Logistics Middle East 3PL Power List: 5 - 1

A ranking of the 25 most powerful 3PL executives operating in the Middle East.


RELATED ARTICLES: Logistics Middle East's Power 3PL 25 List 2014

Welcome to the sixth annual edition of Logistics Middle East’s 3PL Power List, featuring the region’s most influential executives from the field of third party logistics services.

Our report includes some of the industry’s most prominent decision makers who make up an elite community that steers the growth and evolution of logistics activities throughout the Middle East.

You’ll recognise many of the well-known personalities, comprising senior execs from regional heavyweights, such as Aramex and Agility, to international players like DHL and TNT, along with some new entrants.

As with any list, please bear in mind these rankings are based on information released into the public domain in the past year and are subjective. We accept that readers and people who are included in the rankings will have their own views on each position, and we sincerely hope this list in no way causes offence.

1. Nour Suliman
Chief Executive Officer
DHL Express Middle East & North Africa

2014 position: 01
2013 position: 01

Holding on to the top spot for the third consecutive year is the chief executive officer of DHL Express for the Middle East and North Africa region, Nour Suliman.

DHL employs almost 5,000 people across MENA, handling a portfolio exceeding 60,000 customers and processing more than 26 million shipments a year.

Suliman, who holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cairo University, oversees the management and strengthening of partner relationships in 19 markets. Having joined DHL Express more than 30 years ago, Suliman has held several positions, such as country manager at DHL Express Saudi Arabia and country manager at DHL International Bahrain.

This year, the region has seen considerable investment and successes from DHL. For the second year in a row, it scooped the number one spot in the ‘Top Companies to Work for in the UAE’ for 2015, compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute UAE. DHL released an important trend report in April on the Internet of Things (IoT) at the fifth annual DHL Global Technology Conference and over the past two years has invested at least $170 million in new facilities across Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to increase its capacities and capabilities.

In May, Suliman co-hosted the grand opening of DHL’s new $20 million logistics centre in Riyadh King Khalid International Airport, Saudi Arabia. This is the second of three facilities DHL has planned for the Kingdom as part of a $95 million overall investment – the next is due in Jeddah by the end of 2015.

Speaking about the Riyadh launch, Suliman said DHL’s plan is the be “right at the centre” of MENA’s logistics industry, which has strong growth projections for the next few years.

2. Hussein Hachem
Chief Executive Officer

2014 position: 02
2013 position: 02

A veteran of the industry possessing a quarter of a century of regional and international experience, Hussein Hachem is chief executive office of Dubai’s Aramex, one of the region’s biggest success stories and the first Arab company to list on NASDAQ in New York.

Hachem’s vast experience spans strategic planning and development in logistics and supply chain operations, chiefly in emerging markets. His career at Aramex began with re-establishing operations in Kuwait after the 1991 Gulf War. He then became general manager in Kuwait, Sri Lanka and the UAE before being promoted in 2005 to vice president of activities in the UAE and Oman, then to CEO for GCC countries. He served as CEO for the Middle East and Africa for six years, managing the largest revenue generation markets for Aramex and playing an instrumental role in the growth of operations globally. In 2012, Hachem took over as Aramex’s CEO when Fadi Ghandour, who founded the company, retired.

Under Hachem’s leadership, Aramex has significantly expanded its global footprint, with a number of franchise agreements, joint ventures and acquisitions across Africa, South East Asia and Australia in 2014. In May 2015, Aramex announced it had acquired 25% of WS One Investment’s shares. The company provides cross-border mailbox consolidation services with operations out of Ohio, in the US.

Earlier this year, Aramex announced a first quarter net profit of $23.6 million, representing a 10% increase on Q1 2014. Revenue was also up 9% compared with the first three months of 2014.

3. David J. Ross
Regional President
FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa

2014 position: 03
2013 position: 03

In February 2015, David Ross was promoted to regional president of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent & Africa (MEISA), from his previous role as senior vice president operations of the same region. He leads a team of more than 9,000 people.

