QUICK & EASY

Dubai 2016 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to David Ross, President MEIA of FedEx Express, on innovations in healthcare shipping, partnering with the public sector, and the growing logistics sector.

David Ross
BIOGRAPHY
David Ross has been Regional President of FedEx Express, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and Africa since 2015. Based in Dubai, Ross manages over 9,000 team members and is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of FedEx Express in the MEISA region. He began his career with FedEx Express in Sydney in 1992. He has taken on many roles in the organization, including Managing Director for Hong Kong and Macau, Vice President of the North Pacific region, and Vice President of integration and domestic operations in India.

How is FedEx coping with the increasing demand from the health sector for your services?

The Middle East's healthcare industry is growing in tandem with an expanding population. Our customers from this industry need the reassurance that their sensitive shipments will be delivered reliably and safely. We launched two new healthcare solutions from our temperature-controlled packaging at the Arab Health 2016 Exhibition in 2016. FedEx Cold Shipping Solutions includes cold shipping packaging for goods requiring a refrigerated environment and can maintain a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to 96 hours. This packaging is designed to be easy to use, reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly for healthcare industry use. FedEx Deep Frozen Shipping Solutions use liquid nitrogen dry vapor technology to maintain a temperature of minus 150 degrees Celsius for up to 10 days. These solutions remove the need for hazardous materials certification and eliminate dry ice packaging. FedEx Deep Frozen Shipping solutions also offer reduced environmental impact.

What is the importance of public-private sector collaborations today?

There is much to gain from collaboration between the public and private sectors. The private sector has a substantial amount of knowledge to share. Industry consultation is an extremely important component in the development of infrastructure. There are several examples of the value a private sector company can bring to a project when called upon as a consultant. Dubai Customs Authority's Mirsal 2 is the perfect example. Indeed, FedEx worked closely with the Dubai Customs Authority to design and develop Mirsal 2, the first online clearance tool in the Middle East, and share its industry expertise. As a key global logistics industry player, we know the unique requirements of our customers, enabling us to make precise suggestions on what can be improved. Governments around the world understand and seize the need to develop infrastructure to increase efficiencies across numerous sectors. It has become increasingly common for government entities to seek advice from those who have the greatest sector expertise when initiating projects. This enables them to fully consider the specific nuances required in order to develop a particular project with optimum performances. FedEx believes there is great value to expanding consultation and collaborative efforts with governments on a diverse range of areas. By engaging with businesses in the development stage, governments can build stronger infrastructure that is highly beneficial and that benefits from a higher degree of sustainability.

What are your prospects for 2016?

FedEx is geared up to leverage opportunities that today's environment offers. For example, the rapid adoption of technology and the extensive reach of the internet are allowing more economies to participate in global trade. By providing improved air and ground transportation solutions, FedEx is facilitating this growth. It is anticipated that global trade will accelerate in the coming years. Much of that is driven by the rapid rise of the middle-class in emerging economies including the Middle East, Africa, and India. These economies are undoubtedly thriving because of their excellent connection to the world's economy. These economies are also growing at a faster pace than the world's average growth, making the MEISA region an integral part of the FedEx global growth initiative. For companies operating in the logistics sector in the UAE, both developments of infrastructure and consumers' purchasing behavior bring their own set of opportunities. For instance, consumers have increased awareness of new e-shopping platforms and are armed with multiple devices and payment methods to acquire unique products or cheaper deals that are not available in their own markets. Looking ahead, this sector will have to increase capacity and introduce innovative solutions in order to cater to a rapidly expanding and evolving market. With e-commerce growing at a rapid pace, SMEs are gaining access to global markets, which definitely changes the way they are doing business. FedEx will keep supporting and enabling this growth by connecting SMEs globally through our world-class network, competitive transit times and extensive range of international and domestic solutions.