.com Editor Sunil Thakur Consulting Editor Richard Joy COMMERCIAL Publisher & CEO Sam Khan sam.khan@cbmmediagroup.com Commercial Director Harry Norman harry@cbmmediagroup.com Business Development Manager Sajid Ali ali@cbmmediagroup.com Business Development Executive Charlotte Henry charlotte@cbmmediagroup.com Marketing & Event Manager Nour Hassan events@cbmmediagroup.com PRODUCTION Printers Masar Printing and Publishing Co All material is strictly copyright and rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publishers is prohibited. CBM Mediagroup does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. CBM Mediagroup Lamborghini Dubai Building 2nd Floor, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE, PO Box 191222

Licensed by Fujairah Culture & Media Authority


Contents 26

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26 REGULARS 08 News

The latest stories from the world of transport and logistics, from company mergers to tech innovations

18 Opinion

Our guest columnists, Deepak Khishalani from Premier Logistics and Hans Christian Ettengruber from Unitechnik FZE, on industry changes

100 What I’ve Learned Words of wisdom from the best minds in the business – this issue, we meet Tristar Group’s Eugene Mayene

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Features

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Shipa Freight Catching up with CEO Toby Edwards to talk about the new tech platform from global logistics provider Agility Sohar Port & Freezone A success story 15 years in the making – but how does the Sohar Port & Freezone in Oman plan to grow in the future? Blockchain focus Technology is playing an increasingly vital role to the supply chain. So how will blockchain be used ?

Outlook 82

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33 TOP Special report This is it – our verdict on the biggest movers and shakers in the region right now. Presenting the Middle East’s top 50 transport and logistics CEOs

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Logistics The first of our special reports, looking at the current business landscape. How will logistics cope with a more demanding customer base? Air cargo After a slow start to the year, the air cargo sector is gaining ground, driven by the expansion of ecommerce Sea freight The sea freight sector is developing smarter ports and even bigger ships, but what are its biggest challenges? Artificial intelligence Technology disruption and artificial intelligence will change the way we handle business. But this is not the future – some of this is already here TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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NEWS

THE LATEST FROM THE TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY CONTACT SUNIL.THAKUR@CBMMEDIAGROUP.COM

TLME REPORT

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n 2018, the top 20 global forwarders controlled just one-third of the total market, according to a Reuters report. To improve pricing and speed, the fragmented logistics market is looking to mergers and acquisitions. Panalpina, the Switzerland-based global third-party logistics (3PL) and airfreight forwarder, and DSV, the Denmark-based global 3PL, announced

recently plans for a merger in a US$4.6 billion deal that will create a new company ranking among the world’s top five largest 3PLs. Panalpina has been eyed for a takeover by various companies for a while, with its air and sea freight operations complementing DSV’s existing and extensive road network. The combined entity will have an

THE CONSOLIDATION GAME Mergers and acquisitions are a clear theme of 2019 so far

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NEWS

panalpina’s air and sea freight operations will complement dsv’s existing and extensive road network. the combined entity will have an air and sea division accounting for 3 million teu

air and sea division that accounts for more than 3 million TEU. Panalpina’s 500,000 sq m of warehousing space will also boost the combined company’s contract operations. DSV is proposing a name change to DSV Panalpina. The Danish company has historically followed the mergers and acquisitions route to expand its global presence and network.

MERGING TO BOOST REVENUES Other mergers are taking place

It acquired DFDS Dan Transport Group in 2000, and JH Bachmann in 2005. With its later acquisition of UTi Worldwide in 2016, it then became the fifth largest freight forwarding company in the world. DSV recently made a US$1.7 billion offer for the Swiss company CEVA Logistics, but this was declined. On its merger with Panalpina, DSV’s Kurt Larsen, chairman of the board, said, “A combination of DSV and Panalpina further strengthens our position as a leading global freight forwarding company. It’s a great match on all parameters. Panalpina is a great company and we’re very excited by the possibility to join forces and to welcome Panalpina’s talented staff.” Peter Ulber, Panalpina chairman, added, “We’re looking forward to joining forces with DSV and contributing to creating one of the world’s largest transport and logistics companies.”

elsewhere. Following the close of the public tender offer launched in February, the CMA CGM Group has announced that it will hold 97.89 per cent of the outstanding shares and voting rights of CEVA Logistics, upon settlement of the tendered CEVA shares, and delist the company from the Zurich Stock Exchange. Merging CEVA’s operations into the CMA CGM Group will enhance its position as a global leader in maritime transport and logistics. Present in 160 countries, the CMA CGM Group will be 110,000 people strong, with more than US$30 billion in revenue. The Group will meet the logistics needs of its customers around the world with a comprehensive range of solutions across the supply chain, while simultaneously improving CEVA’s financial performance. A CEVA operational centre will be set up in Marseilles to bring together the management teams and support functions, moving around 200 jobs. There are plans for the new company to improve its productivity by investing in information systems and digital technology, refocusing local teams on customer service, and achieving a more balanced customer segmentation. Other benefits will follow the streamlining of the corporate organisation, in particular by reducing the number of regions and harmonising processes. Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said, “This successful transaction marks a major milestone in the history of CMA CGM’s growth. With CEVA, we can now offer our customers a complete range of solutions that meet all of their needs and set us apart from the competition.” TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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AIR CARGO

Long wait before 737 Max returns to the skies 10

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n March, regulators around the world decided to ground the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. A preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines crash had indicated that the pilots struggled to control the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), leading to the event. The report suggested that faulty information from one of the two angle-ofattack sensors mounted on either side of the aircraft’s nose caused the MCAS to malfunction, leading to the incident. Investigators think a similar sequence of events may have also led to the Lion Air crash, as pilots on the Indonesian flight tried repeatedly to override the system, and failed. Boeing arranged for journalists and industry experts to visit its assembly plant near Seattle in late March to see how it plans to overhaul the automated system and implement new pilot training procedures. In mid-May, Boeing completed development of the updated software along with associated simulator

testing and the company’s engineering test flight. The 737 MAX, with its updated MCAS software, had flown more than 360 hours on 207 flights. Earlier, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledged that the MCAS was a factor in both crashes. “The history of our industry shows that most accidents are caused by a chain of events,” he said. “This is the case here, and we know we can break one of the chain links in these two accidents. As pilots have told us, erroneous activation of the MCAS function can add to what is already a high workload environment. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk.” The 737 Max is Boeing’s fastest-selling plane ever, with airlines ordering more than 4,000 of the aircraft so far, but some customers are said to be reconsidering. However, Boeing has not stopped production and continues making the planes at its Washington State plant in the US.


NEWS

Freightos offers free access to airline rates and ebookingss

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reight digitalisation specialist Freightos has upgraded its WebCargo Sky platform to offer freight forwarding agents free access to digital rates and real-time ebookings on more than 370 airlines. Available to all IATAcertified air freight forwarders, the service provides access to British Airways, Iberia, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, as well as many other airlines. Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, said, “Air cargo connectivity is at a tipping point, and WebCargo Sky makes it accessible to any forwarder. As the industry’s most comprehensive ebooking platform, Sky automates pricing from hundreds of airlines – even those without automated pricing – enabling its industrywide connectivity.” The company said that the solution could significantly reduce transit times, as well as costs, and improve the overall service for shippers. Zvi Schreiber, CEO of the Freightos Group, added, “By 2020, air cargo will routinely be priced dynamically and booked digitally. By providing WebCargo Sky for free to air forwarders, there are zero barriers to communicating with the airlines online. This will provide a better service to air shippers, including capacity visibility on specific flights. Ultimately, shippers will benefit most, with air cargo becoming more affordable and predictable.” Freightos said that WebCargo Sky beta users have saved over one hour per salesperson per day, reducing costs and enabling sales teams to focus on customer service. Airlines, for their part, benefit from accessing the world’s largest online network of forwarders as a sales channel, reducing the time spent managing sales by 85 per cent.

EMIRATES COMMITS TO REDUCING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC E

mirates has made a networkwide commitment to reducing single-use plastics on board its aircraft. In June, eco-friendly paper straws were introduced on all Emirates flights, with plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers to be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of the year. From August, plastic bags used for inflight retail purchases were replaced with paper bags. These initiatives will remove an estimated 81.7 million singleuse plastic items from landfill each year. As part of its long-term vision, and fuelled by a cabin crew member’s suggestion, the airline has been segregating large plastic bottles on board to be recycled in

Dubai and the rest of the world. This diverts an estimated 3 tonnes – around 150,000 plastic bottles – from landfill in Dubai each month. A full review of the plastics on board has been conducted, and over the next few months the airline will gradually implement other initiatives to tackle plastic waste. The initiatives are part of Emirates’ ongoing sustainability efforts. In 2017, the airline introduced ecoThread blankets made from recycled plastic bottles for its Economy Class cabin. Each is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles, and by the end of 2019 Emirates would have saved 88 million plastic bottles from landfill using this initiative. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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SEA CARGO

WORLD’S FIRST AUTONOMOUS SHIP IN DEVELOPMENT T he Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is to fund the world’s largest ocean-going autonomous vessel programme, it has been announced. Involving several partners – the Lloyds Register (LR), ST Engineering Electronics (STEE) and Mitsui & Co Ltd – a memorandum of understanding has been collectively signed to make the project a reality. Speaking about what the programme might lead to, Andy McKeran, LR’s commercial director marine and offshore, said, “This project builds on our capability and experience in other industry-leading and world-first autonomous projects. However, this project, for the

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deployment of autonomous navigational technology to an ocean-going vessel for commercial operations, pushes the boundaries and moves the maritime industry towards enhanced performance and safety. “Increasing interest in maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies is a specific example of the larger technological changes we are currently seeing in the maritime industry. Essential to their successful and safe adoption is that robust use cases are established to improve the navigational safety, supply chain efficiency and operational costs of marine assets.”

Blockchain to push paper Bills of Lading into retirement

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recent test of the digital CargoX Smart B/L (Bills of Lading) solution by G2 Ocean and Manuchar NV showed that it may soon be possible to retire the paper B/L. The two companies concluded their assessment of the blockchain-based B/L system in May, using it to transfer the ownership of goods with shipments travelling from China to Peru. The CargoX Smart B/L system completes the document ownership transfer securely and reliably within minutes, rather than the days or weeks required to send a physical document via courier. Rune Birkeland, CEO at G2 Ocean, said, “Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historic artefact. The Smart B/L solution gives both us and our clients the power of a modern, reliable and efficient tool. It will bring cost optimisation and improved data security into their processes. The document transaction reliability in this system is undisputable.” In total, G2 Ocean and Manuchar have completed five separate pilot shipments, with five Smart Bills of Lading. They departed the port of loading, Xingang, China, on April 5, and reached the port of discharge, Callao, Peru, on May 26. The distance between ports is 9,504 nautical miles, with the importer receiving the Smart B/Ls in just a few minutes. The solution is powered by Blockchain Document Transaction System (BDTS) technology. Compared to classic IT systems, the CargoX Smart B/L enables users to clearly state and transfer ownership, create Bills of Lading, and also attach other accompanying documentation in an electronic format. Documents can be transacted among parties to a specific process in a way similar to a banking transaction, and amended or annulled if needed.


news

SMART CUSTOMERS

ENOCPAY ROLLED OUT TO PETROL PUMPS

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NOC Group has launched ENOCPay – a cashless, cardless payment platform for fuel and nonfuel products at ENOC and EPPCO service stations. ENOCPay allows customers to pay via their smartphones, without having to leave the vehicle. Users simply link up their Vehicle Identification Pass

(VIP) RFID account to enable top-up. As well as paying for fuel, customers can also buy products in the ZOOM and Pronto service station stores. The app allows for the remote payment of fuel from inside the car by entering the site and pump number details. Just download the ENOCPay app from the

Apple or Google stores, and register for a new account. Social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, can also be used. Credit and debit card details can then be added to the app, with customers and fuel attendants both receiving notifications of the transaction status, with a digital receipt generated.

Contactless payments for ENOC and EPPCO corporate customers have been available since 2014. Speaking on the release of this latest app, ENOC’s group CEO, Saif Humaid Al Falasi, said, “As a wholly-owned government entity, we look to be at the forefront of innovation, and bring the latest technologies to our customers.”

AMAZON PRIME LAUNCHES IN UAE

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he recent launch of Amazon.ae is being swiftly followed by the arrival of Amazon Prime in the UAE. Prime is Amazon’s premium membership programme, enjoyed by more than 100 million paid members in 17 countries, offering shopping and entertainment tailored to each country. Prime members in the UAE will receive free delivery on local and international items, with access to popular movies and TV shows through Prime Video, as well as Amazon Original content. There will also be video game

benefits with Twitch Prime, exclusive Prime member deals, and more. Customers can join Prime for AED16 per month, or AED140 per year. Also, until October 31, there is an introductory promotional price of AED12 per month. Prime can be sampled free of charge with a no-obligation 30day trial. Free next-day delivery across the UAE is included, with no minimum purchase. In addition, nearly 90 per cent of the population will benefit from a 50 per cent discount on Same Day delivery

for many products across the UAE. Members can also enjoy free delivery in six-nine business days for international orders over AED100 on Prime-eligible products from Amazon US. Ronaldo Mouchawar, vice president of Amazon MENA, said, “We’re thrilled to bring Prime to the UAE just one month after the launch of Amazon.ae. With the addition of Prime, customers can now enjoy the most convenient way to shop, access unlimited and awardwinning entertainment, and shop exclusive deals on Prime Day.”

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SMART LOGISTICS

ARAMEX LAUNCHES DUBAI ECOMMERCE FULFILMENT

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ramex has opened a partially-automated fulfilment centre in Dubai Logistics City. This is to support the rapid growth of its ecommerce business with B2B retailers. Covering 60,000 sq m, the temperature-controlled centre is one of the company’s largest facilities in the region. It features a ‘Pick to Light’ system, which uses light-directed picking technology to improve accuracy and efficiency, with an automated conveyor belt system. Iyad Kamal, Aramex COO, said, “Our new fulfilment centre is an important investment that will help support

the rapid growth of our logistics business and our retailers’ omni-channel sales strategies. The cutting-edge technology strengthens our position by ensuring fast, seamless and reliable fulfilment. It forms an important component of our digital transformation strategy.” Saeed Mukhtar, Aramex global head of logistics, added, “The centre will expand our global logistics capacity, helping more start-ups and established businesses to receive, process and deliver orders to customers through effective supply chain management.”

