CEO & Managing Director, Public Warehousing Company
We started off in 2002 with plots of 10,000sqm, and when we expanded to 20,000sqm, we adapted to speed up our operations. Our latest project measures 500,000sqm, and we work with Dammam Airport Company and its owner General Authority of Civil Aviation. We signed a three-year deal with them and view this as our new standard: building logistic zones and hubs with all kind of facilities. With e-commerce taking off, logistics zones will be the future. Already, the Saudi Post facilities have moved away from the city centers of Riyadh and Dammam to their respective airports. This is great for us because we have a large location in the airport and we can service companies such as Amazon, Noon, and Souq.com from there. Currently, in Saudi Arabia, e-commerce represents 15% of business and is expected to reach 32% by 2020, worth more than USD22 billion. This is great for us because companies will not need shops, but rather advanced warehouses. Our current project with Dammam Airport will take two to three years. Location is important for warehousing. In Jeddah, we have been looking at King Abdullah Economic City; however, our next project will be larger, with a similar vision in Jeddah. We have a large footprint and are thus able to work in different sectors. It will be interesting for us to execute our projects and weather the challenges. We have a great reading of the economy in warehousing and believe the outlook is positive.
Managing Director, Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO)
GSCCO was created in 1985 to provide Saudi Arabia with first-class port operations, and over the years, the company has grown significantly, becoming part of the Gulftainer Group in 2013. One of our major achievements has been reaching a total throughput milestone of 20 million TEUs at Northern Container Terminal (NCT), and this figure is projected to pass 25 million by YE-2018. Gulftainer is the largest port operator in the region and has a long tradition of working with port authorities in the UAE, Iraq, and Kuwait; expanding into Saudi Arabia was, therefore, a logical step. Jeddah and Jubail’s geographical position, at the crossroads of the world’s largest trade route, is of enormous added value. Jeddah is by far the largest seaport in the Red Sea, with NCT occupying an area of 1,075,000sqm, capable of accommodating 75,000TEUs. We are extremely grateful to the government for its drive to modernize and automate. GSCCO has been asked to be part of the pilot for the Single Payment Window project, an initiative by the Port Authority in conjunction with eTabadul, the country’s e-government entity. In terms of future goals, GSCCO has two years left to run on its current concession. We are excited to have presented our plans to create deeper berths to accommodate larger vessels and increase capacity in terms of cranes, lifting equipment, and supporting equipment. This is in line with our desire to make Jeddah Port and Saudi Arabia a global hub. Therefore, 2018 will be a critical year for GSCCO.
CEO, Rayan M. Qutub
In 2017, King Abdullah Port saw an increase of 21% YoY in terms of container volume from 1.4 million TEUs to 1.69 million TEUs. We are in a fortunate position because the Saudi Arabian market is underserved. The total movement of containers was only around 14 million TEUs before we arrived, and more than 30% of that was sourced outside of Saudi Arabia due to a lack of reliable capacity. Now, the Kingdom is entering a new era through Vision 2030. The intention is to encourage more exports and drive more growth internally, along with the growing population. As the eighth fastest growing port in the world, we have momentum on our side. Our growth will not slow down; we are already at 50% growth YoY as of June 2018. The Red Sea is one of the world’s main arteries in global shipping, and traffic is growing rapidly especially with the exchange between East and West. Plans are underway to construct a new cargo train that connects King Abdullah Port to the rest of the country. We are extremely pleased with the initiatives that Saudi Customs is implementing, and together we have shortened average processing time from 14 days to only 4.5 days; our goal is to reach three days. The single-window approach is the global norm, and we have to offer a modern payment method to succeed. We want to shape the future; the overall direction of the country also supports digitalization, which will be the future of the competitive landscape.
SAUDI ARABIA - Real Estate & Construction
CEO, National Real Estate Registry Services Company (RER)