Insufficient Capacity Dampens Air Cargo in August
Data and automation are key to success in Middle East supply chain
Renault Trucks Continues To Grow
Connecting trade professionals with industry intelligence
Facilitate, accelerate and protect Saudi Customs Transformation Story
Aerial view of King Fahad Causeway
a comprehensive list of the top 25 logistic leaders in the region
A MEMBERS OF EMIRATES TRANSPORT BUSINESS CENTERS:
in this issue
H.E. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani
Ahmed 18 H.E. Abdulaziz Alhakbani
Translating Saudi Customs Vision into Revolutionary Action
Top 25 CEOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Logistics News returns once again with a comprehensive list of the Top 25 logistics leaders in the Middle East
Insufficient Capacity Dampens Air Cargo The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that improvement remains slow amid insufficient capacity
Data and automation are key to success in Middle East supply chain Khaled Al Shami, Director, Solution Consulting, Middle East & Africa, Infor, on how Distributors in the Middle East need to adopt vertical-specific cloud solutions to prosper amid a fast-changing logistics landscape
COVID-19 and Expectations for 2020 Gregoire Blaise, Vice President at Renault Trucks, discusses how the company has operated amidst this unprecedented year
Value of Dubai Chamber member exports up by 7.4% in June-August 2020
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 3
Your business continuity is our top priority.
Our initiatives and remote solutions have got you covered in all situations. du.ae/wegotyourb
Couriers, Express, and Parcel to gain momentum
he domestic market for Courier, Express and Parcel (CEP) in the UAE is expected to gain momentum as travel restrictions and e-commerce boom generated demand for courier services in the country, according to a report. The CEP market in the UAE is dominated by international B2B deliveries, however B2C services are picking up steadily after the pandemic hit the country.
Modor Intelligence report said the CEP market in the UAE is currently dominated by international B2B deliveries with more than 65 percent share of the total market, according to the report. However, domestic courier services registered an upward trend after the pandemic and the trend is expected to continue in coming months. The UAE is home to major courier and express service providers such as Aramex, UPS, DHL, FedEx and the government-owned Emirates Post. With high competition, these major international express integrators are not able to gain significant footprint in the domestic delivery business and the market is being dominated by local brands such as Aramex, Emirates Post, Fetchr and Century Express Courier Services. Kasun Illankoon
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Ajman Free Zone signs MOU with Noon
jman Free Zone signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with noon. com, the regizt developed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at 4.2 per cent penetration rate. Eng. Al Suwaidi said: “Our strategic partnership with Noon, one of the country’s leading e-commerce platforms, will benefit both our investors and customers by opening up new opportunities for business expansion and development. The range of available services, for instance, will grow and become diverse as a
10 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
result of this new collaboration, thus providing our investors and customers with more options and advantages. We are confident that this quality partnership will bring enormous benefits – particularly with regard to bolstering the growth of the e-commerce market – supported by the government’s unwavering assistance as well as the country’s continuous modernization of its digital infrastructure for more advanced services such as the offering of secure and convenient electronic payment methods.”
ION and Sharjah RTA Announce Sustainable Ride-hailing Service in Sharjah
n line with its strategic plan to provide sustainable mobility solutions and environment-friendly means of transportation, Sharjah Roads & Transport Authority (Sharjah RTA) has partnered with the UAE-based sustainable mobility solutions company ION to launch a new on-demand ride-hailing service in Sharjah, with a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) including Tesla Model S and Model 3 by the end of 2020. The service will be available for the emirate of Sharjah and will expand to the rest of the UAE. The announcement coincides with World Electric Vehicle Day, a day marked to recognize the importance of global e-mobility.
ION’s selection for the partnership was due to its sustainable EV fleet, smart operations and customer-oriented backend support. The new EV ride-hailing service will be available through a mobile application, which will offer passengers estimated time of arrival, view the number of available vehicles in the vicinity and even the positive carbon impact by travelling via ION’s service. In addition, ION will take all necessary precautions such as the disinfection of vehicles pre- and post-rides will be taken to ensure passengers are safe. ION’s drivers are also highly qualified, and 40 percent of ION’s drivers are female, a figure that epitomises a company driving
the nation’s diversification efforts to enhance gender equality. This will also offer culturally appropriate transport and assurance for family-oriented commuters. “Sharjah RTA is always striving to provide the infrastructure for alternative and environmental transport solutions. We rely on clean energy whenever possible in support of the UAE leadership’s initiatives to transition towards a green economy and sustainable development. This will only happen by adopting and embracing sustainable innovations in the field of transportation, which will contribute to achieving our plan towards an environmentally and civilized sustainable transfer. Such an approach is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, regarding the need to adopt the most sustainable methods in the Emirate in order to further enhance its position as an environmentally friendly city,” said HE Eng. Yousef Saleh Al Suwaiji, Chairman of the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA).
Al Faris transported 25m long rail tracks weighing 12,000t in total for the Etihad Rail Project
l Faris provided their client with a complete solution for transporting the 25m long rail tracks weighing 12,000t in total using their lowbed trailers. This was the first shipment of rail tracks delivered to the UAE for the Etihad Rail Project. 250 trips were completed within 26 days in order to transport and offload the rail tracks at their final location safely and efficiently. Al Faris fabricated 10 flatbed trailers specifically for this project which were extended up to 25m in length in order to fit the loads effectively and avoid any transport complications. The fabrication was done in-house by their team along with technical studies for the extension done prior. The commute which covered a distance of over 250kms was from Mina Zayed Port to Ghiyathi (Etihad laydown area) in Abu
Dhabi and each trip was about 4.5 – 5 hours. The 1,200km Etihad railway project will connect the seven emirates of the UAE to its neighboring GCC countries. The transportation which was critical in nature due to the long commute and long loads, required specialized techniques, equipment and experienced staff. All road surveys, planning, technical support documentation, authority permissions, execution plans and schedules were prepared in-house prior to job execution. This helped organize all activities smoothly with minimum delays. Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 11
Bahrain exports national origin products worth BD190 mn in August
he Information and e-Government Authority (iGA) issued its foreign trade report of August 2020, encompassing data on the balance of trade, imports, exports (national origin), and re-exports. The value of imports increased by 9%, reaching BD 428 million during August 2020 Compared toBD391 million for the same month of the previous year. The top 10 countries accounted for 74% of the value of imports, with the remaining countries accounting for 26%. According to the report, Switzerland ranked first when it came to imports to Bahrain, with a total of BD84 million, China was second with BD42 million; and Australia was third with BD36 million. Central heating boilers emerged as the top product imported into Bahrain with a total value of BD39 million, while air conditioners without refrigeration unit was 12 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
second with BD37 million, and aluminum oxide third with BD35 million. The value of exports of national origin increased by 2% to BD190 million during August 2020, compared to BD187 million for the same month of the previous year. The top 10 countries in terms of the value of exports of national origin purchased from Bahrain Accounted for 72% of the total value, with the remaining countries accounting for 28%. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked first among countries receiving Bahraini exports of national origin, importing BD58 million from Bahrain. Meanwhile, the United States of America was second with BD18 million and the Sultanate of Oman Third with BD11 million. Unwrought aluminum alloys emerged as the top products exported during August2020 with BD40 million, Unwrought aluminum (not alloyed) was second
with a value of BD26 million and Semifinished iron and steel third with BD15 million. The total value of-exports decreased by 20%to reach BD44 million during August 2020, compared to BD55 million for the same month of the previous year. The top 10 countries accounted for 94% of the re-exported value, while the remaining countries accounted for the 6%.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked first with BD14 million, United Arab Emirates Second with BD9 million, and the United States of America third with BD6 million. Four-wheel drive cars the top product re-exported from Bahrain with BD5.3 million, gold ingots came in second place with BD5 million, and cigarettes containing tobacco came third with BD4.2 million. The trade balance, difference between exports and imports, the value of the deficit of the trade balance reached BD 193 million during August Of 2020 versus BD149 million for the same month of the previous year with an increase of 30%. www.cbnme.com
Al-Futtaim HINO delivers major order of 200 trucks to National Food Product Company
l-Futtaim HINO, an Al-Futtaim Automotive company that exclusively franchises light, medium and heavy-duty HINO trucks in the UAE, has announced the delivery of a major order of 200 HINO trucks to the National Food Product Company (NFPC) cementing its leadership of the FMCG sector in the UAE. Al-Futtaim HINO which has increased its market share by around 300% in the past 5 years, has been the preferred mobility partner for many FMCG companies thanks to HINO’s unmatched Japanese
quality and reliability and Al-Futtaim’s dedicated aftersales support. With the latest handover, NFPC’s fleet of HINO trucks grows to 450 HINO trucks, following a similar deal of 250 trucks in 2019. NFPC is one of the premier food and beverage companies in the Middle East with brands such as Oasis Water, Blu, Lacnor, Safa, Gulf & Safa, Melco, Milco, Royal Bakers, Aqua fresh amongst others. The company will use the HINO 916XLWB_6TON trucks to boost its delivery operations which include water shutters, chillers and freezers. “With this deal, we are further cementing our strong relationship with NFPC whose fleet primarily consists
of HINO trucks,” said Ramez Hamdan, General Manager, Al-Futtaim HINO “HINO trucks’ specifications, low cost of maintenance, durability and excellent aftersales support gives us a clear edge versus the competition and makes our trucks the perfect partner for FMCG companies. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge boost to e-commerce and this has had a corresponding increase in our light-duty truck sales which now makes up 65% of our sales primarily to FMCG and logistics operators,” he added. The 200 HINO trucks will be customfitted by Al Furat to meet the specific requirements of NFPC and which adhere to UAE safety standards.