Kuehne + Nagel trucks to feature turning assistants

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uehne + Nagel is optimising its overland transport fleet as part of an initiative to increase road safety and reduce exhaust emissions. In future, the company will only purchase models that come equipped with a turning assistant. All vehicles must also meet the strictest standards for fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, with the first 350 new fleet vehicles to be used in Germany and France. When purchasing vehicles, Kuehne + Nagel is opting for products from several manufacturers to

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gain experience of various systems. For example, three different technical solutions are used for turning assistants: optical, radar-based and ultrasoundassisted systems. Kuehne + Nagel is extensively testing all three.

Uwe Hött, senior vice president overland at Kuehne + Nagel, said, “Road safety is a key component of our sustainability strategy. By using several different systems, we can gain additional experiences that enable us to further

optimise our fleet’s road safety. This helps us increase the acceptance of lorries, which are a highperformance means of transport. We consciously opt for particularly low-emission and energyefficient vehicles.”


NEWS

DHL EXPRESS EYES DUBAI EXPANSION

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HL Express is about to expand its UAE operations, opening a facility in the state-of-the-art EZDubai – the 920,000 sq m purpose-built ecommerce zone at Dubai South’s Logistics District. This expansion will allow DHL Express to serve its customers both inside and outside of the free zone. The new 3,200 sq m two-storey facility will handle rising B2C exports in Dubai South, with 13 pick-up and delivery (PUD) routes to be relocated to EZDubai. It will also follow the standard material handling system layout, with conveyable automated throughput of 3,000pph. With approval from the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), the facility meets global service engineering framework (SEF) standards in terms of its air-conditioning and exhaust extraction systems, with improved stem time resulting in the earlier deliveries of goods. Geoff Walsh, UAE country manager for DHL Express, said, “The Middle East logistics and ecommerce market is rapidly growing, primarily driven by the UAE, which is why we’re expanding our operations to EZDubai. With our new operations, we’ll be able to connect sellers and consumers around the world with even greater speed and efficiency.” TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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NEWS

TECH & INNOVATION

Drones see A increased maritime applications

new research paper, the Global Drone Logistics and Transportation Market Report 2018, from HTF Market Intelligence, has shown a huge increase in drone-based logistics worldwide. It has also shown a significant increase in the maritime sector. For example, APM Terminals has started to use drones for safety inspections at its San Antonio and Santiago terminals in Chile. Hector Espinoza, director for Latin America at APM Terminals’ subsidiary, Container Operators SA, said, “Our safety supervisors are tasked with keeping the people and activities at our facilities safe, but by doing their jobs next to container stacks, trucks and other machinery, they were exposed to the highest risks. I knew the mining industry was having success with drones for safety, so we started testing it out.” Drones are used periodically by APM Terminals to film the sites’

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operations, monitor traffic flows and container stack efficiency, and observe unsafe behaviour. Each drone is equipped with a camera, sensors for night-time flying, and a speaker to aid communications with staff. Japanese company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), meanwhile, is pioneering the use of underwater drones for the inspection of container ships. Damage to the bottom of the ships can cause huge issues for liners, leading to fuel losses, with extra dirt and grime being brought into ports. The job of inspecting ships is usually handled by divers, but Mitsui is using aquatic drones instead. Then Wilhelmsen Ship Service, in partnership with Airbus, is testing the world’s first shore-to-ship drones at Singapore Port, delivering a variety of small, time-critical items to working vessels at anchorage. The Airbus Skyway drone is navigated autonomously along predetermined ‘aerial corridors’, depositing cargo of up to 1.5kg.


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OPINION The future is now The managing director of Unitechnik FZE, Hans Christian Ettengruber, on how technology is impacting distribution centres

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pace is limited. Land costs are high. Storage systems need to become more ‘vertical’. Because of these factors, high bay storage systems, with stacker cranes more than 40 metres high, are going to become more common. Then the movements of goods in warehouses and distribution centres need to be controlled and documented, so warehouse management systems will be commonplace too – we will even see this in manuallyoperated warehouses. At Unitechnik, however, we are always looking a few steps ahead, and it may sound like sci-fi, but we believe that virtual reality (VR) technology will also have a hand in warehouse planning. We held a presentation of our own VR system in Dubai Logistics City last year. There we could show, especially when planning workstations, that VR is an excellent tool. We designed the workstation for a client 18

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to meet the needs of the operator before it was physically built, and that helped us to win the project. We are seeing the rise of Uniware systems too – useful as a stock and inventory control system, and already used in many flight kitchens. Emirates, who we work with, which has the biggest flight kitchen in the world, is using Uniware. The benefits are that you can control the complete material flow with the software. All workstations are equipped with touchscreen monitors for easy dispatch orders, with useful monitoring for maintenance purposes.

Around the GCC There are already many references for automated logistics solutions in the region. One of the first automated warehouses was built by Integrated National Logistics (INL) in Logistics City at Dubai World Central in 2012. It is a system for 43,000 pallets, stored in

14 aisles. Princess Noura University in Riyadh also has an automated high-bay storage system for books, with 90,000 boxes stored in 12 aisles. And at airports, automation is a must. Cargo systems are usually fully automated, as is catering, and, of course, the baggage handling systems. Unitechnik has supplied all of the above. We have also just handed over an extension project to Emirates Flight Catering, which will result in a big increase in capacity, with its automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and several kilometres of overhead monorail. But automation will definitely be seen more in projects. Space in some of the free zones is valuable, and automation helps to make the most of what you have, also reducing your personnel costs. I even see warehouse management systems as a way to reduce waste in food storage due to the comprehensive data analysis, with reminders of expiry dates.

space in some of the free zones is valuable, and automation helps to make the most of what you have, also reducing your personnel costs. i even see warehouse management systems as a way to reduce waste in food storage due to the data analysis”


Forward planning Deepak Khushalani, the founder and managing director of Premier Logistics, on what the rest of the year will bring

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ogistics companies are facing a period of unprecedented change. As customer expectations evolve, digitisation is playing a much larger role than ever. Technological innovation means greater efficiency and more collaborative operating models within our sector. With this shifting pattern in the industry, digital innovation is of the utmost importance, with an increased sense of necessity to implement the latest systems. At Premier Logistics, our investment in technology has been a huge part of our success, helping us to grow 20 per cent year-on-year since we first started in 2016. We selected a leading warehouse management system, Infor SCE 10, to create an in-house Logistics Management Portal (LMP), so a client can track, view, modify or request inbound/ outbound and reserve dock space for their inventory stored within our warehouse.

The challenges ahead In my opinion, one of biggest challenges for the logistics

community in 2019 is digital transformation. Most logistics companies hail from a non-digital background, and to evolve quickly against their competition, they need to think of digital transformation in terms of digitalisation, processes and people. Another challenge is maintaining margins. These have shrunk primarily due to the commoditisation of logistics services. Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) increasingly have to outbid competitors to gain business, and with innovation being an important component of growth within the industry, it is probably the only tangible method for gaining new clients. Also, we need to consider the changing needs of the customer. Today, they expect faster shipments with more flexibility, greater transparency, better handling and warehousing, and lower prices. But as well as the challenges, there are opportunities. Logistics services are in high demand, and with a shortage in capacity, companies should

focus towards international joint ventures and potential mergers and acquisitions. For us, our goal is to build on 2018. We tried to establish various verticals within the organisation, including setting up a successful Finished Vehicles Logistics (FVL) division, working with a leading vehicle distributor in the Middle East. We also developed our in-house value-added services (VAS), now catering to more than 70 regional brands, offering copacking, shrink-wrapping, labelling, barcoding, repackaging and more. Our storage facilities for project logistics – open yard and bulk storage – offer new services too, such as lashing and crating for bulk items. This year we are expanding our warehousing capacity with international joint ventures, and have plans to build and operate a new state-of-the-art facility in Dubai. We also plan to offer our clients improved end-to-end visibility of their goods through our LMP, and establish new chemical and aviation logistics divisions.

most logistics companies hail from a non-digital background, and to evolve quickly against their competition, they need to think of digital transformation in terms of digitalisation, processes and people� TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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ENABLING NEW TRADE OPPORTUNITIES

SUBSIDIARIES

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2019 OUTLOOK

www.adports.ae


The

FREIGHT MASTER Toby Edwards is the CEO of Shipa Freight – the new tech platform from global logistics provider Agility, making life easier for small and medium-sized companies


Q&A

Firstly, can you explain to us the key aims of Shipa Freight?

Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. With a global network of logistics experts and industry-leading technology, Shipa Freight ensures that freight arrives safely and reliably every time. Agility offers air, ocean and road freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, and specialised services in project and chemical logistics, as well as fairs and events in over 100 countries worldwide. Simply put, the platform is designed and built to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to compete in the global economy. In a recent Agility survey of 800 SMEs, we found that the complexity around compliance, customs requirements and cross-border bureaucracy was proving a challenge. Shipa Freight helps customers overcome these issues by providing a compliance database with information on documents required on all trade lanes, helping small businesses to navigate the legal and regulatory requirements. There are various advantages for being able to track freight. Firstly, for transparency. Allowing our customers to track their shipments provides transparency to them, which in turn helps build trust. Customers who can track their shipments know the exact whereabouts of their cargo and when it will arrive, helping us build lasting relationships. Another benefit of freight tracking is limiting customer anxiety and buyer concern. Services that do not allow customers to track their shipments can leave them uncertain on the whereabouts of the shipment and estimated time of arrival, as this will have consequences for their business. Finally, it is almost a pre-requisite now for consumers to have full visibility into their orders, be it for food delivery or other ecommerce-related activities. This visibility is now translating into further demand from businesses for tracking and will only continue in the future.

Why is it so important to track freight in the current climate?

We are paying attention to the massive spike in smartphone penetration and growing comfort with ecommerce in emerging markets. We believe that our customers, especially in the SME segment, will increasingly demand self-service capability and increased functionality online. For bigger customers with complex shipments, the ability to manage supply chains more effectively online is already a key competitive advantage. Agility has invested in a development centre in India to build platforms and tools that are cutting edge in our industry. Agility Connect is one example: a powerful customer platform that allows customers to manage shipments online, as well as orders, documents, exceptions, inventory and vendors, and to customise reports that improve shipping efficiency. Our commitment to developing a global operating platform that drastically simplifies and standardises our business is another. Digital disruption is not just about improving the business we have today. It is also about anticipating new ways of doing business. On this front, Agility has created a new technology venture to invest in disruptive technology related to logistics. The idea is to look outside at new business models that we feel we can either adopt internally or promote through our company. For example, we have invested in CargoX, a platform that is looking to revolutionise how road freight is booked in complex markets like Brazil. Undoubtedly, there will be interest among customers, shippers, transport suppliers, regulators and other parties in other countries. Shipa Freight is another powerful driver toward digital solutions. By utilising technology to help SMEs go global, we are showing how to harness the best of digital to help customers.

How are you influencing the increasing drive towards digital solutions?

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Q&A

What do you offer that is truly unique, compared to the rest of the market?

Shipa Freight allows small businesses to get instant and transparent freight quotes, and to book, pay for and track ocean and air shipments around the world on a digital or mobile device. It is the industry’s first and most advanced fully integrated online freight service, and is available in more than 100 countries. Logistics is the backbone of commerce. But it is complex, and that complexity is disproportionately difficult for small businesses to navigate, because they often lack access to the logistics resources, tools and solutions that larger businesses have. When we talked to the 800 SMEs around the world, we found that 78 per cent wanted to see their logistics move online. Shipa helps close that gap, allowing them to take advantage of the opportunities of a global digital economy. Shipa Freight is unique in that it is the only major forwarder that can offer both ocean (FCL and LCL) and air freight on the same platform, and the ability to complete an end-to-end transaction, including payment and tracking. Going from a quote to a booking takes a few minutes and saves companies time.

How are you going to foster increased collaboration within the supply chain?

Real-time collaboration between supply chain stakeholders will transform the industry. However, there are issues that need to be addressed in order for this to happen, such as a lack of data standards and a reluctance in the maritime industry to share data. Agility’s digitisation drive has led to collaborating with Maersk and IBM on a blockchain system for tracking container shipments – the first forwarder to partner with the duo. As early adopters, we can help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient. We can then help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors and shorten transit and clearance times. 24

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How do you see the next 10 years in the GCC, specifically with regard to the developing infrastructure and supply chain?

In 2018, the UAE topped the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index (AEMLI) for the GCC, and came third globally, behind China and India. The UAE was attributed the No 1 spot for quality of infrastructure, according to the same report. As a trading and transportation hub in the MENA region, Dubai is the region’s largest container handler. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the UAE’s logistics sector is expected to fuel economic growth over the next five years. Despite the slump in oil prices, GCC infrastructure projects are seeing unprecedented investment, with government expenditure expected to hit US$288 billion through to 2020, according to a report by project tracker Ventures Onsite. In recent years, the logistics industry has benefitted from government initiatives, including the setting up of free zones with in-built logistics infrastructure, and incentives for using the air and seaports as stopovers for the transportation of goods globally.

How do you see the development of end-to-end solutions?

Customers want full service end-to-end solutions. While larger companies may have the resources to manage multiple providers, not everyone can, and that’s where the importance of the end-to-send solution comes in. Making it easy to access a quote, book, pay for and track freight online is key. In addition, a compliance engine details the required documents for any shipment, guiding customers through the complexities of global trade.

What are Shipa’s plans for 2019?

Very simple: growth; helping customers achieve their goals; adding functionality to the platform; and making it easier for companies to trade globally.


