Wednesday, 7 December 2016

SOHAR releases major report on GCC logistics

SOHAR, Wednesday 7 December 2016

  • SOHAR launches third-party report on logistics by MEED Insight
  • Release at Transtec underscores significance of Saudi market
  • Report covers current state of industry and main growth drivers

As one of the keynote speakers at Transtec 2016 in Dammam this week, the leading Saudi Arabian logistics conference, Faisal Al Balushi from the commercial management team at SOHAR Port and Freezone launched the latest in a series of third-party reports on themes that are especially relevant for the Omani logistical hub. Prepared by MEED Insight, a Dubai-based market research company, the report covers the "GCC Logistics Industry 2017” and reviews the state of the industry around the region, the latest trends and drivers for growth, as well as business predictions for the coming years.

That SOHAR used Transtec 2016 to launch its latest report is significant. As the Port continues to grow and new hinterland connections from SOHAR are developing rapidly, Saudi Arabia is an important and growing market. A new highway is due to open soon that will directly connect SOHAR with Riyadh, completely avoiding the congested UAE-Saudi border crossing, and reducing the journey for trucks by 800 kilometres and up to four days. SOHAR sees this new link as a significant win-win scenario for both sides, giving Saudi logistics operators a direct link to the Omani hub and another excellent option for inbound and outbound cargoes to and from the Kingdom.

Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port and Freezone, said: "Oman is concentrating on the logistics and transportation sector through a consolidated and long-term logistics strategy. The plan is to improve soft infrastructure, support mechanisms and national institutions, to catapult the Sultanate into the top ten of the world’s most logistics-friendly economies by 2040. As one of the region’s prime logistical hubs, SOHAR will play a critical
role in those plans. We also envisage developing SOHAR Freezone as a hub for innovation in the logistics sector.”


However, the new MEED report is not uncritical. Although the GCC logistics sector as a whole is expected to grow at an average of 6.9% over the next five years, as GCC governments continue to invest heavily, the regional logistics business is still highly fragmented and the MEED research team sees significant room for improvements. This latest MEED report on logistics comes hot on the heels of a report on the Middle East food sector, released recently at Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai. Like its predecessors, the logistics industry report is sure to become a must-read document for anyone involved in the sector in the Middle East and will soon be available for free download at: soharportandfreezone.com
=