The Business Year

Robert Sutton CEO of Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group

UAE - Transport

Robert Sutton

CEO of Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group


Robert Sutton is the CEO of the Logistics Cluster at AD Ports Group with the responsibility of developing and implementing the group’s logistics strategy, working with customers and partners to meet their business requirement, and creating value-driven relationships. As a results-driven and customer-focused business leader, Sutton brings more than 20 years of experience across traditional, multi-modal, and digital supply chains spanning the MENA region, Asia. and Europe. His experience includes serving as Vice President and Global Sector Head at DHL.

"Technology has matured to the point that pursuing green initiatives also helps us improve our bottom line and better serve our customers."
The priority of AD Ports Group is to improve its business operations and the sustainability of the organization to ensure its success into the future.
In what ways is AD Ports Group leveraging on the process by which the UAE and its business community intends to reach carbon neutrality by 2050?

AD Ports Group is taking the lead in carbon neutrality, making it a strategic priority to improve both business operations and the sustainability of our organization. We are fully committed to leading and developing key port and logistics infrastructure to facilitate and control the supply of green hydrogen, while also supporting the UAE’s net zero by 2050 initiative. Recently, we signed an agreement to establish a green ammonia processing facility, which will have the capacity to produce 200,000 tons of carbon-free ammonia annually. This will be achieved through renewable energy delivered by an onsite 800MWp solar plant. On an international level, we are collaborating with several ports to tackle the logistical challenges associated with the transport of hydrogen products, adoption of sustainable innovations and best practices within the port environment, and are accelerating the development of smart port technologies. One such example of our recent effort is a cooperation agreement that AD Ports Group entered with ADNOC and HHLA, a logistics and transportation company based in Hamburg, to help facilitate the Hamburg’s efforts to transform itself into a hydrogen import hub in Germany. Our group is also proud to be part of the Port of Rotterdam and other European ports’ strategy to supply Europe with 4.6 megatons of hydrogen by 2030. From the Logistics Cluster’s perspective, we are in the early stages of pursuing two pilot projects involving drone technology both of which will enhance our efficiencies and reduce emissions. The first is a pilot project evaluating the feasibility of delivering smaller and specialized shipments of medical supplies using drones rather than conventional trucks and vans. In addition to reducing emissions, adding drones would enhance our final mile capacities in terms of speed and cost efficiencies. In addition, we are also piloting the use of drones in the area of warehouse inventory control, which if successful, can significantly improve the efficiency of our inventory management systems and minimize any accuracy or safety-related risks associated with physical counting. Furthermore, our team is also taking a number of significant steps that will greatly reduce our carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of our advanced transport fleet, operated by MICCO Logistics. All in all, we regard the reduction in carbon emissions and continuous improvement of our service quality going hand in hand. Technology has matured to the point that pursuing green initiatives also helps us improve our bottom line and better serve our customers.

AD Ports Group reported revenue growth of 14% YoY in 2021, driven by volume growth, business diversification, and new partnerships. What is the priority when it comes to reinvesting this profit and further growing the business?

As a group, we are looking to develop extensive trade corridors connecting the UAE with the Middle East, the subcontinent, Africa, and the world, in support of the UAE government’s strategy of economic diversification. From our Logistics Cluster’s perspective, AD Ports Group’s goal is to serve its customers along every segment of the supply chain. For example, the group’s acquisition of MICCO Logistics in 2020 expanded our portfolio into freight forwarding services, among others. The integration leveraged MICCO’s extensive capabilities, which include its large and diversified transportation fleet, and a network of temperature-controlled warehouses. Combining MICCO’s value offering to our group’s extensive multi cargo handling and industrial zone capacity, allows us to serve a multitude of industry sectors, including healthcare, pharma, oil and gas, polymers, FMCG, e-commerce and others, across the entire supply chain. Furthermore, the recent addition of Aramex into our suite of integrated end-to-end logistics services will pay significant dividends to our customers, particularly as we leverage Aramex’s word-class final mile capabilities to expand into the retail, FMCG and e-commerce sectors, which are of particular interest to us. The addition also positions us well for expansion into new markets where we see significant demand for high-quality supply chain services.



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