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 13
Alibaba Debuts Cloud Computer, Delivery Robots at Cloud Computing Conference
libaba Cloud, the digital technologies and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, unveiled a series of innovative products at its 12th annual Apsara Conference, highlighting the technology pioneer’s commitment in helping people adapt to the more digitized world and accelerate customers’ digital transformation during and after the pandemic. A highlight is Alibaba Cloud’s first cloud computer, a palm-sized personal computer which, despite being just about 60 grams and as light as an egg, offers high-performance computing,
14 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
thanks to robust back-end cloud resources. By simply connecting the cloud computer with a normal computer screen , a user can access almost unlimited computing resources anytime, anywhere, while paying on a subscription model or for the actual cloud consumption. Alibaba Cloud also unveiled its autonomous logistics robot for last-mile deliveries. Developed by the Alibaba DAMO Academy, the global research initiative by Alibaba Group, the delivery robot can carry 50 packages at one time and cover 62 miles (or 100 kilometres) on a single charge. It is estimated the
mobile robot should be able to deliver as many as 500 packages a day to one designated community or campus, meeting the rising demand for speedy last-mile delivery in China. Online shopping is booming there, with 200 million packages delivered daily and expectations that will rise to 1 billion packages per day in the coming years. Supported with reinforced learning technologies, the intelligent robot can schedule its route even in a crowded environment. With proprietary, highdefinition positioning technology, the robot can operate even where there’s weak or no GPS signal. Leveraging a self-developed heterogeneous computing platform, 3D Point Cloud Semantic Segmentation (PCSS) technology and deep learning, the robot can also identify obstacles and predict the intended movement of passengers and vehicles a few seconds ahead of time to enhance safety.
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Ecocoast acquires Bolina to provide unprecedented access to marine solutions globally
ronmental, safety and security solutions globally. The Bolina acquisition brings together the best of two worlds. Both Ecocoast and Bolina are leaders in their respective core markets. Ecocoast with coastal and marine protection, demarcation and navigation; Bolina with safety and security booms. The inclusion of Bolina’s brand will allow Ecocoast to offer safety and security
solutions globally for inland waterways, dams and critical infrastructure. Similarly, the acquisition will give Bolina, with its headquarters remaining in the United Kingdom, a platform to grow on a global scale. “I am excited that Bolina is joining the Ecocoast family,” said Lachlan Jackson, CEO at Ecocoast. “The current team at Bolina has done an amazing job, building Bolina to the brand it is today. We believe our values and our vision for the future are highly aligned.” Jackson added, “The synergies are substantial and will help strengthen our market position as the leading provider of marine products globally. The combined strength of our marine engineering expertise together with a broader product offering enables us to provide a more comprehensive solution for our clients, to keep the world’s waterways healthy, safe and secure.” Now in 50 countries, Ecocoast is continuing its expansion internationally and bringing new solutions for a better marine environment to market, to achieve its mission of solving the world’s most pressing marine problems.
Bridgestone ME reveals new campaign in partnership with Amazon.ae
“Bridgestone places great importance on the practice and observance of road safety. In fact, we strongly encourage that tyres are regularly replaced so that owners can benefit from optimum handling and control of their car–enjoying maximum performance of their cars when driving. Our promotion with Amazon.ae has been designed to encourage our customers into investing wisely–purchasing tyres from our authorized dealers and partners,” concluded Sanchini. Bridgestone is widely known the world over for its ability to deliver the highest quality, safety and performance, even in extreme conditions. It provides a range of sustainable mobility solutions which aim to contribute to social and environmental advancement with care, confidence and creativity.
cocoast, a global leader in engineered solutions for sustainable coastal and marine development founded by Australian entrepreneurs Lachlan Jackson and Dana Liparts, announced today that it has acquired Bolina, the European leader in marine safety, security and environment booms, headquartered in the United Kingdom. The acquisition allows Ecocoast to offer its clients an unmatched range of envi-
ridgestone, the leader in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility, has announced a new customer campaign that they are running in partnership with Amazon.ae, the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world. The campaign, which will run until the end of September or until stocks last, is aimed towards providing a better customer experience when buying tyres, especially as we face these extraordinary times. Under the terms of the promotion, customers purchasing a complete set of four tyres will get an Amazon voucher in return. For those buying 17” tyres, 16 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
customers will get an Amazon voucher worth over AED 200, meanwhile, purchase of 18” tyres will entitle customers to an Amazon voucher worth over AED 400. Stefano Sanchini, Regional Managing Director, Bridgestone MEA, said, “Bridgestone is proud to announce a new customer promotion that we are running in partnership with Amazon. ae. Buying a complete set of tyres will entitle customers to Amazon vouchers. This campaign falls in line with our global efforts to continuously engage customers and maintain continuity at the highest level during this time of COVID-19.”
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When H.E. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani took the helm of Saudi Customs following his appointment as Governor in January 2017, he envisaged an ambitious future for the authority where it would enhance its offerings and to achieve one of the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 to transform the Kingdom into a logistics hub that can compete on a global level.
18 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
Translating Saudi Customs Vision into Revolutionary Action
H.E. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani Translating Saudi Customs Vision into Revolutionary Action
Images © Saudi Customs | customs.gov.sa
he world has watched Saudi Arabia making tremendous qualitative leaps in economic growth and development over the past few years. The changes that the Kingdom has witnessed, especially since its unveiling of the bold Vision 2030 plan, took shape at an unprecedented pace and were truly remarkable and far-reaching. Inspired by the audacious roadmap, the country’s customs authority reached several momentous milestones on its eventful journey during these years thus creating a strong growth momentum in many crucial business sectors. The expansion in sectors such as trade and logistics has contributed significantly to Saudi Arabia’s meteoric growth. Saudi Customs has been playing a vital role in enabling activities driven by the government on economic, security, and international cooperation fronts. It facilitates trade across borders, contributes to national security by acting as a gatekeeper to the Kingdom’s borders, thereby blocking harmful substances and terrorist activities, and promotes international cooperation by forging
collaborative partnerships with trade partners and organizations outside the Kingdom. When H.E. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani took the helm of Saudi Customs following his appointment as Governor in January 2017, he envisaged an ambitious future for the authority where
it would enhance its offerings and to achieve one of the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 to transform the Kingdom into a logistics hub that can compete on a global level, and help build a prosperous economy that maximizes gains from its strategic geographic position as a link between Asia, Europe, and Africa. >>>
Saudi Customs vision aims to support the Kingdom in building a prosperous economy that utilizes its strategic geographic position, increases the volume of international trade between Asia, Europe and Africa, and maximizes gains from trade.
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 19
Contributing to the safety and protection of the Saudi public and economy from harmful and fraudulent products, terrorism, and unfair trade practices is a cornerstone of Saudi Customs strategy.