His promotion followed the formation of MEISA as the newest independent region for FedEx Express – a decision in recognition of the many achievements under his leadership and a testament to opportunities in the region. 2014 was an exciting year for FedEx in MEISA with acquisitions of businesses across seven Southern African countries. Customers now have access to a wide portfolio of domestic and international express services, enhancing their speed-to-market and business flexibility across the continent and beyond.

FedEx continues to strengthen its portfolio of services across the region and introduced SenseAware in the UAE; the first country in the region to implement the near real-time solution for high-value and temperature-sensitive shipments. FedEx also launched new services that enhanced its value proposition, including FedEx Global Returns and FedEx International First.

Ross has championed the company philosophy ‘People-Service-Profit’, which is based on the belief of putting team members first, making FedEx one of the Top 15 Great Places to Work in the UAE for the fifth consecutive year. In the last 12 months, FedEx has also received accolades including Express Logistics Provider of the Year at the 2015 Supply Chain and Transport Awards, Best medium-sized Helpdesk at the Insights Middle East Call Center Awards for the second consecutive year, and named a UAE Superbrands for two years in a row.

4. Peter Richards
Group Managing Director

2014 position: 04
2013 position: 05

The group managing director of terminal operating and logistics company Gulftainer, Peter Richards, joined in 1987 and has held a number of positions over the past three decades, including general manager, operations superintendent and terminal manager.

As group MD, he has helped elevate Gulftainer from a local terminal operator to one of the leading operators in the Middle East, with terminals in the UAE, with terminals in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Brazil and the US, having launched its first US container terminal in June 2015 at Canaveral Container Terminal, Port Canaveral, Florida. It has plans to add a second terminal there in Q1 2016.

Gulftainer operates the highest number of terminals in the Middle East and is the only terminal operator in the region to provide access for shipping lines into the entire Middle East through the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf. This was achieved by acquiring a majority shareholding in GSCCO, enabling Gulftainer to operate the Northern Container Terminal on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, Jubail Commercial Port and Jubail Industrial Port on the east coast.

The company set a new record in April 2015 for handling the largest unloading and loading of a single vessel call, at its Khorfakkan Container Terminal, of 19,561 TEUs (the CMA CGM Jules Verne container ship) with the help of 11 cranes in only 54.5 hours.

Also in April, Gulftainer won Shipping Port of the Year at the 2015 Supply Chain & Transport Awards.

Richards has proven himself up to the task of attaining Gulftainer’s objective of handling 18 million TEUs and operating 35 terminals across five contintents by 2020.

5. Mustafa Syed
Vice Chairman
Almajdouie Logistics

2014 position: 06
2013 position: 06

Mustafa Syed started at Almajdouie Logistics as an accountant in 1976 and, while working his way up to CEO, has led the company on an impressive journey. Since becoming the boss, he has transformed the then fledgling Almajdouie – a member of Saudi Arabia’s Almajdouie Holdings – from a small transport firm into a regional leader in project logistics and supply chain management.

The veteran CEO, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Masters in Economics, has helped pioneer the concept of outsourced logistics in Saudi Arabia.

Syed holds a number of positions within the logistics industry, including chairman of Sinotrans Almajdouie Middle East; chairman of Maxx Logistics in Dubai; chairman & CEO of MPSC in Bahrain; managing director & CEO of MDR Logistics; chairman & CEO of Rabigh Petrochemical Logistics; chairman of Mega HeavyLift in Abu Dhabi; chairman of Almajdouie AlKazemi in Kuwait; board member of Star Marines Services; and board member of Almajdouie Holding Group.

Company achievements last year include moving ten heavy and oversize loads in Saudi Arabia, from Jubail Industrial Port to the Sadara Petrochemical Company in Jubail. The heaviest was 601 metric tonnes, the longest was 76 metres, the widest was 8.5 metres and the highest was 8.3 metres.

Click here to see numbers 6-10 in the ranking