New plan to transform Saudi Arabia’s logistics landscape welcomed

Aside from continuing the modernization of the Kingdom's railways, the network will be expanded from the present 5,330 km to 8,080 km. (AN file photo)
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Aside from continuing the modernization of the Kingdom's railways, the network will be expanded from the present 5,330 km to 8,080 km. (AN file photo)
Plans for maritime transport is to increase capacity to more than 40 million containers every year. (Shutterstock file photo))
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Plans for maritime transport is to increase capacity to more than 40 million containers every year. (Shutterstock file photo))
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Updated 01 July 2021

New plan to transform Saudi Arabia’s logistics landscape welcomed

New plan to transform Saudi Arabia’s logistics landscape welcomed
  • National Transport and Logistics Strategy aims to see the sector account for 10% of GDP by 2030

RIYADH: Experts in Saudi Arabia welcomed the launch of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday as a comprehensive program backed up by ambitious targets to deliver the Vision 2030 program.

“This strategy will strengthen human and technical capabilities in the transport and logistics sector in the Kingdom,” the crown prince said.

“It will enhance the connection with the global economy and enable our country to invest its geographical position, in the middle of three continents, in diversifying our economy by establishing an advanced logistics services industry, building high-quality systems of services, and applying competitive business models to enhance productivity and sustainability in the logistics sector.

“Transport and logistics are a major focus of the programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and a vital enabling factor for economic sectors toward sustainable development,” he added

As part of the strategy, the Ministry of Transport will be renamed the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services.

“It is not about changing names, but it is the development of clear, ambitious, and comprehensive targets against which performance can be measured,” said Fahad Althunayan, a member of the Institute of Management Accountants.

HIGHLIGHT

The new strategy will help to fuel business growth, expand investments, and increase the sector’s non-oil revenues to about $12 billion a year by 2030.

It sets a goal for the Kingdom to reach a capacity of more than 40 million containers annually.

Althunayan stressed that the current organizational structure of the Ministry of Transport focuses on roads, but the new ministry will have a wider remit and include the Kingdom’s entire logistics system, which will help the local industrial sector to reach its full potential.

One of the main objectives of the strategy, the crown prince noted, is to increase the contribution of the transport and logistics sector to the national gross domestic product from the current 6 percent to 10 percent. This will help to fuel business growth, expand investments, and increase the sector’s non-oil revenues to about SR45 billion ($12 billion) a year by 2030, the crown prince said.

Saleh Al-Jasser, the incoming minister of transport and logistics, said the strategy will help to enhance the Kingdom’s competitiveness on a regional and global level.




Incoming Saudi minister of transport and logistics Saleh Al-Jasser. (SPA)

The new strategy set several other ambitious targets. “The strategy aims to move Saudi Arabia into fifth place globally in terms of the number of transit passengers, increase the number of international destinations served by the country to more than 250, and launch a new national air carrier,” Talat Zaki Hafiz, an economist, and financial analyst, pointed out.

The plan seeks to improve the capabilities of the air cargo sector by doubling its capacity to more than 4.5 million tons. Regarding maritime transport, the crown prince has set a goal to reach a capacity of more than 40 million containers annually.

For the Kingdom’s railways, the plan aims to increase the network to 8,080 km of track, from 5,330 km at present. One of the most ambitious elements is a plan to build a land bridge spanning more than 1,300 km connecting the Kingdom’s ports on the coast of the Arabian Gulf with those on the Red Sea coast, transporting more than 3 million passengers and 50 million tons of freight per year.

Saleh Al-Nuzha, a member of the Energy and Economy Committee of the Shoura Council, said the delivery of goods is a vital part of any trading supply chain.

“It is known that one of the most important factors of success in any sector is the possibility and ease of delivering the product or service to the customer,” he said.

Al-Nuzhna also praised the plan to include a new airline, as this will enhance competition between different carriers.

One of the key components of any government strategy is having adequate manpower and skilled workers to implement it, something which Meshal Al-Muhayya, a consultant at the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants, said was already underway. “The employees in all of the Kingdom’s airports are qualified to handle all types of travelers, airport operations, and aviation matters in general,” he said.

Logistics and supply chain startup Trukkin, which was last month awarded $7 million from a group of Saudi investors, and which is planning to expand its presence in the Kingdom, welcomed the new strategy.

“This doesn’t come as a surprise to us because we have always believed in Saudi’s potential to become a regional and global champion in logistics,” said Janardan Dalmia, founder, and CEO of Trukkin.

 


Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

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Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

Saudi Energy Ministry to help SABIC develop renewable energy projects

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Ministry on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to help develop the company’s renewable energy projects. 