The determined leader outlined an inspiring strategy that set forth attainable but pioneering, time-bound but realistic goals for the authority to meet over the coming years. With customer experience, trade facilitation, revenue realization, and security enforcement at the core of its strategy and infrastructure, processes and procedures, and service quality being its key pillars, Saudi Customs embarked on its new mission and H.E. Alhakbani’s targets materialized, one after another. In a major achievement for Saudi Arabia, it was ranked as the top-performing country in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 report. The Kingdom jumped 72 places on the “Trading Across Borders” index to reinforce its position to be among the top 10 global investment environments. Saudi Customs’ efforts on efficiency and process improvement, value chain integration, and digitization were instrumental to this exceptional accomplishment. The authority slashed clearance time from 5 days in 2017 to 17.2 hours by the end of 2019 and streamlined the documentation and processes required for import 20 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in the construction of ports, railways, roads and airports. To take full advantage of these investments, Customs plan to work with the private sector to improve and link our infrastructure locally and internationally.
and export. The number of documents required for import and export, previously 12 and 9, respectively, was reduced to only 2 for both. Customer Experience As an entity that offers many customerintensive services, Saudi Customs attaches great importance to customer experience. It sought to transform customer journeys targeting all touchpoints and develop communication tools and channels to create exceptional experiences for its customers including traders, passengers, industrial players, private and public partners, and e-commerce buyers. The authority implemented companywide process improvement initiatives through the adoption of the highest international standards and launched a round-the-clock Customer Contact Center for enhanced customer experience. To deliver a more friendly travel experience, Saudi Customs now allows passengers to fill declaration forms through its application or website before leaving or returning to the Kingdom.
Trade Facilitation Facilitating the movement of goods into and out of the Kingdom to support economic growth while ensuring a fair and competitive trade environment is one of the main objectives of Saudi Customs. To deliver on this mandate more efficiently and with excellence, the authority set out to simplify and automate clearance procedures and reduce their time and cost through a multi-pronged reform program in line with its strategy to adopt the best global benchmarks in trade facilitation. Saudi Customs has been making significant progress in reducing the time between shipment arrival to full clearance for all shipments. The authority is now working towards a target of a two-hour clearance milestone in 2021 through constant efforts on regulatory reform, process enhancement and automation, and close collaboration with the entire trade ecosystem. It implemented the Authorized Economic Operator program of the World Customs Organization and the Transports Internationaux Routiers (International Road Transport) Convention to facilitate the movement of goods www.cbnme.com
Translating Saudi Customs Vision into Revolutionary Action
for highly compliant traders offering many procedural, logistics and security benefits for the countries of origin, destination and transit while guaranteeing security through incentive alignment. In another major development, Saudi Customs launched Fasah, the unified national system for all import and export activities in the Kingdom. The authority continues to work closely with all government entities involved in the clearance of goods to align and synchronize the service to provide more electronic services and improve their quality. The single-window platform allows the entities to submit the necessary data for import and export procedures
Facilitating the movement of goods into and out of the Kingdom to support economic growth while ensuring a fair and competitive trade environment is one of the main objectives of Saudi Customs.
electronically, thereby reducing the time and cost of processing documents and fast-tracking customs clearance. Security Enforcement Contributing to the safety and protection of the Saudi public and economy from harmful and fraudulent products, terrorism, and unfair trade practices is a cornerstone of Saudi Customs strategy. With the aim of further strengthening security, the authority standardized security procedures, automated selected processes, and introduced advanced technology for targeting and inspection activities. The authority’s major achievements include the establishment of the Security Operations Center, a full-fledged center operating around the clock for customs security reports from inside and outside the Kingdom, and the Customs Targeting Center, which combines artificial intelligence technologies with high security capabilities, as well as strong competencies in raising the accuracy of expectations and managing future risks. Saudi Customs also developed a field operations center equipped with surveil-
lance rooms to monitor work in all ports, document all footage, and ensure the performance of the truck transit tracking system. Further, it launched a new hotline to report suspected cases of smuggling and has further strengthened the training of K9 sniffer dogs, which have remained a major factor in the success of Saudi Customs’ operations since 1980. A true visionary leader is the linchpin of a successful organization. H.E. Alhakbani led the development of Saudi Custom’s strategy and its effectual translation into tangible, revolutionary outcomes to cement the authority’s standing as a pivotal entity in the Kingdom.
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 21
a comprehensive list of the top 25 logistic leaders in the region
22 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi
Group Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports
ohamed Juma Al Shamisi is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator and the manager of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as Fujairah Terminals and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). In his role, he oversees the development of Abu Dhabi Ports’ portfolio of assets and activities as well as directs their strategy and operations. Under his leadership, the transition from a project-focused organisation to a fully operational, customer focused ports and industrial zones business (KIZAD) has been a remarkable success. A strong, determined and entrepreneurial leader, he leads Abu Dhabi Ports’ role in supporting the government’s objective of diversifying the non-oil and gas economy. Al Shamisi is an experienced maritime executive with almost 20 years of industry experience, working to ensure Abu Dhabi Ports continues to hold a prime position in the region’s commercial maritime whilst boosting the profile of Abu Dhabi globally.
He joined Abu Dhabi Ports in 2008 and has held key leadership positions within its portfolio, which include the Executive Vice President for the company’s Ports Unit, where he was instrumental in restructuring this unit and rationalising its assets. He also oversaw the completion and commissioning of the first phase of Abu Dhabi Ports’ flagship port, Khalifa Port and of its adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone. During his management, Abu Dhabi Ports won more than 40 prestigious local and international awards, including five categories of Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance 2017 which granted the company the
Al Shamisi is an experienced maritime executive with almost 20 years of industry experience, working to ensure Abu Dhabi Ports continues to hold a prime position in the region’s commercial maritime whilst boosting the profile of Abu Dhabi globally.
Main Award. Al Shamisi is Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC), he is also a Board Member of Etihad Rail DB, the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime, and MAKE A WISH Foundation UAE. He also serves as a member of
the Board of Trustees to the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre. He is currently the Chairman of KIZAD Board of Directors, and has served as a Board Member of Etihad Airways. He has been recently appointed as the Vice Chairman of Arab Sea Port Federation.
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 23
02 nour suliman CEO, DHL Express Middle East and North Africa
24 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
our Suliman is the CEO of DHL Express Middle East and North Africa. In his current capacity as CEO, he oversees DHL’s operations across 19 markets and leads a strong team of 5700 employees. Mr. Suliman has been with DHL for 41 years and has held the position of CEO for the last 9 years. He was previously the Country Manager for DHL Express Saudi Arabia where, under his leadership, the office consistently achieved stellar performance. He also managed the business in Bahrain for eight years and prior to that held various managerial roles across multiple DHL Express functions and departments including Customer Service, Sales and Marketing, and Commercial, across other regional countries including UAE and Cairo. Over the past 12 months E-Commerce has been a key driver for DHL and this has resulted in DHL increasing their capacity and enhancing their network to meet the demand. Nour told LNME: “We have been investing in adding air capacity to enhance our network and better our capabilities to service high demand destinations with greater speed, reliability and efficiency. We have been upgrading our MENA airplanes and adding more intra-regional and intercontinental routes, connections and flights to our portfolio to support the growing logistics needs of our clients.”
Nour added: “Simultaneously, we have continued to expand our facilities to accommodate growth and the space needed for more shipment inflow. The most recent milestones have been the opening of our newly built US$30.5 million logistics facility in Dhahran, DHL’s fourth infrastructure investment in KSA in the past 4 years; as well as our newest, state-of-the-art logistics facility and country office in Amman at an investment size of US$ 5.8 Million.” 2020 has been a unique year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but this hasn’t affected Nour’s leadership and
has maintained that even prior to the pandemic it was his duty to ensure the safety and the wellbeing of the staff were being maintained. “We put their health on the same priority list as business continuity because their mental and physical state was critical to us maintaining optimum levels of service. We were transparent and proactive in ensuring all staff stay safe, informed, and well prepared to tackle any scenario. We definitely had to make adjustments to our business processes to reduce risk of staff exposure and mitigate possible effects, but I have to say that our teams
have done an outstanding job staying close to our clients, communicating regularly, and providing necessary advisory and support to facilitate their logistics needs.” Nour concluded: “Leaders must trust in the experience and knowledge of their team members and empower them with the confidence and means to perform their roles to the best of their ability. They should encourage staff participation and the exchange of ideas; and it is imperative to recognise and reward talent, hard work and loyalty.”
“Leaders must trust in the experience and knowledge of their team members and empower them with the confidence and means to perform their roles to the best of their ability.”