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SPOTLIGHT How the Sohar Port & Freezone in Oman achieved 15 years of double-digit growth – and why, thanks to a land reclamation project, more success is on the way

SOHAR,, SOHAR SOGOOD GOOD SO

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SPOTLIGHT

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t is rare to find an industrial complex that boasts year-on-year doubledigit growth since its inception – there are just too many challenges, such as economic instability, oil price fluctuations and political sensitivities. But somehow, the Sohar Port & Freezone, located in Sohar, Oman, midway between Dubai and Muscat, has done just that. Opened in 2003, Sohar has achieved incredible growth in the volumes of its traffic and customers, and has simultaneously grown its land mass, offering prime spots at its port and free zone complex – at the centre of global trade routes between Europe and Asia. This has happened in just over 15 years.

Oman has a long and proud history of maritime operations. Sohar benefits by being outside the Strait of Hormuz, reducing costs, but remaining in close proximity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It is now becoming recognised as a major hub for industry and logistics, not only within the region but globally. With the port’s location at the entrance of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, it has become a focal point for transhipment between the East and West. In this way, Sohar has proven to be a worthy competitor for other, more established transhipment complexes in the region, as well as a gateway for more than 3.5 billion consumers.

With the completion of the 680km highway linking Oman to Saudi Arabia – reducing the current need to drive via the UAE, taking up more time – the port and free zone will begin to take advantage of many more opportunities.

Increasing volumes Last year, Sohar witnessed yet another period of consistent growth of almost 70 million tonnes of cargo. As HE Dr Mohammed Nasser Ali Al Zaabi, chairman of the board at Sohar Port & Freezone, explained, “In 2018, we again created new records in both vessel calls and cargo throughput at the port. Vessel calls increased to 3,443 (from 3,075 in 2017), representing

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growth of over 12 per cent per annum and equating to an average of 66 vessels per week. In fact, over the last six years, the number of vessel calls to the port has doubled. “We can also report even greater growth with cargo throughput, with total throughput weight increasing by a phenomenal 20 per cent year-on-year, which means we are now handling 1.2 million tonnes of cargo every week.” In 2019, the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is expected to be operational, and is forecasted to add around 127,000 containers. The completion of new and upcoming industries will also assist in generating additional cargo volume.

Grow th sectors The last 12 months have seen development in Sohar’s food and agriculture cluster, which loads and unloads 600 tonnes of grain per hour. Due to the port and free zone’s location – with large, demanding food markets nearby, and its ability to receive both Panamax and Post-Panamax ships – it is generating interest from traders looking to re-export throughout the region. The food cluster has already part-opened a state-of-the-art sugar refinery and flour mill, and is set to add a soya crushing facility.

2003 Year that Sohar Port & Freezone opened

1.2m 250 BY THE NUMBERS

Tonnes of cargo handled each week

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3,443 Vessel calls handled in 2018

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$300m

Cost of new Sohar Cotton Cluster plant

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Sohar tries to encourage integration and downstream opportunities between the port and free zone, converting imported raw materials into tangible goods to re-export into commercial and consumer markets. For example, a deal was recently announced for the creation of calcined petroleum coke (CPC), exported to aluminium and steel industries around the GCC. The by-products, consisting of steam and raw petroleum coke, become feedstock for downstream petrochemical use from the refinery.

L a n d r e c l a m at i o n To increase its capacity, the Sohar Port & Freezone’s land reclamation project, Sohar Port South, is under way, with Phase 1 adding around 50 hectares to the current capacity of 2,100 hectares. A further 200 hectares will be added in Phase 2, boosting the port’s capacity by 10 per cent. As CEO Mark Geilenkirchen says, “The first phase of this reclamation project is almost ready and expected to host new industries soon. This expansion is essential for Sohar Port & Freezone to compete on a larger scale, and highlights its emergence as a logistics hub of choice within the Middle East.” Terminal 2D is another new area now available for leasing, with access to seawater and in close proximity of the petrochemical, logistics and food clusters. This is a unique plot, and extremely useful for potential international partners.


CEO Mark Geilenkirchen (far left) is overseeing the growth and expansion of the free zone

Ne w opp or t unities There are other facilities opening at the Sohar Port & Freezone that will present more opportunities to customers. One is the creation of a new high-capacity mineral aggregate terminal, developed and operated by Sohar in partnership with Marafi Sohar, the newly established subsidiary and investing arm of Asyad Group. The consolidation of shipping cargo for smaller operators in the free zone, many of which currently transport their cargo over land to other port destinations in the region, is another development. By providing more practical options for cargo consolidation, there will be fewer unnecessary delays, resulting in an increase of cargo volumes. Other upcoming projects include new ferrochrome smelters being constructed in the free zone. These will be joined by the second-biggest antimony plant of its kind in the world. The US$300 million Sohar Cotton Cluster cotton and yarn plant, a collaboration with India’s Pittie Group, one of the biggest cotton yarn

Sohar benefits by being outside the Strait of Hormuz, reducing costs, but in close proximity to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It is becoming recognised as a major hub for industry and logistics. With the port’s location at the entrance of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, it has become a focal point for transhipment between East and West

manufacturers in the world, is also on the way. This will produce 100,000 tonnes of cotton yarn annually, creating more than 1,500 jobs, and transform Sohar into a textiles and garments manufacturing hub, with downstream opportunities for new businesses in the clothing sector.

Environmental work Sohar maintains high standards when it comes to its environment and sustainable development practices. Working closely with the Port of Rotterdam, which has over 600 years of experience, the port and free zone encourages best practice with its customers, such as the redistribution and reuse of waste by-products. The port is conducting research on ways to carry steam to other industries, as an energy source for production, and also to convert port vehicles to run on hydrogen. Sohar has installed PV solar cells around its head office to reduce electricity consumption, and monitors ambient air quality in the entire industrial complex. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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Technology is reshaping the logistics chain – so is blockchain leading the way, or is it just one of many possibilities?

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great deal of hype has put blockchain at the forefront of the logistics chain over the past year or so. But how viable is it as a solution for streamlining processes? And how is it being implemented so far? Conversations around blockchain are taking place at a time of ubiquitous innovation in the supply chain and technology sectors, so is it an intrinsic part of that change, or another technology in a sea of potentialities? Time to look at the evidence.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain beginnings Occabore pudante

Blockchain was originally created as an accounting program for Bitcoin, but has now taken on a life of its own. A digital public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions, blockchain is known as a ‘distributed ledger technology’. This means it establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to the trusted transaction data in real time. By applying the technology to digitise global trade processes, a new form of command and consent can be introduced into the flow of information, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate and establish a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. Pretty much every corner of the supply chain has called for greater collaboration as the way forward. By sharing data, it becomes possible to acquire a transparent view of the supply chain at large, and thus better plan the movement of cargo in and out of nodes. The problem in making that happen has been that no modern company will just give away their precious data. In the contemporary world, data is everything, and by revealing it, you give your competition a complete view of all of your operations and make yourself extremely vulnerable. After being stuck in this mire for a few years, blockchain finally seems like a technology that can assuage people’s fears, as it promises a safe, non-partisan method of committing data to an objective chain.

After a great deal of promise, blockchain operations volectibus exerist have started to happen sporadically around the world. The Port of Antwerp signed a memorandum autatur secest, of understanding with Maqta Gateway in Abu Dhabi, sequis mi,project consend while Maersk announced its blockchain with IBM – TradeLens – a few months prior. TradeLens igenihilit, iliqui has been of particular interestconsenderit in that it promised to unite faccae 94 organisations on one platform that was built on expliqu assimaion open standards. The TradeLens ecosystem currently includes eventotas et ulparum more than 20 port and terminal operators across the alit et et od globe, with big names suchquuntias as PSA Singapore, ICTSI, Modern Terminals, the Portut ofacepe Rotterdam, and APMT sinistibus all on board. TradeLens utilises IBM blockchain ut dis dolor adit technology as the foundation for digital supply chains, eatur autpartners omnihil and aims to empower multiple trading to collaborate by establishingmoluptae a single shared view of audamaquia transaction without compromising details, privacy or a vel corero confidentiality. Maersk’s aim is foripsundae shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, volorepro ium” inland transportation and customs authorities to interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data and shipping documents, using data ranging from temperature control to container weight. While this all sounds very impressive, it is not quite the holistic global model once promised, and may well just serve as an elite system for Maersk and its supply chain partners, as well as implement blockchain on processes that are already optimised in different ways. However, it is a beginning.

od ut quatist, ut

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technology

In the GCC, Tristar has been recognised as the first logistics company to have a fully live blockchain platform. This provides customers with full real-time oversight on end-to-end warehousing and transportation processes. Tristar is actively leveraging blockchain technology for business relationships in a single point of access for all documents/records, thus facilitating the managing of trusted data with little or no use of paper. Speaking with TLME in the past, Tristar pointed out that wherever a customer operates in the world, no matter how remote the location, the ability to see the movement and handling of liquid products is now available in real time. While this was unimaginable only a few years ago, the reality is that logistics players should be driven by the need to collect more data in order to make better decisions that benefit all stakeholders. The CEO of Tristar, Eugene Mayne, was eager to stress that as technology increases the visibility in the supply chain, the volume of data increases too, and this can be used to streamline entire processes.

Blockchain meets supply chain As Mayne pointed to, blockchain could well be a precursor that can facilitate advancements, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), that in turn automate data capture and exchange. This would effectively eliminate the concerns over errors during manual entry of data into the system. Since blockchain cannot be edited after entry, automation will go a long way to ensuring accuracy. 32

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Also, as blockchain advances, it could offer a new level of collaboration and security, allowing companies to plan with a connected strategy in mind, building trust into their processes, and making data exchange the norm. One example of this, happening right now, is in the form of the world’s biggest diamond producer, DeBeers. The London-based company is presently building an industry-wide blockchain to facilitate the movement of its products around the world. An innovation such as this has been planned to aid DeBeers in tracking and tracing its diamonds along every stop on the chain. Blockchain allows for a micro-management of when the diamonds swap hands, noting who is the point of contact in real time. Such a model also fosters a clear, provable authenticity, ensuring that the company’s diamonds are ethically produced. In an age where clarity in the chain is increasingly sought, this could be a powerful dimension to future businesses that can prove the ethics and efficacy of the chains they work in. This also lends itself to positive branding for that industry, building greater trust with the customer.

The future of blockchain Blockchain is still very much promise more than a clear workable technology. While it is allowing players in the chain to share data and offer transparency, the day when all are streamlined and dynamic is not yet here. Further still, in an ever-changing technology landscape, the sector may well adopt technologies we have yet to envision, or find ways of working that do not utilise blockchain. As tends to be the case in truly disruptive tech, any largescale change will likely come from outside of the sector, just as blockchain once did. If 5G really is the gamechanger promised, when it becomes widely adopted in 2020 as the new hyper-speed network, it will demand logistics companies to think outside the box. So while blockchain is showing promise, the great breakthrough case still evades us. Wide-scale implementation, therefore, does not seem likely – at least yet. Further, other technologies may well enter the sector and give blockchain a run for its money by the time 2019 is out.


The Middle East’s most influential transport and logistics CEOs

TOP We wanted to come up with something special for our very first issue, and here it is – our Top 50 list of the most outstanding, inspirational and reputable CEOs from the transport and logistics sector in the region. Reducing the names to just 50 and deciding on a running order was no easy task, as was trying to recount the many achievements and experiences of those featured. Congratulations to everybody who made the list. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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1 HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed is a man with a lot on his plate – he leads more than 20 entities, and is president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group; chairman of Dubai World and the Noor Takaful insurance company; chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee; and second vice chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. He has led Emirates, the global airline, since it began in 1985. Today, Emirates is an iconic brand with a massive global network, and the largest international airline. Sheikh Ahmed built

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on this in 2009, launching the budget airline flydubai – which today operates more than 820 flights per week. Sheikh Ahmed has received many honours and awards, and in January won the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Government Excellence Award for his leadership in aviation. He has also received the Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur (the Legion of Honour), the highest French civilian award, as well as Verfassungsportugaleser, one of Germany’s highest honours, for services to the City of Hamburg.


HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi became the director general of the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority in April 2008 – just over a year before it opened the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre, which is the largest and busiest air traffic management facility of its kind in the Middle East, as well as one of the world’s most renowned and technically advanced. The General Civil Aviation Authority was established in 1996, and given the task of overseeing all aviationrelated activity within the UAE, as

well as the provision of en route air navigation services. It continues to excel in terms of safety and security, which is no easy feat considering the rate at which Dubai and Abu Dhabi have expanded in that time to become major international aviation hubs. Al Suwaidi is well acquainted with aviation, and began his career in the UAE Air Force, holding several senior positions, including his last tour as director of air force operations. He was appointed chairman of the Arab Civil Aviation Commission Executive Council in 2010.

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3 HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem DP World One of Dubai’s leading business experts, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem became the group chairman and CEO of DP World in May 2007. It has since become one of the largest port operators in the world, with 78 marine and inland terminals on six continents, and 45,000 employees in 42 countries. In 2006, it purchased the P&O group for US$6.8 billion. After starting his career more than three decades ago in the customs office at Jebel Ali Port, bin Sulayem became the first chairman of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1985, and later founded Nakheel,

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the Dubai property firm behind such projects as the Palm Jumeirah. In 2002, he pioneered the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), a trading centre for gold, diamonds and other precious goods, and then established Istithmar World, a premier global investment company. Today, bin Sulayem is also chairman of the Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), and a board member of a number of leading industry associations and governing bodies, including the Dubai Executive Council, the UAE Federal Tax Authority and Virgin Hyperloop One.


HE Ahmed Mahboob Musabih Dubai Customs As Dubai continues to grow, so does the amount of trade and goods passing through it. Luckily, the director of Dubai Customs is somebody that has developed alongside its operations, and knows how to expand for the future – Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, who first joined the organisation back in 1994. Following his many years of hard work, he was awarded the position of director in 2014. Musabih is very familiar with the inner workings of Dubai Customs, having implemented the GCC customs union rules and regulations, ATA Carnet

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system, IATA e-Freight initiative and other projects over more than two decades. As Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade continues to grow, so must the systems and security to help implement support. Recent initiatives have included the UAE Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme, providing Dubai Customs with a systems-based control strateg y, and the newly-launched iDeclare, an app that allows UAE travellers to check customs rules, declare items and calculate duty, greatly reducing the passenger’s waiting time.

