King Abdullah Port turns the tide to resolve global supply chain crisis

Special The Kingdom’s overall ports today handle around 20 percent of the region’s transshipment market, but authorities aim to raise this to 50 percent by 2030. (SPA/Supplied)
The Kingdom’s overall ports today handle around 20 percent of the region’s transshipment market, but authorities aim to raise this to 50 percent by 2030. (SPA/Supplied)
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Updated 02 August 2022

King Abdullah Port turns the tide to resolve global supply chain crisis

King Abdullah Port turns the tide to resolve global supply chain crisis
  • Our exceptional crane density helped us remain one of the most efficient ports: CEO
  • King Abdullah Port is only 15 minutes from the anchorage, allowing easy access to the berths. This, together with our exceptional crane density, helped us remain one of the most efficient ports with remarkable growth in volumes

JEDDAH: As global supply chain companies are finding ways to tackle the worst maritime congestions, the world’s most efficient port is emerging as a safe harbor to unclog the worldwide logistics pressures.

King Abdullah Port recently reached a milestone of handling 15 million twenty-foot-equivalent in a record time of under nine years since its container terminal operations began. The milestone follows a 31 percent rise in container throughput in 2021.

 

“We attribute these to our state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities built to global standards, as well as our highly efficient public-private partnership business model,” said Jay New, CEO of KAP, in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

FASTFACTS

• Established in 2010, KAP is the first privately owned and operated port in the Middle East and is the flagship project of Ports Development Co.

• PDC is a joint venture between Emaar Economic City and Huta Marine Works Ltd — two of the largest infrastructure developers in the Middle East.

• KAP topped the most efficient container ports among 443 ports in the world on the 2021’s Container Port Performance Index, according to a report.

Established in 2010, KAP is the first privately owned and operated port in the Middle East and is the flagship project of Ports Development Co.

PDC is a joint venture between Emaar Economic City and Huta Marine Works Ltd. — two of the largest infrastructure developers in the Middle East.

“PDC’s decision to introduce this concept did not come easy as it was challenging to convince stakeholders, many of whom were unfamiliar with this business model. The process of simultaneously developing and operating was equally demanding,” said New.

KAP topped the most efficient container ports among 443 ports in the world on the 2021’s Container Port Performance Index, according to a report published by The World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“King Abdullah Port is only 15 minutes from the anchorage, allowing easy and fast access to the berths. This, together with our exceptional crane density, helped us remain one of the fastest-growing and most efficient ports with remarkable growth in volumes,” said the CEO.

Surviving the pandemic

The port achieved the feat despite the COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll on maritime traffic in 2021, including global supply chain disruptions, high freight rates and inconsistent trade patterns.

“We at King Abdullah Port take great pride in the work we have done to revitalize the logistics sector and maritime trade throughout the global supply chain disruptions of the pandemic and post-pandemic periods,” said New.




CEO Jay New

The CEO attributed the success of these efforts to the enhanced operational readiness of the port’s stations and terminals, which were equipped during the pandemic to receive a wide variety of food, medication and medical equipment.

We at King Abdullah Port take great pride in the work we have done to revitalize the logistics sector and maritime trade throughout the global supply chain disruptions of the pandemic and post-pandemic periods.

Jay New, CEO of King Abdullah Port

In 2020, the port achieved an import growth rate of 16 percent, where pharmaceutical and medical supply imports increased by a whopping 72 percent.

“During this period, we devised and implemented innovative ways to keep working around the clock without disruption,” he added.

Partnership with Maersk

In June 2021, KAP partnered with Maersk, a global logistics and supply chain services provider, to launch the Maersk Integrated Logistics Hub inside the port.

The move aims to cover a critical logistical requirement of exporters who already have access to Maersk’s solutions, such as landside cargo movement, customs clearance, and ocean logistics, thus ensuring a truly integrated logistics offering.

The hub serves as a focal supply chain solution for the Kingdom’s petrochemical exporters, facilitating the storage of export cargo and enabling pallet handling, stuffing, and shuttling.

“The establishment of the hub is part of a major initiative aimed at increasing the performance efficiencies and competitiveness of Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector,” said the CEO.

Technological prowess

New believes that automation and digitization are increasingly critical for a thriving port industry.

“We believe the new investments must focus on harnessing new technologies’ potential to improve service offerings and efficiency. We have continued to develop our procedural and operational efficiencies through digital transformation,” New added.

The port’s personal communications service developed by IBM boasts a unified single window gateway, document conversion services, real-time visibility, alert notification, and advanced analytics, providing users with ready access to a range of important information on vessels and cargo.

Its Smart Gate System was integrated with the PCS to create a more efficient interface between gate operations and government authorities such as the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority and the Border Guard.

“This extensive automation has vastly improved operational efficiencies and turnaround times,” he said.

Global supply chain designs

The Kingdom’s overall ports handle today around 20 percent of the region’s transshipment market, but authorities aim to raise this to 50 percent by 2030.

With four new Special Economic Zones being set up in the Kingdom, the national ports benefit from the resulting surge in foreign direct investment, business activity and trade flows in logistics, manufacturing, financial services, technology, etc.

New believes that KAP is competitively positioned in the industry due to several factors, such as its location on the Red Sea on the main East-West trade route, which accounts for 13 percent of all global trade.