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 25
H.E. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani
Governor, Saudi General Customs Authority
.E. Mr. Ahmed Abdulaziz Alhakbani was appointed to the role of the Governor of Saudi General Customs Authority since January 2017. Mr. Alhakbani has also held several senior management positions. He is the Chairman of the Board of King Fahd Causeway Authority and a Chairman of the Board of Saudi Company for Exchanging Digital Information (Tabadul), a board member at several Government entities and Saudi organizations as well, including the Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Local Content & Government Procurement Authority. He is also a member of the founding committee of Flyadeal and a Chairman of the Board of Uptown Jeddah as a representative of the Public Investment Fund. In 2008, he was appointed as I.T. and Strategy Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Planning and I.T. at the Ministry of Education (Previously named Ministry of Higher Education), primarily focusing on developing the Ministry’s e-government strategy and launching its online portal. H.E. Mr. Alhakbani was Director-General of Information and Technology. He led the transformation project at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2010 to 2013. He also served as Secretary-General and board member in the Saudi Exports Development Authority (Saudi Exports) from 2013 to 2017. During which, he was the Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment during 2016, and overlooking all the government’s international commercial offices worldwide. 26 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
H.E. Mr. Alhakbani launched his Microsoft career, where he managed leading corporate accounts for Saudi publicly listed companies. He later became a technical consultant for Microsoft at various government agencies and authorities from 2002 to 2004. Later in 2004, he joined the first national e-government program “Yesser” and held the project manager position between 2004 and 2006. In
2006, he joined Cisco Systems as a Business Development Manager for the Economic Cities Project, which he received an Extraordinary Achievement Award from Cisco’s Chairman and CEO in 2008. Furthermore, and throughout his career, H.E. Mr. Alhakbani has utilized his academic and professional experience in supporting technology startups as an investor or partner or part of the initial startup team. He holds a full-time MBA degree from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from King Saud University in Riyadh. He also completed executive education courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science and IMD Business School in Lausanne.
Image © Saudi Customs
Mohammed Ali Almajdouie
CEO, Almajdouie Logistics
ohammed Ali Almajdouie has been part of the Almajdouie Group for seven years. Since taking charge of Almajdouie Logistics, Mohammed has strived to build on the company’s momentum while navigating the complex challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of size, location, or industry, businesses across the world are facing one of the biggest crises in recent history. However, one of Almajdouie Logistics’ greatest strengths is our ability to turn challenges into opportunities. “We have adapted to new ways of working to support our Kingdom and customers during these unprecedented times, finding a new sense of resilience in the process. Our team members have shown incredible profes-
sionalism, going above and beyond to ensure we fulfill our obligations and keep our clients’ projects on track. We are also proud to play a role in keeping the supply chain moving, delivering essential products across the country to make sure stores are fully stocked,” Mohammed explained. Furthermore, under Mohammed’s leadership, the group has seen an advancement in automation and enhanced its digital capabilities. Almajdouie Logistics has also streamlined operations to enhance team members’ skills and better serve its customers. Mohammed told LNME: “Digitalisation remains an active area of focus and, at present, more than 80% of our process and services are fully automated and integrated with stakeholder platforms. In line with this, we recently enhanced our fleet with advanced telematics solutions that have improved
“The implementation supports our ambitious digital transformation programme, enabling us to build our business through real-time fleet management capabilities and data-driven insights.
safety and efficiency.” “The implementation supports our ambitious digital transformation programme, enabling us to build our business through real-time fleet management capabilities and data-driven insights. Capitalising on the growth of eCommerce in the Kingdom, we have added lastmile delivery and fullfilment services to our offerings.” Almajdouie Logistics is committed to continuous improvement, both internally and while working on major projects alongside our partners and clients. The company is concurrently introducing new initiatives to boost its capabilities. These initiatives include redefining the company’s structure and strategy, and focusing on technology, innovation, and sustainability.
“Enhancing the customer experience and strengthening our partnerships with our valued clients is vital. Accordingly, we are in the process of revamping our customer relationship development department, which will help us to deliver improved levels of service.. We are also working to improve our internal communication structure and further incorporate corporate social responsibility into our growth strategy,” Mohammed said. “Although the social and economic effects of the pandemic are beyond our control, we can control how we react to them. By focusing on positive thoughts and actions, we will overcome this crisis and emerge stronger and better prepared for future challenges,” Mohammed concluded.
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 27
clients closer to their markets by reducing the lead time between order and delivery. In this high-volume, high-stakes industry, this efficiency in logistics translates to vital competitive edge for KSA exporters in the international market. Cross-border Gulf:
Farooq Shaikh CEO, LogiPoint
arooq Shaikh is the CEO of LogiPoint, the leading operators of Logistics Parks and Economic Zones in the Kingdom. LogiPoint started its journey as the first and only Bonded and Re-Export Zone in the Kingdom and has established itself as a platform that enables the Logistics and Supply Chain industry with innovative solutions and pioneering initiatives. Farooq has over 20+ years of high impact experience in the Middle East shipping and logistics industry and has previously held senior leadership roles with industry leading global organizations in UAE, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan before coming to KSA. In 2009, Farooq joined the SISCO (PUBLICLY LISTED: http://www. bloomberg.com/quote/SISCO:AB) Group’s SAR 2 Billion Red Sea Gateway Terminal project as part of the core senior management team and played an instrumental role in building, launching and operationalizing the first privately built state-of-the-art 28 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
container terminal in the Kingdom. Since 2018, Farooq has been leading LogiPoint as the CEO and is committed to transforming the organization into a Regional Logistics Hub, which has a stated mission to act as enablers of the Logistics Industry as a whole and to go ‘One Step Further’ in working extensively with the industry stakeholders to anticipate and understand the needs of the market, to identify opportunities for growth and development, and to design, introduce and implement innovative solutions which contribute towards the realization of Vision 2030. Some of the Logistics solutions that LogiPoint have rolled out over his tenure are as follows: Export Distribution Hub:
Petrochemicals is the Kingdom’s single largest export, with hundreds of thousands of containers exported annually to destinations all across the world. LogiPoint worked tirelessly with the Petrochemical majors and with high volume exporters to re-engineer the entire export process and to bring the
Shipments originating in Europe and the Americas, and passing through the Red Sea, typically have a transit time of 8-12 days ahead of them to reach the GCC ports in the Arabian Gulf. LogiPoint introduced the Cross-border Gulf service under which shipments can be discharged in Jeddah and moved to ports and final destinations in the GCC countries via bonded trucking. This helps reduce the transit times by 7-10 days and translates to greater efficiency as well as higher revenues and profitability for the clients. Sea/Air and Air/Sea:
LogiPoint have been working extensively with the industry stakeholders and the regulatory bodies to design and streamline multimodal movement of shipments seamlessly. Thanks to the initiatives taken by LogiPoint, it is now possible in KSA to import one leg of a shipment by sea, move it under bond to the desired airport, and load it out by air freight to its final destination. Similarly, air-freight imports can be moved to the LogiPoint bonded and re-export zone for consolidation before being shipped out by Sea. This is an important development in putting the KSA on the world logistics map as a strategically located multimodal logistics hub. As the world comes to terms with the new set of normal in a post COVID-19 world, Farooq is looking to lead LogiPoint into this new world as an important stakeholder in the regional logistics market.
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Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo
abil Sultan’s career spans close to three decades in commercial operation roles within Emirates. Educated in the United States, Nabil holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from the University of Portland. He began his career with Emirates in 1990 in the IT department. And two years later joined the company’s management training programme within the Commercial Operations Department. Between 1995 and 2008, Nabil gained extensive commercial experience at Emirates, working in various management and leadership roles both within and outside the UAE, heading commercial operation as Vice President for both the UK and then India for more than 8 years after which he moved back to UAE as a Senior Vice 30 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
President for Commercial Operations West Asis, followed by Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East, and then Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Europe & CIS. In 2009, Nabil was promoted to Divisional Senior Vice President, Revenue Optimisation and Distribution for the Airline.
In June 2013, he was appointed to his current position, as Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo. According to the Emirates Group’s financial results for 2019/2020, Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a solid performance in a highly competitive market, contributing to 13% of the airline’s total transport revenue. With the lingering weakness in air freight demand over most of the year, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 11.2 billion (US$ 3.1 billion), a decrease of 14% over last year. Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM), after two consecutive years of growth, declined by 2%, largely impacted by the reduction in fuel price, and a strong US dollar. Tonnage carried decreased by 10% to reach 2.4 million tonnes, due to the capacity reduction with the retirement of one Boeing 777 freighter and reduced available bellyhold capacity in the first and last quarters of the year. At the end of 2019-20, Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 11 Boeing 777Fs. Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products. In October, it launched Emirates Delivers, an e-commerce platform that helps individual customers and small businesses consolidate online purchases in the US and have them delivered in the UAE. More origin and destination markets are being planned in the future, leveraging Dubai as a hub for regional e-commerce fulfilment. During the year, Emirates Skycargo also strengthened its pharma capabilities with the opening of new facilities in Chicago and Copenhagen.