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5 HE Ahmed Mohamed Sharif El Khoury Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime Overseeing the rules and regulations of the UAE’s land, maritime and rail operations is no easy task, particularly when these sectors are constantly growing. But the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime was set up in 2006 to do just that, issuing policies, laws and guidance that govern the country’s transport needs. In September 2018, Ahmed Mohamed Sharif El Khoury became its director general, guiding the organisation ever since. El Khoury has had a long career of governmental work , occupying a number of senior administrative positions, including the board chairman of Abu Dhabi Genera l Ser v ices. His current work with the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime seeks to support the UAE Vision 2021, raising the standards of the transport infrastructure to set a new milestone for the country. Recent initiatives include the introduction of ‘smart cars’ on the roads, using onboard technology linked to a database to instantly check the licensing status of passing trucks.

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Sir Tim Clark Emirates Sir Tim Clark certainly knows a thing or two about aviation, having spent his entire professional life of nearly five decades in the industry. He received his knighthood in 2014 for services to British prosperity and the aviation industry, and joined Emirates, the Dubai airline, in 1985 as a member of the founding team. Before that he worked for Gulf Air. Clark ’s appointment as president of Emirates came in 2003, by which time the company was already deemed a huge success, largely due to the route network he had established in his role as head of airline planning.

Today, the airline continues to expand under Clark’s guidance – growing the network across six continents, and the fleet to become the largest operator of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s in the world. He has also introduced free Wi-Fi, an award-winning inflight entertainment system, Shower Spas, Onboard Lounges, and other industry firsts. Clark is the chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation, a non-profit charity that he helped to found. Until 2008, when Emirates partly-owned and managed SriLankan Airlines, Clark served as its managing director. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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Christopher Cook Maersk With its simple end-to-end offering of products and digital services, seamless customer engagement and a superior end-to-end delivery network, Maersk enables its customers to trade and grow by transporting goods all over the world. AP Moller - Maersk, which was founded in 1904, is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As the global leader in shipping services, the company operates in 130 countries and employs around 76,000 people.

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Based in Dubai, Christopher Cook is leading Maersk’s business in the UAE, Oman and Qatar. He has an extensive 17-year career in Maersk, holding various operational and commercial leadership roles throughout Europe and Africa. Prior to his current responsibilities, Christopher was based in the Netherlands as the global owner of Damco’s lifestyle industry vertical business. He also holds a bachelor of science degree with honours in logistics from the University of Cardiff in the UK.


Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi Abu Dhabi Ports An experienced maritime executive, Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi joined Abu Dhabi Ports in 2008. Under his guidance as CEO, he oversees the commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as Fujairah Terminals and the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The flagship Khalifa Port continues to be developed, and over Dhs10 billion of committed capital is to be spent by Abu Dhabi Ports and its partners to help expand the facility.

Al Shamisi is a board member of the Abu Dhabi Marine Operations & Services Company (ADMOS), Etihad Rail DB, the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime and Make-a-Wish Foundation UAE, and a member of the board of trustees to the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre. He is also chairman of the KIZAD board of directors, and has served as board member and chairman of Abu Dhabi Terminals and as a board member of Etihad Airways. He was recently appointed vice chairman of Arab Sea Port Federation.

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Amer Bin Ahmed Knauf Middle East Amer Bin Ahmed, managing director of Knauf Middle East and India, has been a key driver for the ‘Made in UAE’ campaign, increasing exports from the UAE and helping industrial diversification. He has also been recognised for his emphasis on quality, raising the value of products that are manufactured locally. What makes Bin Ahmed’s commitment so impressive is that Knauf, a German company, committed to a long-term strategy by creating the manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah to serve the GCC and surrounding areas. By doing this, it inspires other international manufacturers to view the UAE as not just a fantastic place for international trade but a manufacturing hub for the region. It also increases the amount of exports for the UAE and drives the long-term vision of economic diversification. As well as manufacturing building materials and related products, Knauf aims to promote sustainability and energy conservation in the construction industry. Bin Ahmed is responsible for building a large-scale sustainable business operation for Knauf in the

Middle East and India, and has nearly 20 years’ experience in the gypsum industry, leading business development in the Middle East and Asia for companies specialising in building products, such as Boral and Lafarge. He joined Knauf Middle East in 2010. In his tenure at Knauf, Bin Ahmed’s commitment to standards has been recognised with a number of awards. He received a CEO of the Year Award from the Future Cities initiative in 2016, and one of the most coveted awards for the Middle East – the Made in UAE award – presented in 2018 for Knauf. There have also been numerous recognitions from Dubai Civil Defence and the Dubai Municipality, and Bin Ahmed has recently been elected as a board member of Dubai Quality Group, a government organisation, for a tenure of three years, during which he will be working with a strong team to ensure that quality standards in the UAE are not only maintained but enhanced. Through Bin Ahmed’s commitment to sustainability on behalf of Knauf and the UAE, the company was given the Green Award by the Ministry of Infrastructure in 2018. Bin Ahmed is also the UAE representative for ASTM.

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Paul Griffiths Dubai Airports In his time as CEO for Dubai Airports, the company responsible for all of Dubai’s airport operations, Paul G r i f f it h s h a s a c h i e v e d m o r e than most. From the time he started the role in 2007, Griffiths has overseen the continued expansion of Dubai International (DXB); opened the city’s second airport, Dubai World Central

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(DWC); followed this with the opening of Concourse A , the world ’s first purpose-built A380 facility; and found time at the end of 2018 to welcome DXB’s one-billionth passenger. An estimated 245,000 passengers are flown through DXB every day – around 90 million a year – making it the busiest airport in the world for international

passenger traffic, and there are plans to increase capacity to 118 million by 2023. The airport also handles 13,000 pieces of luggage per hour. It is good that Griffiths has a hobby to help him relax – he plays the organ at concerts in Dubai, and has even played at London’s St Paul ’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.


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Peter Richards Gulftainer

Established in 1976, Gulftainer retains its status as the world’s largest privatelyowned independent port operator, with its corporate headquarters in Sharjah. It is here or across any of the 15 terminals worldwide that you will find its CEO, Peter Richards. A member of Gulftainer’s work force since 1987, Richards has served as its general manager, operations manager, terminal manager and operations superintendent during that time. Today, he is an executive board member of the company, CEO of Gulftainer Group, and CEO of Gulftainer’s US arm, GT USA. It is estimated that Gulftainer manages around 40 per cent of all of the major container terminal facilities in the Middle East, with business operations in seven countries. Richards brings with him 12 years of seagoing experience and 32 years of expertise in managing ports and terminals. Helping Gulftainer grow from a simple port operator to an integrated logistics supplier, he has seen the company expand across Europe and the US, receiving both global recognition and awards for his efforts.

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Nabil Sultan Emirates Sky Cargo As well as operating its famous passenger airline, Emirates, the Emirates Group presides over the world’s largest cargo airline, Emirates Sky Cargo, based on international freight tonne-kilometres flown. From its hub at Dubai World Central, it operates dedicated cargo flights to 50 destinations with its own fleet. It also reaches 100 extra cities through the Emirates passenger network, via the bellyhold capacity of the aircraft. Nabil Sultan has been the divisional senior vice president of freight division

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at Emirates Sky Cargo since June 2013. He has more than 20 years’ experience within Emirates itself at a senior level, and originally started his career with the airline in 1990 as a member of the IT department. In the last few years, Emirates Sky Cargo has expanded its offering and established new partnerships. Its pharma product, for example, has won awards, and it is working closely with Dubai CommerCity to provide support for the global ecommerce market.

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13 Tony Douglas Etihad Aviation Group The role of a Group CEO is undoubtedly to make tough decisions – and in the case of Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group since January 2 018 , those decisions m ight seem harder than most. Brought in to help the Abu Dhabi carrier turn its fortunes around after posting major losses in recent years, he has trimmed operating

costs significantly, even with ongoing volatility in the oil market, and lowered administration and other expenses. Douglas is a man w ith lots of experience, both in av iat ion and the reg ion itself. In the UK , he w ork e d w it h a i r p or t op e r a tor B A A a s t he m a n a g i n g d i r e c tor of Heathrow Terminal 5 and CEO of

Heathrow Airport; then as COO of construction company Laing O’Rourke; CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports; CEO of Abu Dhabi A irports; then back in the UK work ing for the Ministr y of Defence as CEO of the Defence Equipment & Support department. Under his guidance, Etihad is sure to fly high once again.

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Abdulla Jassem Kalban EGA There is no denying the expertise and knowledge of Abdulla Jassem Kalban. He has ser ved as the managing director and CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) since its formation through the merger of DUBAL and EMAL in 2014. Previous to this, he was the CEO of DUBAL from 2005, and its president from 2008, after first joining the company as a trainee in 1985. Today he is also the chairman of the Gulf

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Aluminium Council, vice chairman of the Federal Electricity & Water Authority, and a board member of the International Aluminium Institute, plus several other notable organisations. EGA is the sole producer of primary aluminium in the UAE, with enough output to make the country the fifthlargest aluminium producer in the world. It is now expanding into bauxite mining (the ore from which aluminium

is derived), and opened the UAE’s first alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi at the start of the year. When its bauxite mining project in Guinea is completed, EGA will handle the entire production process, from mine to metal. In 2 016 , the cong lomerate a l so became the f irst UA E industr ia l company to licence its core process technology to other institutions all over the world.


Bryan Thompson Abu Dhabi Airports Company The appointment of Bryan Thompson as the new CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports was big news for the region when it took place in summer 2018. Thompson had previously held the position of senior vice president – development at Dubai Airports, with more than 25 years of international experience in many areas of airport management and operations. He had joined Abu Dhabi Airports at a critical time. The Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport is due to open soon, and this will greatly

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expand the capacity and range of services offered. In addition to the emirate’s main airport, Abu Dhabi Airports oversees the operations at Al Ain International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, Dalma Airport and Sir Bani Yas Airport. When completed, the Midfield Terminal will increase the capacity of Abu Dhabi International Airport to more than 45 million passengers per year. With this and the other airports to look after, Thompson will definitely be busy.

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HE Khalifa Al Zaffin

Dubai Aviation City Corporation

When you announce a new flagship urban project as the location for the World Expo 2020, with plans to invest around US$70 billion, house 1 million residents and create 500,000 jobs, generating 35 per cent of your emirate’s GDP by 2025, you do not want just anybody running the show. This is how the Government of Dubai described Dubai South – a 140 sq km logistics and aviation free zone in Jebel Ali, with its own airport, Dubai World Central (DWC), at its core. Luckily, the man at the top is

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Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, the parent entity of Dubai South and low-cost airline flydubai. Al Zaffin has more than 20 years’ experience working in aviation, mainly in engineering and strategy, and is deemed an expert by many. While the construction of Dubai South is still very much ongoing, the full effect of Al Zaffin’s influence is on show – last year, the project recorded 35.8 million safe manhours among its many achievements.

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HE Mohammed Abdulla Ahli Dubai Civil Aviation Authority There was a lot going on in 1966 – in terms of space exploration, Russia launched the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon; and in sport, England won the FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, this was the year that Mohammed Abdulla Ahli began his aviation career with dnata (Dubai National Air Travel Agency), rising through the ranks to become its director of ground services. In 1982, he joined the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority as operations director. The organisation was set up to

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ensure the highest safety and security standards within Dubai’s air transport system, and Ahli is still part of this today, now serving as its director general. Described by many as an expert negotiator and influencer, and a key figure in helping Dubai become an international aviation hub, Ahli is credited with bringing more operators to the city and helping to establish Emirates Airlines. Today, he also serves as the CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services, providing air traffic services within the Dubai airspace.


18 Tarek Sultan Agility It pays to be a shareholder in Agility, the global logistics experts headquartered in Kuwait. For 2018, the company increased its net profits by 18.4 per cent to US$267.4 million, marking improved shareholder profitability for 10 consecutive quarters. This was announced by CEO and vice chairman Tarek Sultan, who took leadership in 1997, turning Agility into a publicly-traded company, listed in Kuwait and Dubai, with 22,000 employees and offices in more than 100 countries. How do you build on this success? Agility is now investing in its future,

with plans to build more than 1 million sq m of warehousing and industrial facilities across the Middle East and Africa. It has also announced a US$100 million investment in Shipa.com, an online platform that integrates Agility’s global network and infrastructure. As well as his commitments to Agility, Sultan is on the board of trustees for Kuwait’s Silk City and Boubyan Island development projects, an active supporter of the World Economic Forum and a trustee for the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.

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19 Ghaith Al Ghaith flydubai This year marks the 10th anniversary of Dubai’s first low-cost airline, flydubai, which commenced operations in 2009. It also marks 10 years as CEO of the company for Ghaith Al Ghaith, who began his career with Emirates in 1986, serving as its executive vice president commercial operations worldwide from 1995. In its first decade, under Al Ghaith’s leadership, f lydubai has won many industry awards, and carried 10.7 million people across its network in 2017. It has

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also weathered some tough times, with 2018 a year of rising interest rates and fuel prices, among other challenges. But Al Ghaith sees 2019 as a return to form, with flydubai launching more destinations, adding more aircraft to its fleet, and expanding its partnership with Emirates – with both airlines aiming to provide 240 destinations between them by 2022. The Emirates loyalty programme has also been introduced onto flydubai flights.


Adel Abdullah Ali Air Arabia Last year, Air Arabia celebrated 15 years of business by updating the livery on its aircraft for the first time since its launch in 2003. For group CEO Adel Abdullah Ali, the change symbolised a decade-and-ahalf of his own impressive achievements. Ali came to Air Arabia after holding senior positions at British Airways and Gulf Air. Under his guidance from Air Arabia’s headquarters in Sharjah, the airline has increased its passenger numbers and revenues year-on-year,

while simultaneously expanding both the network and the fleet. Since 2007, it has been listed on the Dubai stock exchange, and in 2015 became the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East to launch a loyalty programme. As well as his work for Air Arabia, Ali is the chairman of several associated companies. He is also a board member of Sharjah Aviation Services, a ground handling company owned jointly by Sharjah Airport and Air Arabia.