SABIC CEO Yousef Al-Benyan said the support from the Energy Ministry would enable the company achieve its net-zero emissions goal.

Al-Benyan said the chemical manufacturing company plans to increase its use of renewable energy to further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

All these measures are part of the Saudi Green Initiative. The Kingdom aims to reach net zero in carbon emissions by 2060.  

The main vehicle for the Saudi green initiative is the Circular Carbon Economy, a framework that mitigates carbon emissions but allows different countries to pursue their own economic strategies.


Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

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Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets decline 3.3% in October

CAIRO: Net foreign assets held by the Saudi Central Bank went down by a monthly rate of 3.3 percent to reach SR1.63 trillion ($433 billion) in October, according to newly released data by SAMA.

The central bank’s net foreign assets declined by 2 percent compared to last year’s October.

Commercial banks’ net foreign assets also decreased to SR47.9 billion in October down from SR59.8 billion in the previous month. 

The banks’ net foreign assets nearly halved in value compared to the same month a year ago.

SAMA’s total assets slipped by 2 percent to be valued at SR1.85 trillion in October. This was mainly driven by 11.8 percent decline in the central bank’s deposits with international banks.


OPEC+ likely to be cautious on oil demand at upcoming meeting, Vitol says

OPEC+ likely to be cautious on oil demand at upcoming meeting, Vitol says
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 6 min 33 sec ago

OPEC+ likely to be cautious on oil demand at upcoming meeting, Vitol says

OPEC+ likely to be cautious on oil demand at upcoming meeting, Vitol says
  • Opec+ is a group consisting of both Opec and some of the world's largest non-Opec oil exporting nations

RIYADH: The OPEC+ group is likely to take a cautious stance when deciding next week whether to go ahead with planned production increases following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant has emerged, Geneva-based oil trader Vitol Group said. 

The new variant, named Omicron, has rattled the oil market globally, pushing prices down to their biggest decline since April 2020. 

There are signs that demand may be weakening in some markets going into the winter months in Asia and Europe, said Mike Muller, the head of the Asia unit at Vitol, as reported by Bloomberg.

The new coronavirus variant will probably lead to more flight cancellations this week, he said.

Several countries have tightened travel restrictions against a number of African countries, following the discovery.

Opec+ is a group consisting of both Opec and some of the world's largest non-Opec oil exporting nations.

“OPEC+ have erred on the side of caution,” Muller said on a weekly webinar by Dubai consultancy Gulf Intelligence.

“Post facto they’ve proven to be right. It is likely they will take into account these fundamentals and the possibility of a demand hit over the winter months.”

OPEC and its partners, including Russia, will meet next week to discuss whether it will implement a planned production increase of 400,000 barrels per day.

 


Qatar’s wealth fund might acquire $7bn gas assets from UK’s National Grid: CNBC

Qatar’s wealth fund might acquire $7bn gas assets from UK’s National Grid: CNBC
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 28 November 2021

Qatar’s wealth fund might acquire $7bn gas assets from UK’s National Grid: CNBC

Qatar’s wealth fund might acquire $7bn gas assets from UK’s National Grid: CNBC
  • Goldman Sachs and Barclays are advising National Grid on the sale

RIYADH: Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),  the country’s sovereign wealth fund, may acquire assets of the UK’s National Grid, which operates electricity and natural gas transmission networks, CNBC Arabia reported, citing two unnamed sources.

QIA was part of a consortium of investors that acquired about 61 percent of the British company's gas pipeline assets five years ago.

Now the Qatari fund is competing with other global investment funds, including Macquarie and Equitix, to acquire the gas assets in an estimated $7 billion deal, the sources said. 

Goldman Sachs and Barclays are advising National Grid on the sale, the report added.

This comes amid a protracted energy crisis that has affected the UK and Europe significantly in recent months amid the disruption of global supply chains. 

The country earlier announced it reached an agreement with Qatar to secure its gas needs or 40 percent of the UK’s total energy mix. 

National Grid has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing in the form of its American depositary receipts on the New York Stock Exchange.


Amazon to open Abu Dhabi fulfilment centre by 2024, says govt media office

Amazon to open Abu Dhabi fulfilment centre by 2024, says govt media office
Updated 28 November 2021

Amazon to open Abu Dhabi fulfilment centre by 2024, says govt media office

Amazon to open Abu Dhabi fulfilment centre by 2024, says govt media office

 Amazon has partnered with Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to establish a fulfilment centre by 2024 to be built in accordance with the company's carbon-reduction strategies, the Abu Dhabi government's media office said on Sunday


The project will create thousands of jobs, boosting Abu Dhabi's logistics sector and retail ecosystem and will be in line with the UAE's ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the media office added.