07 Bengt Ekstrand GAC Group President
t a time of global disruption and uncertainty, Bengt Ekstrand is a steady hand at the GAC Group’s helm. Since being appointed Group President in January 2013, he has focused on the Group’s strategic plan to ensure GAC is structurally and operationally fit for the 21st century’s challenges. In 2020, that strategy has been put to the test as the COVID- 19 pandemics took its toll on countries worldwide. GAC’s solid foundation and corporate resilience have set it in good stead to weather the storm and chart its course for the future. The Group continues to grow, as Bengt oversees expansion in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Indian Subcontinent, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Bengt told LNME: “2020 has taught us in a spectacular manner how the best-laid plans can be thrown into disarray. We have seen this many times and in many locations throughout GAC’s history of more than 60 years, but the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps a first in terms of its global impact. Nonetheless, GAC’s strategy of a long-term approach, looking well into the future rather than chasing a quick profit, has served us well both in the past and amid the current crisis. Based on our solid foundation, financial security and corporate resilience, we believe we will weather to coronavirus storm and continue our course for the future.”
Before his appointment, Bengt was Group Vice President for the Asia Pacific from 2009, accountable for the GAC companies’ effective and profitable management in the region. Before 2009, he was Regional Director for the Middle East for more than six years. He joined GAC in 1992, working in several stations in the Gulf before taking on his regional responsibilities.
“2020 has taught us in a spectacular manner how the best-laid plans can be thrown into disarray.” Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 31
CEO, Logistics District Dubai South
ohsen Ahmad oversees Dubai South’s entire Logistics District as its CEO. Having set up its free zone and established the Dubai Logistics Corridor, which connects Jebel Ali Port with Al Maktoum International Airport via a single, custom-bonded zone, Mohsen leads the overall execution of the district’s operations, manages its financial planning, and is responsible for setting the district’s strategic directions and goals. He was also instrumental in laying the groundwork for future developments to ensure the district’s sustainable growth. Anticipating the rapid growth of e-commerce and witnessing the growing number of international and regional movers in Dubai, Mohsen championed the development of EZDubai, a purpose built e-commerce hub that supports the growth of the sector through state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure within the Logistics District. Additionally, as an industry veteran, he played an instrumental role in developing Dubai’s overall e-commerce strategy to consolidate the emirate’s position as a hub for global e-commerce. Mohsen joined Dubai South in 2008 following more than twelve years’ experience in the supply chains and logistics sector, having held management posts at Al Futtaim Logistics and tenure as head of inbound logistics at Dubai Aluminum Company (DUBAL). He had set his sights early on a career in supply chain and logistics, with a bachelor’s degree in logistics and transportation from the University of Tennessee, USA and a Master of Science in logistics and supply chain management from Cranfield University School of Management, United Kingdom.
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09 Wissam Khoury
Serial Entrepreneur, Advanced Logistic Systems
issam Khoury is involved in leading installations worldwide for Automated Warehouses and Air Cargo Handling Systems. Wissam is recognized amongst the Logistics Industry experts for the performance in Engineering Excellency and successful handover of Projects. Wissam manages multiple business entities; there were several projects under Wissam’s supervision which included:
> Automated Warehouse for Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Al Dawaa > Services and Consultancies for the Logistics Industry worldwide > Automated Car Park System for a government-owned project in Dubai > Multiple projects for Car Park Systems in the UAE. As for future projects, Wissam told LNME that they have plans to implement an Automated Car Park System
in KSA, to provide Consultancies and Services for 2PL, 3PL, and 4PL market players, and for e-commerce. As a strategic vision during the past business year, Wissam is involved in the global expansion of Advanced Logistic Systems, resulting in new offices established in Europe and Asia. LNME asked Wissam about his leadership style during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he told LNME that it was essential to adapt to the new era: “Adaptation to a new work style worldwide brought the remote work to become a trend in all industries. The pandemic situation enabled the use of digital technologies that I and my team have been applying in project management.” Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 33
“A good leader must be able to balance the need for reaching short term goals/profitability, while developing and executing a strategy that at the same time will position the company for medium and long term success.”
Jens O. Floe
CEO, Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT)
ens joined RSGT 4 years ago and under his leadership RSGT has seen a significant rise. The company developed strategies that would see RSGT become a niche emerging market operator as evident by their international growth strategy and project wins. RSGT has in 2019 signed a 30-year concession agreement with Saudi Port Authority, MAWANI, to consolidate and redevelop the northern sector of Jeddah Islamic Port. This includes the takeover of the adjoining Container Terminal, which was previously named as Northern Container Terminal, and develop it as the largest container terminal in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea. Moreover,
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there will be a total investment of $1.7 billion in infrastructure, equipment, and technology by 2050, with annual container throughput capacity growing to 8.8 million TEUs. Furthermore, by 2023 RSGT will cover 1.5 million square meters and have an increased annual container throughput capacity to 5.2 million TEUs. RSGT is the only Jeddah facility able to accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of 20,000 TEU + capacity. By the end of the first threeyear investment phase in this expansion project, RSGT will be equipped with 24 Super Post-Panamax quay cranes, 67 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs), and will offer 4,900 Reefer plugs. This investment in equipment and capacity will firmly establish RSGT as the larg-
est logistics gateway, and the busiest container terminal, in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea. In terms of Jens’ leadership beliefs, he told LNME: “A good leader must be able to balance the need for reaching short term goals/profitability, while developing and executing a strategy that at the same time will position the company for medium and long term success. Only when your strategy ensures customer focus and employee engagement are you in a position to finetune and optimize allowing for attracting the right talent, which is a prerequisite for becoming the market leader.”
General Manager, Swisslog Middle East
lain Kaddoum is the General Manager of Swisslog Middle East, an intralogistics provider that delivers robot-based and data-driven automation solutions for customers across a wide range of industries including F&B, retail, e-commerce,
pharmaceuticals, spare parts as well as third-party warehouses and distribution centres. One of Swisslog’s winning stories for 2020 was the completed the installation and implementation of a new fully automated and retrieval solution for Mai Dubai, a leading Dubai-based bottled drinking water company.
Following the implementation of fully automated and data-driven intralogistics system, the company has benefited with double production, storage capacity and reduced labour costs. As part of an order valued over Euro 20mn, Swisslog planned and implemented a fully automated system based on intelligent software in the context of big data. The major expansion project included planning and implementing a six-aisle automated high-bay warehouse for raw material and packaging materials as well as -only a few hundred meters away- a high-bay warehouse with 17,560 pallet locations for finished goods with 10 aisles. Another project which will go live in the coming few months is Almarai, world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company and the region’s largest food and beverage manufacturing and distribution chain. The multimillion US dollar project was rolled out in four phases and included the supply and installation of storage and retrieval systems, conveyors, Automatic Reefer Loading System (ARLS), automatic picking modules supplied by KUKA, together with electric monorail suspension systems. Alain has emphasised the need to implement policies to directly drive and support sales and business teams; develop effective strategies to support the uptake of the company’s automation solutions for forward-thinking customers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and bordering regions. Alain told LNME: “Since I took over the position of the General Manager for the Middle East, I have worked tirelessly to make businesses in the Middle East more aware of the benefits of automation. From zero awareness, today we are seeing more and more businesses requesting Swisslog’s partnership in automating operations. I have also been responsible for executing large scale projects in the Middle East, such as Almarai and Mai Dubai to name a few we can talk about, as a result of which, Swisslog’s profile in the industry has gone up.” Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 35
Managing Director, Maersk UAE
hristopher Cook joined Maersk in the UK in 2002 and had the opportunity to grow through commercial leadership roles across the UK, Africa, and Europe and for the last few years in Dubai, UAE. Christopher’s roles have been commercially orientated and developing a customer focus is one of the other focuses he has brought to the table, mainly how they develop the structures around the customer, engage with them, and develop. “At Maersk, our people & people development is something we focus on and over the years the company
has invested in me and other colleagues. It is something I am very passionate about; I have focused on developing my teams and establishing clear development plans for them to grow further. I also continue to take on mentorship roles for colleagues in different parts of the business
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to support them with my experiences,” said Christopher. Maersk globally set a vision to become an integrated container logistics company. This has meant transforming many aspects of their business. The two major ones in the last year for us in UAE were as follows:
In the early part of 2019, this meant bringing together 200 colleagues from two different parts of the business under a single brand, building new capabilities, and unifying under the shared vision. It also required establishing and fitting out new office space to support the business. In 12 months, we have seen our internal engagement scores lifting and customer satisfaction rising. The second focus was around continuing our digitization journey; wherein we looked at transferring several paper-based payment and booking processes to online platforms. Maersk is at the point where they had achieved around 95% adoption from lows 30s in 2019, and this became a key enabler for ensuring business continuity when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “Our ambitions around digitization continue to play a key priority – during 2020 we have moved a large part of our quotations online. Going into 2021 we will look to expand the service offerings that can be bought through our platforms. We will also launch several new product offerings for air freight and LCL (less than container load) and bringing those to the marketplace will be another key priority for us,” said Christopher.