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21 Samir Chaturvedi KIZAD An industry veteran with many years of experience behind him, Samir Chaturvedi was appointed the CEO of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) in September 2018. His role is to oversee KIZAD’s assets, activities, operations and growth strategy. Prior to his position in Abu Dhabi, he was senior vice president of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

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(JAFZA) in Dubai, where he worked for 13 years. But his experience in logistics, shipping and supply chain management goes back even further, and he has previously held roles at well known companies such as Maersk and DHL. If all goes to plan, KIZAD will eventually become the leading maritime hub for the UAE. Khalifa Port – the heart of the KIZAD development – has teamed

up with COSCO, the Chinese shipping group and port operator, to build a new terminal. This is part of an ambitious Dhs10 billion expansion plan, increasing capacity at the port to 9.1 million TEU over the next five years. By 2050, KIZAD will be around eight times the size of the next biggest facility in the UAE, with a host of industrial and logistical activities.


22 Mohsen Ahmad Logistics District, Dubai South Mohsen Ahmad took the helm to lead Dubai South’s Logistics District as its CEO following more than 10 years of management expertise in the supply chain and logistics sector. He has spearheaded the development of the Middle East’s latest mega hub for logistics under the 145 sq km urban development project of the Dubai Government. Ahmad has played a major role in developing the Logistics District – designed to provide uninhibited access to seaport, airport and major roads networks – and offer unrivalled speed, connectivity and f lexibility to contract log istics, integ rators, f r e i g ht for wa r der s , a gent s a nd traders. He continues to oversee the entire Logistics District and sets its business direction , including the overall execution of its operations. He is hands-on in the management and financial planning of the entire facility in line with Dubai’s vision and roadmap for the sector. He earned his bachelor’s degree in logistics and transportation from the University of Tennessee in the US and received a master of science degree in logistics and supply chain management from the Cranfield University School of Management in the UK.

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Ahmed Omar Abdulla Borouge

As the CEO of Borouge, Ahmed Omar Abdulla has a very impressive track record – and one that is continually honoured on a national level. In Apr i l , Abdu l la received a G old Award at the prestigious Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Awards (SKEA), with a ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, based on Borouge’s dedication to excellence and outstanding performance. This came just two years after the company won the same award back in 2016, and Abdulla quickly praised the hard work, dedication and remarkable performance of Borouge’s employees in his acceptance speech. As a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Borealis, a plastics manufacturer in Austria, Borouge is a leading petrochemicals company and the world’s largest polyolefin complex, providing innovative plastics solutions for a number of industries. It currently has an annual capacity of 4.5 million tonnes, which it plans to double by 2025. Abdulla has worked for ADNOC throughout his career, and been the CEO of Borouge since May 2016.

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24 Eugene Mayne Tristar Group

Since it was founded in 1998, Tristar, based in Dubai, has expanded to 20 countries and territories, employing almost 2,000 people. It is a fully integrated liquid logistics provider, moving fuel safely over land, sea and air, with into-plane refuelling, fuel farm management, and more – it even has a shipping business with the largest privately-owned fleet in the Middle East, set to expand in 2020. Founder and CEO Eugene Mayne is always looking for ways to improve his services, and in 2017 Tristar piloted a new blockchain project to

provide the customer with a minuteby-minute overview of the supply chain process. Mayne has also seen the company win many awards for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, providing education, clean water and health services in the communities where it operates, including the funding of schools in Sudan. Seen as an expert in oil and gas logistics by the industry, Mayne is a member of the local UN Global Compact (UNGC) board, helping to address local sustainability challenges.

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25 Raman Kumar Al Futtaim Logistics Under the leadership of managing director Raman Kumar, Dubai-based Al Futtaim Logistics has continued its expansion internationally and regionally. As part of this, the company recently opened its second warehousing facility in Riyadh, and now has over 15,000 sq m of warehouse space in the city. The organisation has ambitious plans to extend its footprint within the region, focusing on cold chain solutions and enhancing speed to market for better customer experiences – it already has a state-of-the-art cold storage facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, opened last year, with multiple temperaturecontrolled storage solutions. As with all of Al Futtaim Logistics’ expansions,

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the facility is equipped with the latest technology, including a world-class warehouse management system. In its efforts to provide end-to-end solutions, Al Futtaim Logistics provides last mile delivery and assembly for its customers. Using its advanced transport management system for route optimisations and scheduling, consumers can download the tracking app for total visibility with their orders. Sustainability has also been a key theme for Al Futtaim Logistics, with the firm recently awarded the GFA Label – Leaf 2 green carrier certification. The company has also been pioneering the use of biofuel, while managing fuel consumptions, driver habits and improving its transport management

technologies. These initiatives have led to closer cooperation with other major organisations that focus heavily on the overall carbon footprint of products. Al Futtaim Logistics has also signed a major partnership agreement with Emirates Argentina, assisting South American companies looking to trade within the MENASA region. The company will provide end-toend solutions, including freight, warehousing and transportation. Further expansions are planned for 2019, and Raman Kumar’s experience within the industry, combined with his commitment to implementing the latest technologies, will ensure that the company moves from strength to strength.


26 Abdullah bin Khediya National Association of Freight & Logistics Established in 1992, the National Association of Freight & Logistics is the oldest association of freight and logistics service providers in the UAE, offering support, seminars, training and free legal services to its members. Of course, just as the operations and infrastructure of Dubai has grown, so too has the association itself, with a need to review its own methods and ensure it remains on top of developments. One solution came in early 2017, appointing Abdullah bin Khediya as its senior executive coordinator between the association and the office of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, its honorary patron. These are busy times for the organisation. At the end of 2017, its president, Nadia Abdul Aziz, became the first Emirati female to be nominated as vice-president on the Global Extended Board of the International Association of Freight Forwarders, which represents more than 44,000 forwarding and logistics firms in 150 countries.

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Hamad Buamim Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry A lot has changed at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry since its president and CEO, Hamad Buamim, first joined in 2006. The non-profit public organisation has grown its membership to 231,000 companies and expanded its presence across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the CIS region. Dubai Chamber aims to protect the interests of Dubai’s business community and provides its members with guidance, support, networking and access to growth opportunities in the emirate

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and abroad. Ease of doing business and innovation are two factors driving Dubai’s continued success, according to Buamim, which is why these areas remain a key focus of Dubai Chamber’s customer-focused strategy. Earlier this year, Buamim stepped into his new role as chairman of the World Chambers Federation, the International Chamber of Commerce’s unique global forum, uniting a global network of 12,000 chambers and their respective business communities.


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Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri Senaat

Senaat is one of the UAE’s largest i n du s t r i a l i n v e s t m e nt h o l d i n g c o mp a n i e s , m a n d a t e d b y t h e Government of Abu Dhabi to create, acqu i re a nd opt i m i se i ndu str ia l businesses in the emirate. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1970s, when it was first established to fulfil the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for industrial and economic diversification. Senaat has invested in the non-oil sector an average of Dhs1.6 billion a year over the last 10 years. It is

currently managing more than Dhs27.3 billion of industrial assets across its portfolio of nine companies in four key sectors – Metals, Oil & Gas Services, Construction & Building Materials and Food & Beverages. Recently, Senaat posted a 3.5 per cent rise in revenues to Dhs16.3 billion, with 20 per cent growth in earnings to more than Dhs2.5 billion for 2018. Under CEO Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, Senaat has made remarkable progress in developing a modern industrial base

for a diversified futuristic economy capable of competing on a local, regional and global level. With a successful track record in the industrial sector lasting more than two decades, Al Dhaheri serves key positions within many of Abu Dhabi’s largest industrial entities. He is also currently the chairman of Arkan, a building materials company, and Ducab, special ising in cable manufacturing, as well as a member of the boards of Emirates Steel and the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company.

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Mark Geilenkirchen Sohar Port & Freezone Over the last 15 years, Sohar Port & Freezone has shown itself to be a resounding success. Located in Oman, midway between Dubai and Muscat, the development is a joint venture between the Sultanate and the Port of Rotterdam, the largest seaport in Europe. In 2018, Sohar experienced another year of consistent growth, with an average 1.2 million tonnes of cargo handled each week, with records set in vessel calls and cargo throughput. This performance will no doubt please CEO Mark Geilenkirchen, who joined

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Sohar Port & Freezone in 2016. Originally from the Netherlands, Geilenkirchen has worked, studied and lectured in the field of logistics for most of his life. He has held senior positions at various companies for more than a decade, and before arriving in Oman worked in Hong Kong as global client director with APM Terminals. His appointment at Sohar coincided with the beginning of the port’s land reclamation project, Sohar Port South, designed to help its expansion and diversification efforts.


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Nour Suliman DHL Express

He may have been the DHL Express CEO of the Middle East and North Africa since 2011, but Nour Suliman’s experience with the company and the region dates back much further. Serving the worldfamous courier and parcel delivery service for more than 30 years prior to his latest appointment, Suliman had worked across four countries in the region, including Bahrain, where he managed operations there, and then in 2007 he became the country manager for Saudi Arabia.

Under Suliman’s guidance, DHL Express has continued to grow throughout the region, launching additional flight routes from the US to the Middle East, spurred on by the booming cross-border ecommerce markets and increasing digitalisation. Operating in 220 countries and territories, with around 100,000 employees worldwide, DHL is also planning to modernise its regional and intercontinental air fleet, and is looking at facility investments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

Elie Tannous UPS Elie Tannous is the freight forwarding vice president for UPS in the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA) region. UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of services, including transporting packages and freight. Having joined UPS in 2018, Tannous was tasked with expanding the freight forwarding footprint by better connecting businesses in the region to customers in growth markets. He plays a key role in delivering one of the world’s

31 most complex logistics challenges through UPS’s partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai – the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. With nearly two decades dedicated to the Middle East’s services and logistics industries, Tannous brings his growthorientated focus to one of UPS’s key international markets. Backed by a smart global logistics network that moves 3 per cent of the world’s GDP, he is keen to help customers seize more cross-border opportunities.

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Dr Detlef Trefzger Kuehne + Nagel

If a company has been around for almost 130 years, it must have something extra special going for it. But Kuehne + Nagel was indeed founded in 1890 in Bremen, Germany, by August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel, providing global transport and logistics solutions. Today, Kuehne + Nagel is one of the world’s leading logistics companies, with a clear focus on offering technology-enabled, integrated and industry-specific solutions. The Group is based in Switzerland, with offices in more than 100 countries and almost 82,000 employees worldwide.

Dr Detlef Trefzger was appointed CEO in August 2013, just a few months after joining its management board. Prior to that, he had worked in senior positions or board functions for several companies in Europe. His experience seems to be paying off. In recent years, Kuehne + Nagel has seen strong volume increases in the air and sea freight businesses, and experienced a strong overall net turnover growth. It has operations in countries across the Middle East, with a sharp focus on oil and gas projects.

Raj Subramaniam FedEx Corporation It has been a hectic year so far for Raj Subramaniam. On January 1, he took up the appointment of president and CEO of US multinational courier delivery giant FedEx Express; then just two months later in March, his responsibilities were changed, seeing him become the president and COO of its parent company, FedEx Corporation. The company founder, Fred Smith, still remains the group’s CEO. How did Subramaniam climb the ranks so quickly? He has served with FedEx for 27 years, holding various

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executive-level positions. Starting at the company headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, he worked in Hong Kong and Canada, then came back to the US. He was the executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx Corporation before his two promotions in 2019, and he now oversees 450,000 staff. It is widely expected that his leadership experience, key business insights and focus on globalisation will help FedEx to continue to grow – in the Middle East and beyond.


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Omar Hariri Saudia Cargo The year 2019 has been very eventful for Saudia Cargo, from opening new offices in Dubai and Cairo to participating in the first Saudi International Airshow, as well as sponsoring the Saudi International golf tournament. There have also been changes internally, streamlining pr o c e s s e s to w a r d s op e r at ion a l excellence, with numerous projects fuelling growth in the company.

All of this would not have been possible without the appointment of Omar Hariri as the CEO in early 2018, bringing with him extensive management experience within the logistics and supply chain sectors. At a time when the company was already sailing into its ‘transformation 2020’ programme, Hariri has been vital to this. In the coming years, Hariri will continue to strengthen Saudia Cargo’s

strategy and execution plan, which is aligned with Saudi Arabia Vision 2030. Terminal capacity enhancements across the major airports of the country are one of the many projects. Saudia Cargo operates an extensive global network, with a modern dedicated freighter fleet and provides state-of-theart facilities for ground handling services to all airlines.

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Colm McLoughlin Dubai Duty Free Launched on December 20, 1983, Dubai Duty Free celebrated its 35th birthday last year with an annual turnover of more than US$2 billion – it plans to hit US$3 billion by 2022. With a 38,000 sq m space at Dubai International, and 4,000 sq m at Dubai World Central, the company also has a leisure division featuring The Irish Village, The Century Village, the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. The man who has been a driving force from day one is Colm McLoughlin, originally from Ireland, who at the request

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of the Government of Dubai was asked to launch a duty free initiative. Dubai Duty Free has grown significantly – it now has 6,100 employees and is the largest single airport retailer in the world. McLoughlin was appointed executive vice chairman and CEO of the company in 2011. He is also the chairman of the Dubai Duty Free Foundation, a non-profit charity founded in 2004. On June 1, 2019, McLoughlin celebrated 50 years in the duty free industry. He began his career in Shannon Airport in 1969 before moving to Dubai in 1983.

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36 Mudassir Sheikha Careem Some big news for Careem was announced recently. The Dubai-based ride-hailing service had been bought by its international equivalent, Uber, for US$3.1 billion, with the deal expected to close in January 2020 – making it the largest technology sector acquisition in the Middle East. This includes its business across Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Careem will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, but both will operate independently. Uber will even be keeping Careem’s co-founder and CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, at the helm.

Sheikha, an entrepreneur originally from Pakistan, had previously studied in the US and worked in Silicon Valley, then came to Dubai to launch Careem with his Swedish colleague Magnus Olsson. The pair readied the business and the app in just six weeks, initially as a car service for professionals, but then launching it for the masses later on. Ride trackers, call masks and in-ride support are some of the features it is known for, making it popular with drivers and passengers alike.

