Logistics industry overcoming pandemic challenges, on track for gradual recovery

Industry looks ahead for a promising future and aligns its strategies after the Covid-19 related disruptions

DUBAI — The UAE‘s logistics industry has emerged stronger during the pandemic and played a significant role in providing relief to businesses and common man in challenging times, say industry executives.

Referring to the latest annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, the leading experts said the pandemic brought new challenges but the industry proved its resilience and looking ahead for a promising future.

Sachin Gupta, general manager of Gulf Pinnacle Investments (GPI), the UAE subsidiary of Gulf Pinnacle Logistics, said the industry successfully handled supply chain disruptions during the pandemic through better planning and strategy.

“There were some serious concerns over supply chain disruptions initially, but the industry showed resilience by adopting extraordinary measures to handle the crisis. The government initiatives and support also played key role in this regard,” Gupta said.

Gulf Pinnacle Logistics is a logistics and transportation company. It is an ‘integrator’ of the highly fragmented mid sector market, encompassing four business models — freight-forwarding, warehousing, road transportation and courier and e-commerce services. 

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Sachin Gupta

UAE secures top rankings 

The UAE is No. 1 in GCC and No. 4 globally in the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index for 2021 as the country topped across business fundamentals, domestic and international logistics in the region.

The UAE secured top positions in all three individual sub-indices in the region and this reflects the UAE’s commitment to strengthening its business environment in the non-oil sectors and support to logistics industry in particular,” Gupta said.

He said the Gulf region offers the best and most stable business climate in the emerging markets.

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“The GCC in general and the UAE in particular has the potential to be logistics hubs because of their strategic locations and conducive government policies supporting the industry. We are positive about the industry outlook and will continue to explore business opportunities in the region,” Gupta said.

Gradual recovery on cards

Najeeb Kabeer, partner and managing director of Century Express Courier Services, said the logistics industry is experiencing an increase in demand for its services after the Covid-19 crisis.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the lifestyle and work environment and businesses has no exception to it. The industry reviewed its strategy and evolved a comprehensive plan to cover up initial losses and gradually coming back on track,” Kabeer said.

Century Express Courier Services caters to the domestic and international markets through its own fleet and a network of agents delivering shipments to more than 195 countries. The company focuses on same-day and next-day express delivery services catering to the growing demand of priority shipments.

“We are confident to achieve pre-Covid levels soon as life is expected to be normal following quick rollout of vaccination plan by the UAE government. International markets are gradually returning to normal as travel restrictions are being eased and borders are openings for travellers,” Kabeer said.

Pandemic changes lifestyle, businesses 

Rodney Viegas, chief executive of Abdul Muhsen Shipping LLC and So Safe Logistics LLC, said the pandemic is changing the way businesses operate across the globe.

“The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in permanent changes to the way the businesses operate globally or regionally. We have quickly adopted to ‘New Normal’ and adjusted our strategies in line with the market demand and requirements,” Viegas said.

Abdul Muhsen Shipping LLC was established in 1991 to provide shipping and warehousing services, focusing on import and export services mainly by sea through the Jebel Ali Port. The company has its head office in Dubai and the warehousing facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone. 

“The maritime industry played an anchor role to minimise the impact of supply chain disruptions and it will continue to play a lead role in coming years,” Viegas said.

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