Founder and CEO, TruKKer
aurav spent 14 years in International consulting across the UK, US, and the Gulf before starting TruKKer. He is an execution focussed, a commercial champion who strongly believes in the opportunity to organize a very primitive, traditional but fundamental land transportation sector. TruKKer is currently the industry leader in technology-enabled land freight operations. TruKKer is the most advanced digital freight platform in the MENA region. Since its beginning at the end of 2016, TruKKer now operated 25,000+ trucks across 16 offices in the region. TruKKer has been on a tremendous growth path constantly over the last four years. It now services 500+
enterprise clients including multinationals, regional large corporations, and SMEs. Gaurav says, ‘On an average day, the platform is moving 1000+ truckloads per day and this is constantly growing month on month. This kind of growth is very difficult to execute without the right technology and automation. This is where we focus - to ensure we are constantly creating tools that help us scale and automate. Our engineering teams also focus a lot on data sciences where thousands of data points are created daily. The ability to dissect, analyze, and process this data for decision making creates strong competitive advantages for us.’ TruKKer’s primary products include FTL (Full Truck Load) for crossborder and domestic movements across the MENA region including
services at most of the seaports. TruKKer recently launched its LTL (Less than Truckload) product in KSA and will soon commence offering this in its other markets. “The launch of additional products within the landfreight sector is now imminent as we continue to find more solutions for our clients. Our LTL product will significantly improve utilization via the use of technology, that should offer immediate savings to the industry,” adds Gaurav. TruKKer is currently under incorporation in multiple additional markets, while it continues to grow rapidly in the region. TruKKer’s investors include the largest investment funds in the region including STV and international institutions like IFC (part of the World Bank). Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 37
ohammed Al-Mudarres, CEO at SISCO, has been a part of the organization for more than 13 years. Mohammed has brought a systematic and structured way of managing their investment and portfolio of companies. Mohammed told LNME: “We have improved our internal corporate governance and reporting structure tremendously. We have also developed a refined 5-year strategy plan for SISCO back in 2015, which we have already implemented more than 95% of the strategy recommendations up to now. We are in the process of re-evaluating
our next 5-year strategy plan with the focus on improving our position in the marketplace and enhancing our investor’s relations programs.” In the past 12 months, SISCO added the North Container Terminal in Jeddah to their port sector, making SISCO and its subsidiaries the largest container terminal operator in Saudi Arabia. SISCO also signed a new 25-year BOT contract for our water business to develop the city of Taif ISTP plant. In regards to future projects, Mohammed said: “The pipeline projects include an international expansion of the ports business. In the logistic sector we are developing additional built-to-suit
warehousing and logistic facilities for the growing e-commers industry in Saudi Arabia; in addition, we are in the process of evaluation a new multi-user warehouse facility in the city of Jubail for the petrochemical industry. We are also in the bidding process for 2 major BOT projects in the water sector and embarking on new O&M projects.”
Saud Abu Al-Shawareb
Managing Director, Dubai Industrial City
aud spearheads Dubai Industrial City’s strategy and day-to-day operations to contribute to elevating Dubai into a global hub for advanced, innovative, and sustainable manufacturing in line with the UAE’s leadership’s vision of economic diversification for a more sustainable future. Saud believes that the fourth industrial revolution is tipped to create major opportunities across logistics. Robotics will make warehouses smarter, interconnected and less labour-intensive and, alongside artificial intelligence, it will
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create new jobs moving forwards. Across the industry, predictive analysis will empower warehouse operators to forecast volume demand for goods and identify risks in the supply chain at speed. Blockchain will add greater transparency and traceability to supply chains, making them more open, sustainable and secure. And enhanced data and analytics capabilities from the Internet of Things will improve productivity and profitability. Logistics and manufacturing may have been among the unsung heroes during the pandemic, but the social and economic
value of these critical non-oil sector kept the economy going during the lockdown and will ensure a swift recovery. As a catalyst for growth, Dubai Industrial City will contribute to this. Saud concluded: “We are key enabler and strategic driver of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 and will work alongside our business partners to unlock the UAE’s potential to become a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable, innovative industries.” www.cbnme.com
CEO , Posta Plus Group
uwaiti-based company Posta Plus was founded in 2005 and has since enjoyed balanced growth, evolving from a simple domestic courier company into a leading regional provider of global business, logistics and shipping solutions. Leading the charge is 32-year-old Ahmad Aljemaiei, CEO of Posta Plus Group, who joined Posta Plus in 2015 and has quickly risen up the ranks as one of top CEO’s in the region. Throughout his career, Ahmad held a number of senior management positions with notable logistics companies such as DHL. His responsibilities have included global network strategy, strategic sales, and business development.
After acquiring the Board of Directors trust to manage the group in early march this year He has put together a highly skilled team of specialists to create a borderless world that curtails trade barriers for a seamless and convenient flow of parcels. Furthermore, Ahmad was responsible for transforming underperforming operations, optimizing processes, and procedures, and driving sales teams to breakthrough results within a short span of time introducing different markets into our region with partnering up with the biggest E-com Platforms known to the Arab world. Posta Plus vision is global as they strive to connect the globe’s logistical and supply chain resources into a single intelligent platform that overcomes fulfillment challenges and optimizes
convenient shipping and logistics solutions for business organizations across a wide range of locations including the GCC, Jordan, Asia, Egypt, North America, Europe and soon Turkey. Ahmad told LNME: “For more than a decade, our most important resources
are our human capital who are supported by innovative systems and processes, which has in turn helped Posta Plus to plan, execute and oversee the most convenient logistics and shipping solutions that provide business organizations with fast transit times and seamless connections to their desired locations following the world of blockchain innovation tailored to the GCC region as a start.”
Posta Plus vision is global as they strive to connect the globe’s logistical and supply chain resources into a single intelligent platform that overcomes fulfillment challenges and optimizes convenient shipping and logistics solutions for business organizations across a wide range of locations including the GCC, Jordan, Asia, Egypt, North America, Europe and soon Turkey.
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Hussein Wehbe CEO, Fetchr
ussein Wehbe is a logistics veteran with 20 years of experience in the sector including over 15 years with Aramex serving it in different leadership roles is now tasked with leading Fetchr forward. Fetchr, founded in 2012, with a cloud technology platform and digital-only approach, Fetchr was born to disrupt the traditional supply chain model. Fetchr understands what it takes to succeed in the rapidly
Deepak Khushalani CEO, Premier Logistics
eepak has been involved with Premier Logistics since its establishment in Q1 2016. In the last 12 months, Premier Logistics have moved towards an agile and asset-light strategy proving themselves more resilient during the pandemic. Their asset-light model helped serve numerous customer segments through numerous logistics networks that are based on shared assets and that leverage partners and
changing digital world we operate in today. That’s why our positioning, predictive and machine learning technologies are so uniquely equipped to meet the transport and shipping demands of the generations. Agility, flexibility, reliability and service customization are part of the Fetchr DNA. Joining the Fetchr logistics family ensures a seamless brand experience throughout the customer journey. Your brand is our brand. Your customer is our customer. Fetchr incorporates technology into conventional logistics services to resolve three fundamental pain points that last mile delivery service provider face in the Middle East which include cash on delivery reconciliation, lack of clear address, and scalability.