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Anacin Kum Hutchison Ports Sohar With maritime logistics experience and industry knowledge covering three decades, Anacin Kum started his career in the shipping industry. He held various senior executive positions in P&O Nedlloyd, and joined Hutchison Ports in 1998. Kum now oversees the container terminal business in Oman as CEO of Hutchison Ports Sohar – a position he has held since 2018. Prior to Sohar, Kum held various CEO and senior management positions on behalf of Hutchison Port’s investments

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in the Middle East and Africa, including Saqr Port of Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE, Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania, and the world’s busiest ports – Shanghai, Yantian and Hong Kong in China. Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port network under the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). The operating ports and terminals network is spread across 52 ports in 27 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.


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Ali Khalifa bin Beyat Allied Transport Company

Allied Transport Company (ATC) has been in the business since 1972. Strategically located in Dubai South, the logistics hub, ATC specialises in land freight transportation and the haulage of various types of cargo, with an integrated management system in place to ensure customer satisfaction, environmental compliance, and the health and safety of all interested parties. CEO Ali Khalifa bin Beyat is keen to ensure that ATC uses the most advanced equipment and technology to maintain its high standards. In April 2016, ATC became the first transportation

company in the UAE to achieve TAPA TSR 2014 level 3 certification, and recently upgraded to TAPA TSR 2017. Specialist areas include container transportation, retail distribution, auto driveway services, dedicated trucking, temperature-controlled cargo, project and pharma cargo, and moving dangerous goods. From humble beginnings, ATC is now a company of 1,000 trucks and 2,800 trailers. It also has a partnership with Emirates Sky Cargo, providing the aviation industry with transportation services.

Abhishek Shah RSA Global Do not let Abhishek Shah’s youthful appearance fool you – there is a very wise business head on his shoulders. A co-founder of RSA Global, and the group CEO, Shah helped to start the company back in 2009. Formerly RSA Logistics, the supply chain specialist came together with its affiliated businesses in 2017 and changed its name. The consolidated structure offers end-to-end logistics solutions for the food and beverage industries, fast-moving consumer goods, power and energy, chemical and petrochemical, and even finished

39 vehicles, all from a one-stop shop. This can include storage, distribution, transportation and international freight, and on-site logistics. A family-owned company, RSA Global offers a great location between Jebel Ali Port and the Dubai World Central airport in Dubai South, where it launched a cold chain facility in 2017. Shah strives to make a statement in other areas too, with RSA Global praised for its corporate responsibility programme and pioneering use of solar technology.

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Premier Logistics offers a full range of logistics and supply chain solutions, including warehousing and transportation. The plan for 2019 is to expand the warehousing capacity through international joint ventures, and to build and operate a new state-of-the-art facility in Dubai

Deepak Khushalani Premier Logistics Every logistics company has to start somewhere, and for Premier Logistics that was inside the mind of its founder and managing director, Deepak Khushalani. Launched in 2016, the Dubai-based firm has achieved a yearon-year growth of 20 per cent since its inception, and expanded from a team of just three people to 55. The story of why Premier Logistics was created is even more intriguing. The parent company, Maneesh Group, wanted to improve the management of its stock,

and found that using third-party suppliers for shipping, clearance and delivery was creating issues – better to bring everything in-house, then expand as a service that other companies could use. Premier Logistics offers a full range of logistics and supply chain solutions, including warehousing and transportation. The plan for 2019 is to expand the warehousing capacity through international joint ventures, and build and operate a new state-of-the-art facility in Dubai.

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Jay New Hutchison Ports Someone focused on bringing technology to the region is Jay New, the CEO and general manager of Hutchison Ports Dammam, based in King Abdul Aziz Port Dammam in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Here, the container and RoRo facilities are managed by International Port Services (IPS), a subsidiary of Hutchison Ports. New is also a director of the bonded warehousing facility SDES, adjacent to Dammam port. Hutchison Ports Dammam was the first Hutchison Port in the world to introduce

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remote-controlled gantry cranes back in 2015, and is striving to bring the latest, state-of-the-art technology to its ventures in the Kingdom. New brings with him a wealth of experience, and has worked in the ports, shipping and logistics environment for more than 25 years. He worked for Maersk Line for 10 years, where he held various board-level and director positions. Before moving to Hutchison Ports, he served as the group commercial director for Gulftainer, based in the UAE.

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Sachin Prakash ASAS Transport As the managing director of ASAS Transport, Sachin Prakash oversees one of the region’s fastest-growing transport companies that specialises in container haulage. ASAS Transport currently operates its own fleet of more than 350 trailers. Sachin joined the company at the age of 18, and today is keen not only on applying innovation and technology to the business operations but is also focused on quality, ensuring that each client receives a bespoke solution, tailored exactly to their needs.

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ASAS has also undertaken various humanitarian initiatives which Sachin himself is personally involved in – ASAS Cares and ASAS AID being just some of them. The company has carved a niche for itself, providing a calibre of service that is unrivalled in the industry. Headquartered in Dubai, ASAS Group recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, after it was founded by Sachin’s father, Prakash Bhanushali. It currently consists of 10 member companies and has a presence in three countries, with a diversified business portfolio.

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43 Fadi Ghandour Wamda Group When you are successful in business, and have launched and sold your own companies, there may come a time when you feel the need to share your knowledge. Others launching their own start-ups might benefit from your advice and support in order to follow in your footsteps, for example. This was the responsibility felt by Jordanian-Lebanese businessman Fadi Ghandour, the executive chairman of Wa mda Group, wh ich bu i lds entrepreneurship ecosystems across the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey

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and East Africa. It offers development programmes and a venture capital fund, investing in tech companies in these markets. Ghandour was always destined to be an entrepreneur. He co-founded Aramex in 1982, one of the largest package and delivery companies in the Middle East and North Africa, and remained its CEO until 2012 – he is still a board member. He was also a founding investor of Maktoub, the regional email service provider acquired by Yahoo!, and was an investor in Souq.com, later bought by Amazon.


44 Hazeem Mohammed Accent Cargo If you are based within the GCC, and in need of ocean, land and air freight movements, Accent Cargo claims there is nothing it will not be able to do for you. Formed in 2012, with its offices now in Dubai Cargo Village, the company has an excellent location from which to offer its tailor-made, cost-effective and highquality local and international supply chain solutions. Key to this is director Hazeem Mohammed, who has been with Accent Cargo since 2015. Before that he held positions with other companies in the logistics and air cargo sectors, with more than 10 years of experience. In his current role, Mohammed works closely with Accent Cargo’s own fleet management team, as well as network partners in the UK, Far East, Australia and US, to meet the customer’s needs. Recently, Accent Cargo launched a new relocation and packing department, with its eye now on expansion – spreading its services to Oman and India.

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Toby Edwards Shipa Freight

Businesses look to all kinds of technology these days, hoping to lower costs and save time. Shipa Freight is a new online platform from Agility, the global logistics provider based in Kuwait. Agility offers a range of tech solutions for its customers, with Shipa Freight aimed specifically at small and medium-sized businesses. With Shipa Freight, users can request air and ocean freight quotes, then book, pay for and track their shipments – it is thought to be the first fully integrated online freight service of its kind.

The CEO of Shipa Freight, Toby Edwards, who has more than 20 years of experience in the marketing and communications sector, and was previously Agility’s vice president of marketing and strategy, says that the platform is designed to suit an ever-changing customer base. This particular technology is intended to help online retailers, sourcing goods from all over the world, by removing some of the barriers that may have hindered them in the past.

Manraj Adhan Advanced Supply Chain Group Manraj Ahdan is the director of AISC Middle East Cargo Services LLC, part of the Advanced Supply Chain Group, which has its headquarters situated in the UK. He oversees all operations and business development for the region, and serves as its liaison to the head office in Leeds. Adhan has been in the industry since 2000, and in the Middle East since 2010. He has worked in all spectrums of the forwarding chain, giving him an in-depth understanding of the business. At AISC, he set up the operation in Dubai, and today, after 15 months of success, it

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is a respected forwarder in the market, boasting more than 100 regular active clients, with great ambitions to grow across the GCC. Adhan qualified with a BA Hons degree from Kingston University, London, in 2008, which he achieved while working full time. Also in 2008, he headed up the Alshaya account as a key account manager from the UK, which gave him the opportunity to move to the Middle East and progress his career. Originally situated across Kuwait and Dubai, he now resides full time in Dubai.


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Jaideep Surendra Prime Link

As a leading specialist land transport provider operating across the GCC, based out of the UAE and Qatar, Prime Link prides itself on its ability to handle chemical, petrochemical, cryogenic and other complex goods. Jaideep Surendra joined the family firm back in 2003, shortly after graduating, as part of the finance team. In 2007, he took his current role of general manager, and has since been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. Prime Link has a wide range of vehicles in its fully-owned fleet, handling

everything from containers, ISO tankers and cryogenic tanks to break bulk and hazardous goods. Driver mentor and training programmes, incident reporting, and route and risk assessment, are among the ways the company maintains its impressive safety culture. Recently, Prime Link completed a Safety and Quality Assessment for Sustainability (SQAS), and achieved an enviable score of 83 per cent. This looks at the levels of risk management applied by chemical companies in their logistics operations.

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Santosh Shashikant Tirodkar Polestar Shipping

As the director of Polestar International Shipping, headquartered in Dubai, with offices in India, Kenya and Uganda, Santosh Tirodkar has had a long and varied career, managing ships, project cargo, break-bulk shipments and logistics across a range of countries. Polestar has become an industry leader through its strong value proposition, based on a dedicated customer focus and global network. It continues to evolve by focusing on customer relationships, with measured growth, increasing

profitability and strategic partnerships. A culture of continuous improvement is encouraged throughout the company. In the days before Polestar, Tirodkar was the founder of Synergy Cargo Services, based in Dubai, helping it to expand by opening new branches all over the world. Tirodkar, a postgraduate of Mumbai University, is also a co-founder and partner of Triess Investments, which supports start-ups and is always looking for project opportunities that help it to set up good businesses.

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49 Hans Christian Ettengruber Unitechnik FZE There is a special connection between the UAE and Unitechnik, the German logistics provider and parent company of Unitechik FZE, its Dubai-based subsidiary, as both were founded in 1971. Perhaps it was always destiny that the two would come together somehow, with a little help from the managing director of Unitechnik FZE, Hans Christian Ettengruber. Un itechn i k spec ia l i ses i n the automation of material handling. In the UAE , it built the Dubai Flower C e nt r e and s up p l i e d the intralogistics for Emirates Flight Catering, expanding on this further i n 2 01 8 w ith automated g u ide vehicles and a monorail almost 3km long to transport food across the airport. With Em irates now produc ing more than 200,000 meals a day in Dubai, it needed a solution that could cope with the demand. Since joining Unitechnik FZE in 2009 and moving to Dubai, Ettengruber has also seen the company build an automated high bay storage system for frozen food products at Dubai Logistics City.

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Janardan Dalmia Trukkin Half of the battle in trying to build a successful business, whatever field it might be in, is trying to spot an opportunity early on. Janardan Dalmia was so confident that he had seen a gap in the market in the logistics world, he ditched his career in banking, put up his own money and launched his own start-up aimed at the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The result was Trukkin, a technologistic platform that links all aspects of commercial road transport, increasing efficiency and lowering costs for its users. Dalmia, or JD as he is often called, is the founder and CEO, with several high

50 profile investors based locally as his partners. Trukkin is one of the leading aggregators in the region, changing how land transport is managed by professionalising and institutionalising the entire business model. The platform has recently raised another round of funding and continues to invest in the technology and scaling of its businesses across the Middle East and beyond. It was banking that first alerted JD to the opportunity. The Trukkin platform now serves companies all over the Middle East, catering to some of the marquee clients in the region.

Trukkin is one of the leading aggregators in the region, changing how land transport is managed by professionalising and institutionalising the entire business model. The platform has recently raised another round of funding and continues to invest in the technology and scaling of its businesses across the Middle East and beyond

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2019 OUTLOOK

BUSES | Cash-In-Transit


outlook By Richard JOY

Logistics: Greater expectations Technology and data integration will play a larger role in logistics this year – at a time when more demands and higher expectations are being placed on companies

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f all the sectors of the supply chain, logistics has been the first to truly embrace automated processes – at least in the form of warehousing. When it comes to the physical movement of trade, ironically this part of logistics will likely be the last to be truly automated, even behind ports and ships. The reason for this is quite simple: while the port or airport is increasingly taking influence from the logistics centre in how automated operations function extremely smoothly in a much smaller physical domain, the automation of sectors such as trucking really have no parallels. Further still, while automating a ship and its journey is a huge endeavour, the job roles this will replace (or reimagine) are not nearly as extensive as that of trucking. ‘Driver’ is one of the most common job roles in the world – and the most common in the US – meaning a wholesale turn to automated vehicles would be a serious social disruption. Solutions have been mooted to mitigate potential impact, including

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a ‘robot tax’ that would see the financial gains of automation reinvested into those who lost their jobs to technology, or even the introduction of the seemingly too-good-to-be-true universal basic income, in which citizens receive a liveable wage from the state due to automation taxes. While this may seem a utopian vision, concerns have been raised whether people can truly find satisfaction in a world without work, while arguments to the counter see it as an opportunity for technology to free man from such pressures. For those eager to implement automated vehicles, there is good news in that there is still huge demand for truckers, with a younger workforce more eager to take office roles. This will surely only cement their argument for the need of automated vehicles to fill that gap. Of course, such eventualities are quite some way off yet, but not so far that they should not enter our thinking. Before such developments firmly take root, this piece looks to the more immediate future, to the key trends affecting logistics.

