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The good outweighs the bad

On the whole, it's been a positive month for the Middle East logistics industry.
COMMENT, Supply Chain

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On the whole, it’s been a positive month for the Middle East logistics industry. Although we’ve faced a couple of recent blows, mainly in the form of redundancies at Gulf Agency Company (GAC) and DP World, there’s still plenty of good news that is worth celebrating too, as you’ll discover in this issue of Logistics Middle East.

For starters, the global recession has not deterred a number of our biggest players from expanding their operations throughout the region. SSI Schaefer, for example, has led the pack this month by announcing plans to open its first office in Abu Dhabi by the end of the year, together with grand ambitions to kick-start its Saudi Arabia operations.

It’s actually become commonplace to receive information about expansions in Saudi Arabia’s logistics industry at the moment, with billions of dollars being invested by both the private and public sectors.

Looking at groundbreaking projects such as  Prince Abdul Aziz bin Mousaed Economic City in the northern city of Hail and King Abdullah Economic City in the western coast of Rabigh, it’s easy to understand why this accelerated growth is continuing unabated in the Kingdom.

There are challenges ahead though, as we’ve uncovered in this month’s country profile on Saudi Arabia. The first KSA Supply Chain Intelligence Report, which surveyed a number of CEOs, managing directors and logistics managers, found that whilst the importance of supply chain efficiencies was being recognised on a grander scale, a significant number of companies have adopted ‘Do-It-Yourself’ logistics operations with little success. This is something that needs to be addressed on a domestic level before the Kingdom’s true potential can be realised.

Until then, we’re expecting another solid round of nominations from Saudi Arabian companies at this year’s Supply Chain and Transport Awards (SCATA). During last year’s ceremony, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA) took home the trophy for Shipping Company of the Year; let’s hope the Kingdom will build on that success in 2009 too.

The deadline for nominations is Sunday 10th May, so wherever you operate in the Middle East’s logistics industry, we look forward to receiving your applications in the coming weeks. We’ve also finalised a venue for the big night – The Westin hotel in Dubai. To keep yourself updated on the SCATAs, don’t forget to visit https://www.logisticsmiddleeast.com/scata

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