digital tools to foster large-scale agility and responsiveness. Deepak told LNME: “We at Premier have been focusing primarily on retaining our existing clients and providing them with quality par excellence.” To support their existing clients and to entice new clients Premier Logistics worked on implementing its Digital Transformation strategy for this region. They announced an exclusive partnership with Parcelly - the world’s largest
Abhinav Chaudhary Co-Founder and CEO, Fero.Ai
bhinav started his corporate career with Danzas (DHL, Dubai) after completing his MBA in Logistics & Supply Chain Management. Abhinav has been instrumental in setting up the Road Freight product/s in Danzas and spearheaded Handling Operations at four DHL DGF cargo terminals in the UAE. His professional experience spans over 15 years in strategy, plan40 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
ning, policy-making, and execution of multiple complex logistics projects. Now Abhinav is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fero.Ai, which is a B2B SaaS global play in the freight & logistics space. They believe that manual coordination is at the heart of inefficiencies in freight hence they are solving for it by using advanced Ai to build technology solutions that optimize and automate coordination &
Pick-up Drop-Off (PUDO) technology service provider. Parcelly is the fastest growing network of retailer and carrier agnostic PUDO locations, managing over 2,000+ parcel collection points worldwide to date. By converting redundant space in local businesses into parcel storage capacity, Parcelly offers a variety of B2C and B2B services. “By delivering thousands of parcels to thousands of individual doors, last-mile fulfilment drivers spend far more time on the road and have a much lower successful delivery rate as compared to delivering those same parcels to a handful of PUDO locations, which are guaranteed to be open for business and able to accept deliveries,” Deepak said.
collaboration across different freight functions & processes. The Fero.Ai team has built the world’s 1st IVA for freight, called TiA which is equivalent to the Google Assistant/Alexa specifically for this industry. The Fero.Ai product suite currently has four products, suited for the freight stakeholder’s spectrum’s different types and sizes. Fero.Ai aims to use revolutionary automation systems such as Narrow Ai, Speech Recognition & Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision. www.cbnme.com
Janardan Dalmia Founder and CEO, Trukkin
anardan Dalmia is the Founder and the CEO of Trukkin and has been involved with the company from the time Trukkin was envisioned. Over time, they have worked passionately to create an enterprise which is fundamentally strong and will not only survive any crisis but thrive.
In 2020, Trukkin was able to expand their services to Pakistan during the pandemic and further deepening their roots in the Middle East. Looking forward, Trukkin are looking at breaking into the Oil & Gas, Chemicals and Building Materials sector for 2020 and 2021.
Co-Founder & CEO, Innova Supply Chain
rene Sutton is the co-founder & CEO of Innova Supply Chain and have been involved in operations since its inception in its current form almost 10 years ago. Irene told LNME: “I took over as CEO in November 2019. Almost immediately I was focused on developing the solutions side of the business and expanding and developing new partnerships with solutions providers and services companies in growth markets.” Under her leadership Innova has become a strategic partner in the Middle East for various supply chain
In terms of leadership, Janardan told LNME: “A good leader facilitates the change he wants in his team. At Trukkin we have done just that. My primary motive was to bring about transparency, efficiency, and reliability into logistics and it started from within the organization in terms of culture and then with our world-class platform and customer-centric policies, we have been able to do just that both internally and with our customers and partners.”
software solutions providers that cater to all levels of organisations and have several projects which include digitization readiness assessments and supply chain healthchecks prior to solution tendering and implementation. In 2019, Innova had several business transformation projects, the biggest of which was in KSA for a major 3PL group. We have seen an increase in projects for government and semi government organisations around strategic supply chain management and optimization.
Founder and Managing Director, Worldwide Distribution Center FZCO
ince the beginning of 2000s, Khamid has been successfully running the company by making sure that all the products and services are available to customers quickly enough to beat the competition. Being the founder of WDC, Khamid pays a lot of attention and affords to promote the company and its products, improvement of the
customer services and education of the company members. Creative thinking, inspiring others and constant innovation is what made Khamid and his team stand out from the crowd and gain the reputation among his customers and business partners. Using a brand new state of the art warehouse facility that’s over 50,000
sq. ft., and a fleet of modern delivery vehicles, WDC FZCO distributes its line of products in the United Arab Emirates, Middle East, North Africa and CIS countries. The company principals have over decades of experience in the distribution of FMCG. Worldwide Distribution Center is a leading Multi-Product, Multi-Activity Distribution Company located in the United Arab Emirates with global reach. Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 41
Paula Bellamy Managing Director & Shareholder, Oceanwide Logistics, Dubai
pened in August, 2016, Oceanwide Logistics Dubai is the newest addition to OL Holdings USA, with 15 offices throughout the USA; Canada, Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Africa. Part of a global agency network, with access to over 110 countries and experienced agents, Oceanwide Logistics Dubai core strength in this hugely competitive market is good solid customer relations and this stems also from a very good team environment. Paula maintains that digitization is still the main word on any freight
Founder and CEO, IQ Fulfillment & IQ Robotics
forwarders lips. Logistics firms who fail to automate and digitalize system-wide or do so only partially, rather than throughout their entire network, will quickly become relics. This is therefore on top of Oceanwide Logistics Dubai moving forward. Paula told LNME: “I am proud that my team followed me to OL, and it’s thanks to their commitment and support that we have achieved so much in such a little amount of time. I look forward to the future, continuing to expand our brand in the UAE and globally.”
Q Fulfillment, the first robotic fulfillment solution in the entire MENA region. It’s an artificial intelligence-driven business that’s spearheading the digital transformation of the logistics sector. IQ Robotics addresses a vital market requirement, especially as the region focuses on digital transformation. “Our participation was based on our aim to showcase the technology we operate with and the revolutionary
Vinit .J. Malhotra General Manager, ATS
TS is a fully integrated logistics company with ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 standards, specializing in Road, Air & Sea Freight, Warehouse distribution, Liquid Terminal, Road Transportation and On-site logistics. With its headquarters in Dubai, UAE,
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ATS operates across India (Mumbai/ Mangalore), Oman (Sohar), Bahrain, Europe (Belgium), and USA (Texas). Founded in 1991, the company has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. Growing from strength to strength, its range of services has continuously
concept that is the first of its kind in the Middle East. We also wanted to share our knowledge and expertise in robotics, warehouse automation, and supply chain management as well as in software (WMS/OMS/TMS), package protection, and dimensioning solutions.IQ Fulfillment is offering a connected fulfillment solution network to SME’s to unlock their growth at a pay as you go scheme,” says Fadi Amoudi.
expanded over the years. ATS completes 29 years in the industry and is a multi-modal organization that has established itself as a leading NVOCC in the region. Logistics remains its core strength. Complementing that nucleus, ATS range of services has expanded to include storage, distribution, and terminal services. Vinit’s role in ATS has seen him recognized by multiple customers as a hand on solution expert to their logistical requirements, various certificates and awards by multiple customers. www.cbnme.com
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Data and automation are key to success in Middle East supply chain How distributors in the Middle East need to adopt vertical-specific cloud solutions to prosper amid a fast-changing logistics landscape
pending on digital supply chain and logistics in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) is forecast to reach $8.5 billion during 2020-23, with digital transformation in the sector driven by a range of trends including changing consumer habits and the rise of e-commerce, the encroachment of producers into the
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logistics space, changing demands from retailers, and the impact of COVID-19 on the overall sector, according to a new white paper by IDC and sponsored by Infor. The white paper outlines some of the key challenges that distributors and logistics providers face and discusses the potential solutions that can help players position themselves for suc-
cess in a fast-changing landscape that is increasingly defined by data and automation. Distributors serving highly time-sensitive sectors, such as food and beverage, have faced significant upheaval, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Indeed, they face tighter service-level agreements, high transportation costs, and have an www.cbnme.com
Data and automation are key to success in Middle East supply chain
The distributed nature of business operations and the need for data-driven experiences make cloud computing one of the most important considerations for distribution players. innate need for fast-paced distribution methods. An increasing number of regulations is compelling distributors to optimize product shelf life, manage seasonal changes in supply and demand, and guarantee end-to-end traceability of products across the value chain.