End-to-end demands In 2018, we saw Amazon founder Jeff Bezos become the world’s richest man, with an empire now worth a whopping US$150 billion. Such is Amazon’s influence that it has now become the de facto method of shopping and shipping, and this is having a great impact across the supply chain, especially in logistics. The so-called ‘Amazon Effect’ has two main dimensions. Firstly, the speed that Amazon moves trade has created a new standard, with which greater delivery demands are now forced on all logistics companies. Because of this, customer expectations are also changing, and the sector has to keep pace or risk losing business. The second major dimension is in the way Amazon is physically reshaping the supply chain. With end-to-end and ecommerce demands now a core driver in the broader supply chain, big


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Big multinationals like Amazon want to cut journey times as much as possible. To do this, they are looking to move sorting facilities away from obscure, centralised locations and closer to a port or airport where cargo is delivered. Here, cargo can be sorted and even created at source before being moved on to the end user

multinationals like Amazon want to cut journey times as much as possible. To do this, they are looking to move sorting facilities away from obscure, centralised locations and closer to a port or airport where cargo is delivered. Here, cargo can be sorted and even created at source before being moved directly on to the consumer/end user.

Technology and data integration With the raft of data now swarming the chain, the correct analytical use of statistics is becoming the differentiator between success and failure. We have hit a point in our digital development TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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5G is the foundational technology that will herald the full development of IoT [Internet of Things]. Ports, airports and logistics centres may well be preparing themselves and their key assets with sensors and artificial intelligence communication technologies

when digitisation is no longer tomorrow’s world – it is today’s. Companies and nodes across the chain have been sourcing data from technology for the last few years; long enough to create data banks from which one could observe trends. The intelligent use of technology – from data analytics to automation, to the Internet of Things (IoT) – depends on how one integrates their assets via directions given from the data. Observing data allows companies to spot trends, and thereby develop better predictive analytics to deal with peaks and exceptions, but also to better plan dayto-day operations. Such utilisation of data would, theoretically, lead to lower costs, improved efficiency, and the opportunity to make genuine breakthroughs in the way the industry works. How companies in logistics collaborate with others in the chain is also something to consider. Collaboration has become somewhat 84

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cliché in recent years due to its overuse, with many not taking it seriously enough. However, it is a fundamental truism that collaboration remains key, and with technologies such as blockchain growing in prominence, working together may start to happen in a meaningful way.

Disruption Similar to the Amazon Effect, disruption comes in two forms: technology and new entrants. In one sense, the two are intrinsically linked in that new disruptive forms of technology are often created by new entrants to the market. Apple and the mobile phone is a good example of this. There was a time when Apple specialised in technology for listening to music, but it implemented the iPod into a phone handset with a whole host of touchscreen features, thus creating the smart device in the form of the first iPhone. Despite this often being the case in business, it does not mean disruption has to be from outside of the logistics sector, although it most likely will be.


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unexpected time. As technology in the logistics sector advances, so does the software that drives it, meaning programmers are the ones who are in line to lead logistics into the next decade, rather than logistics experts.

The emergence of 5G

Disruption in the form of advancing technology being developed by players already in the chain could well be referred to as evolution rather than disruption, with its more revolutionary connotations. However one phrases it, ongoing technological advancement is already a feature of 2019, and this is leading to a situation being witnessed worldwide – consolidation. There is a common term oft-used in business, and in society generally, basically summarised as “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer�. This principal is at play in the logistics sector. As dominant companies invest more in technology and the in-depth scouring and analysis of big data, they accrue more rewards, as well as knock their competitors out of the game (or take them over in mergers). Once again, Amazon is the perfect example of this. These dominant forces in logistics should not rest on their laurels, however, as the other major part of disruption can also rear its head at an

Further still, one huge disruption is already being tested and laid out in the form of 5G. The speed of this next-generation network is immense, with expectations for it to be around 20 times faster than 4G, and able to process 20GB per second (4G processes 1GB in this time). 5G is the foundational technology that will herald the full development of IoT. Ports, airports and logistics centres may well be preparing themselves and their key assets with sensors and artificial intelligence communication technologies, but again, this is really evolution, not revolution. True revolution, or disruption, is hard to predict, as is the nature of disruptive trends. However, new players that understand 5G and obtain a deep knowledge of how to implement and unite it with other processes are likely to be standout winners in the long-term. This, of course, opens the door for players in the telecoms sector who have a deep understanding and immense resources. Nokia is one big name (after losing itself in the mobile phone market) that is making moves into the supply chain in this regard. Finally, while the big boys are set to dominate, one should make a cursory note on start-ups. While at present around 90 per cent of start-ups fail, that still means a portion are making ground, and each of these has a ticket for the jackpot, should they have the tech or strategy to win through. Many start-ups are focusing on the tough (and expensive) last mile. This point in the chain is increasingly complex because of fragmentation, however start-ups are crafting new technologies that forge collaboration on the last mile to complement service offerings. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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Air cargo: Back on track The air cargo sector may have struggled earlier this year, but the demand for ecommerce is causing a resurgence

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hile air cargo represents around 10 per cent of the movement of global trade, it does have one key advantage over its maritime sister sector – speed. Contemporary global trade is increasingly influenced by the demands of the booming ecommerce sector, which in turn has fostered end-to-end demands driven by the large multinationals. The biggest of these multinationals (Amazon, eBay and Alibaba) now rely heavily on the air cargo sector to meet new consumer demands. This means that air cargo is becoming the paramount issue in 2019, traced back to ecommerce’s broader foundations in digitisation. With so many facets of contemporary life rearranging, be that news delivered via smartphone, or machines communicating through sensors, the traditional cargo route is also starting to change. Results from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 88

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show that during 2018, envelope mail transportation decreased from 340 to 328 billion pieces globally, whereas postal parcels grew from 6.7 to 7.4 billion – people send emails and texts rather than letters these days, and order goods online for delivery rather than visit stores. Despite this, 2019 began with much more caution. Global levels decreased by 1.8 per cent in January 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018, and this was also the worst performance since 2015. But freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres, rose by 4 per cent year-on-year in January 2019. This was the 11th month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand growth. The causal influence impacting the sector is said to be the trade dispute between the US and China. While this looked to have cleared towards the end of 2018, the aftereffects are still being witnessed, showing that the relationship between the two


global superpowers is the barometer for the state of play internationally.

Regional performance Of the six regions of the world, only two have reported growth in 2019, with those being North America and Africa – meaning the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East all contracted. Meanwhile, Latin America remained neutral. These results will likely cause US president Donald Trump to continue to pursue his philosophy of protectionism, especially as North American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region for the eighth consecutive month in January 2019, with an increase in demand of 3.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2018. In the US, capacity increased by 5 per cent. The strength of the US economy and consumer

Automation as a trend is more likely to grow in 2019. We have already seen airlines cutting out traditional paperbased systems and implementing digital processes in their place. Such technology is especially powerful for monitoring dangerous or illegal goods, as well as providing platforms to book cargo on planes TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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spending also supported the demand for air cargo over the past year, benefitting US carriers. While liners in the Middle East continue to innovate and lead on the passenger side of the air transport coin, the airlines’ freight volumes contracted by 4.5 per cent in January 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Meanwhile, capacity for Middle Eastern airlines increased by 4.1 per cent, with seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand. This trended upwards towards the end of 2018, helped by stronger trade to and from Europe and Asia, but has started to decline.

Future forecast Despite the slow start to 2019, it is likely this is slight turbulence rather than a long-term issue, with the overall outlook much brighter for air cargo operatives. Boeing, for instance, in its recent 20-year outlook (2018-2037), predicted that air cargo levels were anticipated to grow by around 4.2 per cent over the next 20 years, with air cargo traffic growing 10.1 per cent in total at the beginning of 2018, which is more than double the long-term average growth rate. Following on from this, in the next 20 years, air cargo traffic is expected to more than double, and the world freighter fleet will thereby grow by more than 75 per cent. The main driver behind this growth is, of course, ecommerce. Global sales records were around US$2.3 trillion in 2017, more than double the US$1.1 trillion spent in 2012. With no signs of slowing down, the market size is forecast to double again by 2021, reaching nearly US$4.9 trillion. With specific regard to the distribution of cargo on planes, air freighters will continue to carry more than half of the world’s air cargo demand, while passenger belly capacity is increasing, according to Boeing. Despite the increase, freighters are expected to continue to be the preferred method of transport for air cargo due to the superior level of control, direct routing, reliability and unique capacity considerations.

Ecommerce rising The key trend to look out for in 2019, then, is ecommerce, and with that the development of airfreight hubs, which are becoming increasingly important in this regard. With next-day delivery demands, hubs offer shippers the ability to sort and shift cargo at source, cutting out the oft-lengthy transportation to and from sorting depots. This development is also being witnessed in maritime, with ports striving to develop their ‘port-centric logistics’ capabilities to attract business. In both air hubs and port logistics centres, automated operations are touted as the next stage in the efficient movement of trade. Another key area that is developing in 2019 is the progress of the cool chain, and new technological developments that can meet the demand for a range of pharmaceutical products needing to be 90

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Markets are growing and expected to continue to do so, especially with the growth of demand coming from Asia. The key for the winners of the future is how they manage the ecommerce demands the multinationals expect. Air hubs are seen as one of the key solutions to this, along with the large-scale automation of processes


moved globally. Most of the innovations developed in cool chain tech were created in 2018, and once certified will begin having an impact in the sector. IATA has predicted that bio-pharma cool chain logistics spending will increase by 8-9 per cent in 2020, with the rising demand driven by the growing Asian middle class. As ecommerce and air hubs will no doubt discover, automation as a trend is more likely to grow throughout 2019. We have already seen airlines cutting out traditional paper-based systems and implementing digital processes in their place. Such technology is especially powerful for monitoring dangerous or illegal goods, as well as providing platforms to book cargo on planes. Another development is in the tracking of cargo, meaning analysis can be offered on the state of a given product from shipment to collection. The smartphone also continues its stride as the go-to technology for all business and social transactions, and air hubs, airports and airlines are likely to further endeavour into this field, offering a complete overview of service via one app. IATA also announced at the end of 2018 that electronic airway bills (e-AWB) will become the de facto contract of carriage for all air cargo shipments on enabled trade lanes. This began on January 1, 2019. Such a move is highly conducive to an industry becoming more digitalised, where the sharing of data is seen as the key to a smoother, streamlined chain.

A digital future So while 2019 has had a shaky start, when looking at the bigger picture it should not be an ongoing issue. Markets are growing and expected to continue to do so, especially with the increase of demand coming from Asia. The key for the winners of the future is how they manage the ecommerce demands that multinationals expect. Air hubs are seen as one of the key solutions to this, along with the large-scale automation of processes. Politically, trade tensions between the US and China have impacted figures globally, with protectionism likely to continue into the foreseeable future. However, air cargo still sits in a strong position when one takes a broader look at the state of the industry. While air cargo has always been second to maritime in terms of market share, it holds steady ground, with no real threats to its dominance. Hyperloop is sometimes offered as a potential successor (at least in domestic markets) to air cargo, yet the technology is still relatively unproven and unreliable, despite the funding and effort behind it. One final thing affecting every industry looking to digitise and share data is regulation. While data sharing is oft-repeated as the solution, it will surely eventually happen in its various forms between liners, shippers and airports – but the puzzle does not end here, as some kind of standards will have to be developed in order for the sector to meaningfully collaborate and take the next step into developing new digital solutions. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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lmost 18 months ago, one of shipping’s leading analysts, Professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue, who achieved global notoriety in his analysis of economic ‘bubbles’ in 2008, wrote a popular satirical piece. As 2019 moves in, this piece begins to resonate with where we are today. As Professor Rodrigue writes, “Yesterday, the Maersk-MSC-CMACGM-Amazon-Alibaba-Citibank-Allianz (MMCCAACA) shipping line announced the introduction of its latest ship class, the Mariana-Max. The 350,000400,000 TEU ships (depending on the load configuration) will service selected Pacific routes, over which it will replace the To-The-Max ship class of 200,000 TEU. According to MMCCAACA executives, Mariana-Max ships will create value for their customers by

The world of sea freight needs to face up to the challenges that have troubled it for so long to make this year the success it deserves to be

reducing shipping costs per TEU by a factor of 20 per cent (from five cents per TEU to four cents per TEU). “Several port authorities around the world, including the Le Havre-AntwerpRotterdam-Hamburg Port Authority (LHARHPA), immediately announced their ongoing commitment to the fixed US$5 per TEU port handling charge imposed by the WTO to level the playing field in port competition. Pressured by LHARHPA, the European Union announced the revamping of its fair port competitiveness regulation from a subsidy of 99.85 per cent of port charges to a level of 99.95 per cent, which is more reflective of the current environment. The new US$2 billion sub-orbital automated lifting cranes will ensure that the new ships are appropriately handled. “People in the industry recall fondly the introduction of Malacca-Max ships a decade or so ago. These ships are now servicing small feeder routes, such as between Florida and Cuba. In recent years, due to the lack of growth in global trade, MMCCAACA has reduced its call frequency on most of its routes to one call every 90 days (from the previous standard of one call every 80 days). Further, the environmentally-efficient Mariana-Max ships are expected to reach 100 metres per hour with their

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brand new five-hamsters power engines that virtually consume no fuel. The ‘super-duper-out-of-this-world slow steaming’ further underlines the ongoing commitment of the industry to the environment. “MMCCAACA also announced its intention to continue its lobbying efforts to the United Nations to have parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans dredged to the Mariana Trench standard. This impressive geo-tectonic project would give the industry substantial competitive advantages, with just slight changes in the orientation of tectonic plates. Coastal residents in Nevada expressed concerns that adjusting again tectonic plates may have a negative impact. “Readers may also recall that two months ago, the Nicaragua Canal Authority announced its seventh expansion to accommodate To-TheMax ship classes. It was estimated that for the expansion, one third of the country would need to be removed for the digging and dredging efforts (the report forgot to mention that half the population would also need to be relocated). However, some officials in the Chinese Republic of Nicaragua mentioned that plans shifted to the new Mariana-Max standard, but are concerned that the nation may not have enough footprint. Discussions are ongoing to have the northern third of Costa Rica excavated. This would give an advantage to Panama, which was removed five years ago to leave enough room for the To-The-Max ships, and which according to many geo-engineers is ‘Mariana-Max Ready’. “In related news, negotiations are almost completed concerning the repositioning of the Caribbean islands of Barbados, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines into a single entity. This would help substantially reduce the deviation that MMCCAACA ships

had to undertake to service the small islands. The current inefficient 20,000 TEU ships calling every 120 days will be replaced by much more efficient 40,000 TEU ships calling every 100 days, implying substantial economic benefits. “A recent estimate by the World Bank placed port infrastructure investments at 95 per cent of the world’s transportation asset valuation. Further, maritime transportation costs accounted for 0.001 per cent of the final value of the goods it carried (excluding the average 99.9994 per cent subsidy). At slightly more than 5 billion TEU of capacity, the global fleet has achieved a remarkable load factor of 2 per cent. Economists are confident that the introduction of additional capacity and the associated cost reduction will finally increase the amount of cargo being carried. The latest bird entrails’ traffic forecast confirmed this assertion. The Mariana-Max ship class is guaranteed to further improve the cost efficiency of maritime shipping and therefore support trade facilitation.”

