Event Review: Leaders in Logistics 2013 conference

Highlights from yesterday's successful logistics event in Dubai.
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Logistics Middle East magazine’s annual Leaders in Logistics Conference was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai yesterday.

The event attracted more than 150 industry leaders and included key note speeches from Mahmood Al-Bastaki (chief executive officer, Dubai Trade); Mohsen Ahmad (VP Logistics District, DWC); David Dronfield (general manager, FAMCO); and John Lesniewski (commercial director, Etihad Rail).

Interactive panel discussions were also held throughout the day on topics such as: Embracing the technology revolution; Regional hubs: how to leverage them; GCC borders and the challenge to timely logistics; and the business case for investing in staff.
The biggest drawcard at the conference was Lesniewski, who revealed that freight trains ran for the first time in the UAE on Sunday.

He revealed that the firm had conducted its first test run this week. “I’m proud to announce that our first trains ran yesterday [Sunday],” said Lesniewski.

“We now have in the UAE, locomotives on tracks on the ground. And our team of consultants, planners, engineers, construction specialists, procurement specialists has accomplished all of this in little over 18 months. That is a miracle.

“It is really a miracle to build all this track in 18 months, so we are really proud of this day,” added Lesniewski.

The conference was chaired by Michael Stockdale, managing director of B2C Logistics.

“The annual Leaders in Logistics conference today saw the heavyweights of the logistics industry gather to discuss and debate the way forward for the region," said Stockdale. “This conference is the preeminent forum for senior leaders in the logistics industry to meet and discuss issues of leadership, strategy, vision and change.”

“I had a really good time today, every single person I met was really interesting to talk to. Great to catch-up with friends from the industry, but also plenty of new contacts were made,” said Katharina Albert, managing director of Kat Logics, who was part of the technology panel at the event.

“Congratulations to Oscar Wendel and his team for the great organisation, and thanks to Michael Stockdale for leading us through the programme with interesting panel questions,” she added.

While Mustapha Kawam, managing director, gulf states for Globe Express, who was part of the panel discussing regional hubs, added: “Today, with the regional logistics sector witnessing robust growth, there needs to be increasing emphasis on linking the regional hubs and ensuring that these hubs are optimally leveraged. Moreover, factors such as the steady growth of regional economies, the positive impact of projects such as the GCC rail expansion on the logistics sector and the growing adoption of technology are creating new opportunities for the region’s logistics sector."
 

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