But the good news is that distributors can address these challenges, while also providing fulfilment and delivering scalable experiences, by leveraging data and automation. Many forward-thinking distributors have already started to digitally transform their operations, elevating data and automation as central pillars. However, with the datasphere expected to exceed 110 zettabytes by 2024, with real-time data growing at 1.5 times the rate of overall data creation according to IDC, it is imperative that organisations are able to extract the right information at the right time. Distributors can look to implement digital supply chain and logistics programs that address four Khaled Al Shami, Director, Solution Consulting, Middle East & Africa, Infor key aspects of distribution businesses: smart warehousing, inventory optimization and cloud that includes publicly hosted extended planning, smart product mansystems, enterprise data centers, and agement, transportation optimization. edge locations. However, these programs rely heavily But when selecting technology, it is on the power of technologies such as important for players in the distribuIoT, AI, Big Data analytics (BDA), tion business to choose vertical-specific robotics, mobility, and blockchain, and platforms rather than horizontal apmost distributors struggle to incorpoplications. Because vertical applicarate these technologies into their existtions are built to address the unique ing IT environments, according to IDC. requirements of an industry, the need The distributed nature of business for expensive and time-consuming operations and the need for data-driven customizations diminishes, according experiences make cloud computing one to IDC. of the most important considerations Such applications have inbuilt infor distribution players, with a digital dustry-specific capabilities that deliver platform in such an environment targeted intelligence, industry context, requiring the speed, agility, scalability, and actionable analytics and guidance and flexibility of cloud to produce the to users. IDC believes that distribution intended results. Many organizations, organizations that use integrated plattherefore, are considering a cloud-first forms and cloud-based, vertical-specific approach for new applications and applications will be the most likely to moving existing applications to cloud. digitally transform themselves in three Enterprise IT infrastructure is increasto five years and emerge as true digital ingly becoming a connected distributed pioneers. Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 45
Insufficient Capacity Dampens Air Cargo The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in August showing that improvement remains slow amid insufficient capacity
emand moved slightly in a positive direction monthon-month; however, levels remain depressed compared to 2019. Improvement continues at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest. This is due to the capacity constraint from the loss of available belly cargo space as passenger aircraft remain parked. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), was 12.6% below previous-year levels in August 46 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
(-14% for international operations). That is a modest improvement from the 14.4% year-on-year drop recorded in July. Seasonally-adjusted demand grew by 1.1% month-on-month in August. Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 29.4% in August ( 31.6% for international operations) compared to the previous year. This is basically unchanged from the 31.8% year-on-year drop in July. Belly capacity for international air cargo was 67% below the levels of August 2019
owing to the withdrawal of passenger services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This was partially offset by a 28.1% increase in dedicated freighter capacity. Daily widebody freighter utilization is close to 11 hours per day, the highest levels since these figures have been tracked in 2012. Economic activity continued to recover in August reflected, among other things, in the performance of the Purchasing Managersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Index (PMI) indicator of economic health in the manufacturing sector: > The new export orders component of the manufacturing PMI rose by 5.1% year-on-year, its best performance since late 2017. > The PMI tracking global manufacturing output increased month-on-month and remained above the 50-mark, indicating growth. www.cbnme.com
Insufficient Capacity Dampens Air Cargo
“Air cargo demand improved by 1.8 percentage points in August compared to July. That’s still down 12.6% on previous year levels and well below the 5.1% improvement in the manufacturing PMI. Improvement is being stalled by capacity constraints as large parts of the passenger fleet, which normally carries 50% of all cargo, remain grounded. The peak season for air cargo will start in the coming weeks, but with severe capacity constraints shippers may look to alternatives such as ocean and rail to keep the global economy moving,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. August Regional Performance Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo fall 18.3% in August 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier. After a robust initial recovery in May, month-on-month growth in seasonally-adjusted demand declined for the second consecutive month. International capacity is particularly constrained in the region, down 35%. North American carriers reported that demand fell 4% compared to the previous year—the third consecutive month with a single-digit decline. This steady performance is due in part to strong
domestic and transpacific demand on the Asia-North America route, reflecting e-commerce demand for products manufactured in Asia. International capacity decreased 28.2%. European carriers reported a decrease in demand of 19.3% compared to the previous year. Improvements have been slight but consistent since April’s performance of -33%. Demand on most key trade lanes to / from the region remained weak. The large Europe–Asia
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo fall 18.3% in August 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier.
market was down 18.6% year-on-year in August. International capacity decreased 33.5%. Middle Eastern carriers reported a decline of 6.8% in year-on-year international cargo volumes in August, a significant improvement from the 15.1% fall in July. Regional airlines have aggressively added capacity in the last few months with international capacity improving from a 42% fall at the trough in April, to a decline of 24.2% in August, the most resilient of all regions. Demand on trade routes to and from Asia and North America remained strong with demand down 3.3% and up 2.3% respectively year-on-year. Latin American carriers reported demand steady at -26.1% compared to the previous year, ending three consecutive months of deteriorating demand. Demand on trade routes between Latin America (particularly Central America) and North America have compensated for weakness on other routes. Capacity remains significantly constrained in the region with international capacity decreasing 38.5% in August, the largest fall of any region. African airlines saw demand increase by 1% in August. This was the fourth consecutive month in which the region posted the strongest increase in international demand and only instance of yearon-year growth among all regions in international volumes. Investment flows along the Africa-Asia route continue to drive the regional outcomes. Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 47
Expectations for 2020 Gregoire Blaise
The Vice President at Renault Trucks discusses how the company has operated amidst this unprecedented year by Kasun Illankoon
eing a regional office supporting 21 countries the travel ban has been the main obstacle to conduct our business. Fortunately, our customers were often an essential part of any economy; most of our trucks were still operating during the highest confinement period and needed support from our partner’s importers. Keeping a very
close relationship with our network by being creative and supportive, we believe that we strengthened these crucial partnerships.” “We relaunched two markets successfully and had a market share growth target for our region that we will meet. At the same time, unfortunately, we will miss our sell-in target due to the drop in the total market, estimated at around 30%.”
“Apart from Oman, where we have seen a concerning decrease, all countries are either flat or improving, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt are significantly enhancing their market share in 2020 with promising momentum. We’ve also seen an increase in sales in our used trucks, and we believe that we still have room to improve to better address this untapped market.” Renault’s T X -PORT model
“With the market share growth, our Renault Trucks T X-Port is the second positive development for the Greater Middle East region. We see more and more importers taking advantage of this complimentary offer to address their customers’ needs. This success is based on the trust given by our unique factory-made and certified downgrade from Euro 6 to Euro 3 solution combined with our standard warranty.” Strengthening Partnerships during the Pandemic
“As for all kinds of relations, when things get tough, you can better assess their quality. By being genuine to each other and as supportive as possible, we indeed feel that our relationships have grown stronger. Meaningful but straightforward initiatives towards our end customers, such as our six months additional warranty to offset the confinement period or our monthly Drivers Tips.” 48 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
Expectations for 2020 | Gregoire Blaise
â&#x20AC;&#x153;As for all kinds of relations, when things get tough, you can better assess their quality. â&#x20AC;&#x153;
Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 49
Value of Dubai Chamber member Exports up by 7.4%
xports of Dubai Chamber members exceeded a combined value of AED45 billion between June and August 2020, marking a 7.4 percent increase compared to the March-May period, 2020. Over 151,000 Certificates of Origin were issued by Dubai Chamber from June-August, an 11.7% increase from 50 | Logistics News ME | october 2020
the 135,00 certificates issued during the March-May period. The average number of exporters over the three months ending in August stood at 4,630, increasing 14 percent from the 4,066 exporters accounted for between March and June 2020. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, said the latest export figures signal an uptick in activity within Dubai’s trade sector, following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, improving market conditions and growing business confidence. He underlined the importance of foreign trade to Dubai’s economy, and noted that the emirate remains resilient as it navigates new challenges created by the pandemic. Buamim also said that the gradual reopening of Dubai’s economy has been successful, thanks to the government’s swift and effective response in enforcing preventative health and safety measures, and introducing stimulus packages to help businesses cope with the impact of COVID-19. He added that government-led efforts to drive Dubai’s digital transformation in recent years, along with close cooperation between the public and private sectors, were crucial factors that helped ensure business continuity and maintain economic competitiveness. Dubai Chamber currently provides 50 e-services to the business community through its website and smart applications. The services include certificates of origin, membership, attestation, ATA Carnets, legal inquires, smart mediation, credit ratings and the CSR Label, among others. Earlier this year, the Chamber launched a new electronic attestation service and authentication of signatures on documents, which raised the percentage of the smart transformation of core services to 98 percent. www.cbnme.com
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Logistics News ME | october 2020 | 51
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