Alliances and ship sizes While Rodrigue takes the ever-growing alliances to task in an amusing fashion,

the foundation of the point he is making – that alliances have so many players, it becomes confusing – still holds true today. The creation of such alliances has made the mega-port the key focus in 2019 as shipping lines demand more from ports. Thus the race to be a smart, interconnected digital port has begun. Interestingly, despite the three leading alliances growing ever closer in operations, they still do not share data with one another. The call for this has long been made – and ignored by shipping lines – so while ports are increasingly digital nodes interacting across the chain, and even with city infrastructure in the case of Hamburg, on the shipping liner side, data still sits solely with the executives of independent siloed companies. Along with IBM, Maersk Line has made a move to utilise its data to create a chain of its own, TradeLens. This blockchain-based innovation, though ostensibly universal, is still seen as an example of the major shipping lines monopolising the chain to sustain their dominance. With regard to ship sizes, the madness continues with bigger ships

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The main issue facing the industry today has already plagued it for more than a decade – overcapacity. While many ports are already struggling, the loads from ships continue to get larger, and while automation was once seen as the solution, results have been mixed after implementation

still on order. The sector has now moved past dog-eat-dog to giant-eat-giant, with the world’s largest ship, the OOCL Hong Kong, coming in at a whopping 21,413 TEU. Hong Kong-based OOCL has stated that China’s Belt and Road plan, growing larger and increasingly seen as a sign of Chinese global prowess, is the driving force that has allowed it to build such an incredibly large ship. However, despite ongoing overcapacity woes in ports around the world, the sector shows no signs of slowing down, with the new ‘megamax’ class of ships (over 20,000 TEU) set to displace mega-ships (over 14,000 TEU). Major analysts such as Lloyd’s List and Alphaliner have both predicted a 24,000 TEU ship by the end of 2019. Rodrigue also satirised how liners intend to remain environmentallyfriendly, given the new sizes. With the IMO 2020 sulphur regulations fast approaching, this is a major concern. However, as prior mentioned, shipping lines tend to function as a law unto themselves, and quite how the sulphur regulations will be implemented, let alone policed, remains to be seen.

Trade lanes and canals Rodrigue parodies the ongoing canal growth around the world with the ‘seventh expansion’ of the fictional Nicaragua Canal. However, one could 94

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be forgiven for seeing parallels to the now-forgotten promise of the actual canal we were told would be fully developed by 2018. The promise to drill through the width of Nicaragua from the Chinese back in 2013 seemed highly implausible then, but here we are one year on from such claims and we see the point Rodrigue is tacitly making – the promises we hear are totally unrealistic. The only canal that can handle mega-ships is the Suez Canal, which remains the vital vein for facilitating East-West trade. Competition to that in the form of a rival canal is non-existent. However, there is a competitor in another form, and that is the new Artic route. It may be hard for liners to make a claim that they are environmentallyconscious when utilising a lane made possible by melting ice, but using it they are, and it has the potential to massively speed up the movement of ships. In fact, the estimated time from Hamburg to Yokohama via the Suez Canal is around 34 days – the new Arctic route takes 25 days, making a huge nine-day saving, and potentially leading to other strategic changes.

All eyes on infrastructure Rodrigue ends with a satire of the ongoing promises of infrastructure leading to savings across the board.

While we can see ‘infrastructure’ has become the buzzword of late, Rodrigue states that the value of the chain is still in the cargo on the ships. Fundamentally, this sector is all based upon the demand in the global market, and infrastructure needs to be fundamentally conceptualised as a method of facilitation for that, rather than the end goal. With regards to specific projects, the maritime world’s eye remains fixed on Singapore and its upcoming Tuas Terminal, set to open in 2021. China and the Middle East continue to make strides into the automated future, and Rotterdam in Europe is leading ports forward with regards to supply chain interaction. The main issue facing the industry today has already plagued it for more than a decade – overcapacity. While many ports are already struggling, the loads from ships continue to get larger, and while automation was once seen as the solution, results have been mixed after implementation. The conversation regarding automated ports has shifted somewhat from the articulation of its potential to the need for highly experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated staff to see a project through – not just from start to finish but long after to ensure smooth, lucrative functioning.


SERVING THE MIDDLE EAST AND BEYOND With the continuous support of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, Hutchison Ports Sohar is proud to play an integral part in the transformation of the Port of Sohar into a gateway for the Gulf and a vibrant regional transhipment hub. We are committed to facilitating trade in the region and contributing to Oman’s economic prosperity. hutchisonportssohar.com


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Artificial intelligence:

Rise of the The increasing use of artificial intelligence in the supply chain is inevitable, so what does this mean for the rest of 2019?

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rtificial intelligence (AI) promises so much, yet it has been difficult for the industry to actively measure the returns of this much-hyped new technology. Given the attendant excitement that stems from the AI hype, one could deduce that such a marketingfriendly technology has somewhat obscured the actual results returned post-implementation. AI is also such a broad term, covering so many dimensions, that what we envision as ‘futuristic’ has often arrived under different buzzwords (digitisation, automation etc). This is not always the case, but it is certainly worth bearing in mind in conversations, debates and strategies centred on AI.

What is AI? Put simply, AI is digital decision-making that enables computers and/or robots to enact certain tasks and calculations. AI is often split into two key areas: Narrow AI and General AI. Narrow AI 96

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refers to intelligent systems that have been taught, or have learned how to carry out, specific tasks without being programmed to do so. This form of AI is most commonly found in our day-to-day technology (computers, cars etc). The most vital thing to remember about Narrow AI is that it can only be taught how to do specific tasks. General AI is a more flexible form of intelligence, capable of learning how to carry out vastly different tasks than Narrow AI. This is the really futuristic stuff we see in sci-fi movies, where robots are almost as capable as humans. The current consensus is that this level of AI will be truly realised in around 2040, according to experts. So how does this impact the supply chain? Well, understanding the two distinctions outlined goes some way to clearing the confusion that has mounted regarding AI’s impact in the sector. While we have already witnessed Narrow AI having a huge impact in airports and aircraft control, it has also caught on slowly in the more ‘conservative’


machines maritime sector. This is especially evident in the Middle East and China, where money, land space, lack of union friction and ambition are aplenty. However, it has not been quite the global uptake as witnessed in the air sector. In essence, this is why we are already living in the AI age and also why we are not quite there yet. We are most definitely living in the Narrow AI era, but it is not quite fully implemented, and no sector is as yet in the General AI age. When we factor in the way in which industry media often fails to make distinctions between these two very distinct forms of AI, we can see the root of the confusion.

AI here and now There is one facet of modern life that is replete with AI. Without it, the modern world simply could not function – the smartphone. While solution providers, consultants and operators across the supply chain talk about

the next great wave of technological revolution washing over us in years to come, a subtle revolution has already occurred. Via apps, our smartphones are tied into a vast interacting data bank that corresponds with built-in predictive analytics, offering you the latest suggestions, developments and needs across all areas of your life (social, business, personal etc). The supply chain has already developed new models of operations based on the AI capabilities of phone apps, with recent examples that include Pronto, MYairports and Where’s My Container (see p99). There is even talk that the coming year will see us conceptualising a port, or an airport, in its entirety as an app. Watch this space.

AI in the air The air sector is the stand-out with regards to AI implementation. Perhaps the biggest influence AI is having is in machine learning algorithms, utilised to predict delivery times. Machines are capable of synthesising vast amounts of data to calculate predictive models in real time. This also influences air traffic management predictive analytics – helping airports and air cargo carriers to improve the use of runway space by predicting arrival and departure times. With this technology, TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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OUTLOOK

Via apps, our smartphones are tied into a vast interacting data bank that corresponds with built-in predicitve analytics, offering you the latest suggestions, developments and needs. The supply chain has already developed new models of operations based on the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of phone apps 98

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airports can predict peak traffic times and anticipate the demand on their staff and resources much more efficiently, as well as feed that information into the wider supply chain. Cybersecurity is also advancing with AI, but this comes with its challenges. Algorithms can now learn payment frameworks and detect erroneous activity, and while this is good for cargo carriers, it is also replete with potential for cyber criminals, meaning development in AI demands supply chain professionals shore up their operations with safety experts.

Maritime AI While the maritime sector is not the pioneer of AI in the supply chain, it is the area with the most potential, with ‘smart ports’ or ‘smart ships’ aplenty – Rolls-Royce, for example, really is planning a smart, autonomous ship, and ports globally really are becoming completely automated, with the most striking examples popping up in Asia (most notably China). While there is potential, the age-old issue remains in the supply chain – how do you get the massive amounts of companies, players and brokers in the chain to share data? That said, blockchain is promising a solution of sorts with decentralised digital ledgers. Advancements are also being witnessed in terms of port machinery. While automation has seen mixed results worldwide, it has worked in scenarios replete with software experts who have stayed for the long haul, rather than simply implementing and leaving. Where it has been a success, machine-learning has really come into its own, as whole terminals are functioning purely by sensor technology running on Narrow AI equipment.

Logistics and AI The easiest area of the supply chain to automate has been logisitcs. It is a relatively safe domain without as much human


SUPPLY CHAIN APPS PRONTO Shipping companies, agents, port terminals and other service providers can use this app to optimally plan, execute and monitor their activities during a port call, based on a standardised data exchange. The app was developed by the Port of Rotterdam.

MYAIRPORTS Enables the user to plan a journey to the airport ahead of time and be navigated intelligently through the checkpoints. This digital airport experience from Malaysian Airpots is made possible with the integration of big data analytics (BDA).

involvement than the vast land requirements of a port/ airport, taking place in much smaller spaces. And while footage has circulated of robots zooming around Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres, completing projects ports could only dream of, the major impact AI is set to have in logistics is in the realisation of the smart city. The smart port, smart airport and smart city are the nodes of the future supply chain, but it is smart logistics that ties this together. Factor into this the rise of smart road technology and self-driving vehicles. The entire logistics industry will benefit from the continuing, rapid development of self-driving AI, and the world’s biggest manufacturers are already moving into this space, with Google and Apple interested in autonomous vehicles, primarily for transporting employees around their own vast complexes. While it may take some time to see a network of self-driving vehicles on the road, this is not because of technological inability. Tests have been carried out globally already – the stumbling block is in ensuring 100 per cent safety, and that truck drivers (one of the most common jobs

WHERE’S MY CONTAINER Created by DP World’s UK ports at London Gateway and Southampton to help stakeholders track their freight in real time. The need for precise shipment tracking opens the opportunity for fewer unexpected expenditures due to route changes and time wasted.

worldwide) have other working opportunities, or a ‘robot tax’ is implemented to subsidise their unemployment. However this turns out, the key is now with policymakers, rather than supply chain experts, who are raring to go.

The AI takeover AI and its supporting technologies are about to take over the entire global supply chain, but not as we once thought. Narrow AI is already heavily implemented in our daily lives, while General AI is not. Further to this, AI is not a panacea; it is complicated and needs vast amounts of teamwork and human involvement to make it work. One closely-linked technology to AI is 5G – the super-fast network of the future that may well be the bridge that can take us to the beginnings of General AI. Dubai has stated that it will have 5G networks ready for the World Expo 2020, which is being held in the emirate. The world will have its eyes on Dubai for the event, and will be keen to see how the implementation goes, knowing that this could well be the foundation that will allow AI to fully mature into its fullest potentialities. TRANSPORTANDLOGISTICSME.COM

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What I’ve learned

Eugene Mayne The CEO of Tristar Group on life in the world of liquid logistics delivery

These days, customers expect real-time information, immediate delivery and transparency.

opportunities are for those who can adapt, and those who can be part of their customers’ willingness to adapt.

Digitisation in the supply chain has improved the speed and prosperity of operations. This means greater customer feedback and opportunities for improvement.

Material technologies will change energy storage – car makers will move towards hybrid models; plastics towards a higher level of recycling; and energy sources will change too. But the demand for petrochemical logistics will be around for a while.

The logistics industry will drive the ecommerce industry. Being part of the smart solution is the future of supply chains. In the business of handling and distributing flammable petroleum products, a strong safety culture underpins every aspect. Safety in operations is a team effort, and one sometimes dictated by external factors over which there is limited control. Collaboration within the organisation and outside is needed. Most of our contract agreements are custom-built and priced to meet specific requirements. Cross-border movements mean adopting different standards and systems, because every country has its own regulatory and reporting requirements, and non-compliance can have serious and costly implications. If one thing is certain going forward, it is uncertainty. The biggest 100

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There is more visibility today in endto-end activities and interactions. Wherever one operates in the world, no matter how remote the location, you can now see the movement and handling of liquid products in real time. Logistics players should be driven by the need to collect more data in order to make better decisions that benefit all stakeholders. The more information gathered, the better the results. Technology can be used to connect a company with existing customers and to find new ones. We are moving towards a cycle where logistics budgets and decisions will be driven by data gathered, and data projected. We are planning a fully automated warehousing facility using artificial intelligence and robotics to ensure costeffectiveness and eliminate human error, with predictive inventory management to provide a seamless service.

“if one thing is certain going forward, it is uncertainty. the biggest opportunities are for those who can adapt, and those who can be part of their customers’ willingness to adapt”


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Transport and Logistics Middle East  

Transport and Logistics Middle East  

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