The port forms a part of the King Abdullah Economic City, which gives the port another strategic advantage.

“Our proximity to the Industrial Valley, part of KAEC allows companies to have a base near the port and gives them direct access to extensive external transportation facilities, including an ultramodern highway network and the new Haramain High-Speed Railway,” he said.

The city recently welcomed Lucid’s first electric vehicle plant outside the US, which will produce up to 150,000 electric vehicles annually.

KAP also offers access to the forthcoming Saudi Landbridge Project, which will directly connect Riyadh, Dammam and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The project will link the western and eastern parts of the Kingdom and could see costs spiral to around SR100 billion ($26 billion) once all factors are accounted for.

The contracts will be signed within a year, and the project implementation will take five to seven years, said the Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh Al-Jasser.

KAP launched a new international in-transit cargo service last May, supported by inland transportation between Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries, reducing the lead time from 13-16 days by sea to four to six days by land.

The move features a three-hour streamlined the process from the arrival of cargo at the port to its dispatch to the final destination, which will also reduce storage costs, according to a statement issued by KAP.

“With state-of-the-art processing facilities, one of the world’s deepest water berths and a fully-integrated personal communications service, KAP is well on its way to meeting its goal of becoming one of the top ports worldwide,” said New.


Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round
Updated 13 sec ago

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

RIYADH: Alteia, a European artificial intelligence and industrial software company, announced that it closed its latest funding round led by Wa’ed Ventures, Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm.

Alteia will utilize its funding to increase its presence in the Kingdom by opening an office in Dhahran to support companies in the region as well as invest in research and development.

“To have the world’s leading energy company invest in Alteia through its investment arm is a strong show of faith in our trajectory, and weighs in the value of contextualized, actionable visual data as the foundation to shape a more efficient, more sustainable industrial future,” Benjamin Benharrosh, co-founder of Alteia, said in a statement.


Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round
Updated 28 September 2022

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

RIYADH: Mazaya, an Egypt-based B2B e-commerce marketplace, raised $5 million in a pre-seed round, said a statement issued on Tuesday.

The funding round was led by financial investment firm Raya Trade and Distribution, it added.

The company will use the funds to boost its operation in Egypt as well as expand into new markets and other verticals.

“The funds raised will allow us to quickly scale our operations and expand to other markets beyond Egypt, we have plans to launch our services in Nigeria before this year-end,” Amir Aboul Fotouh, Mazaya co-founder, said.

The Mazaya App provides retailers and merchants of electronic goods and home appliances the ability to procure inventory for their stores from all major brands.

“The platform conveniently supports merchants, particularly small merchants who do not receive adequate services, with the ability to scale their business through a superior level of service and a wide range of electronic devices from all international and local brands at the click of a button,” Bassem Megahed, CEO of Raya Trade and Distribution, said in a statement.

The company also plans to offer financial services and support to their retailers by offering credit facilities and flexible payment options.


Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap
Updated 28 September 2022

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

MOSCOW: Russia plans to spend 3.19 trillion roubles ($54.62 billion) from its National Wealth Fund this year to cover its budget deficit, a draft budget published on the finance ministry’s website showed on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

In 2023, Russia intends to spend 1.95 trillion roubles on budget deficit financing from the NWF, a rainy-day fund made up of oil and gas revenues, and another 643.7 billion roubles in 2024.

The ministry intends to issue 2.5 trillion roubles worth of OFZ treasury bonds as it seeks to ramp up domestic borrowing in 2023, the document showed.

In 2024, the ministry plans to borrow 3.4 trillion roubles and another 3.4 trillion roubles in 2025.


MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 
Updated 28 September 2022

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

MENA Project Tracker — Petrofac contract extended; ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification document 

RIYADH: Iraq has approved a project to build a $50 million industrial city in tandem with its post-war reconstruction initiative, reported Zawya.  

Located in the center of the Najaf Governorate, the new city will stretch over 9.5 sq. km, and encompass many different industries such as petrochemicals, lubricants, glass and detergents.

“This project will provide 5,000 jobs to Iraqis and its cost could exceed $50 million…we have received cabinet approval and have already selected a contractor,” said Dirgham Kiko, chairman of the Najaf Investment Commission.

It is expected to be completed within two years.

Petrofac’s contract extended in the Haliba oil field

UK-based Petrofac will continue supporting operations at the Haliba oil field in Abu Dhabi for the next two years, according to an agreement with Al-Dhafra Petroleum — a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Group.

Al-Dhafra Petroleum originally selected Petrofac for this contract in September 2019, reported MEED.  

ASHGHAL requests pre-qualification documents

Qatar’s Public Works Authority has requested prequalification documents for four construction contracts that make up the South of Wakrah and New District of Doha pumping station and outfall scheme, reported MEED.

The contract has been tendered since mid-August, and bids will be closed by Oct. 23.


Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round
Updated 28 September 2022

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

Egypt property-tech startup Partment raises $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round

RIYADH: Egypt-based property technology startup Partment raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by venture capital firm Nclude.

The company will use its acquired funding to deploy its platform by offering a solution for home co-ownership in Egypt.

Founded in 2022, the platform allows users to explore different listings of homes and co-own properties with 40+ nights per year to use the property.

“Partment is a new concept in Egypt, and we believe it will change how people buy and use real estate in the local and international market,” Nadim Nagui, CEO at Partment, said in a statement.