May. 7, 2020

Bassel El Dabbagh

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Bassel El Dabbagh

CEO, Agility

With investments in state-of-the-art facilities and disruptive technologies, Agility is all set to target underserved market segments and revolutionize the logistics industry.


Bassel El Dabbagh is a transport and logistics professional with over 16 years of experience spanning different functions and sectors. He has working experience in several countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Americas. He joined Agility in 2005 and has played a key role in driving the growth of the company globally. He assumed several roles covering corporate development, commercial, and general management. Since July 2013, he has led Agility Abu Dhabi as its CEO. He has an MBA from INSEAD and a bachelor's degree in computer and communications engineering, from the American University of Beirut.

How does Agility's current spectrum of services aim to meet Abu Dhabi's logistics sector's needs?
Agility is a provider of global end-to-end supply chain solutions. We cover almost the full spectrum of logistics services in transport across all modes, including air, sea, land, and intermodal by rail in addition to customs clearance services. We provide different types of storage, including air conditioned and chilled. We also move and store overweight and oversized cargo. In addition to this, we offer offshore marine services for the oil and gas sector. In 2019, we invested in a new 21,000-sqm warehouse facility and a new fleet of trucks. Unlike Agility, many providers are solely overland transport providers, freight forwarders, warehousing, or marine services providers.

What have been some of your recent milestones?
We have been investing consistently in Abu Dhabi, the GCC, and Africa. Agility's investment strategy has always been focused on emerging markets. There is little or no capital expenditure in Europe or the US, for example. We have been committed to Abu Dhabi regardless of economic cycles. Even though there was a downturn in recent times, we took the opportunity to invest. If you are committed to a market, you can reap the benefits during the downside, as opposed to short-term players who reduce their presence and focus elsewhere during a decline. We invested in a 21,000-sqm warehouse. It is operating at almost full capacity already. Another strategic investment we made recently was to take a plot of land in the Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD). This is for goods that re- quire some work, assembly, or storage. In addition to this, we have invested in our trucks. We now have double trailer operations. We installed heads that can pull two trailers, and adapted the trailers for double-trailer movement. This increases efficiency, lowers costs, and reduces the environmental impact. We also have an initiative that measures our carbon footprint.

What are some solutions that logistics providers are using to optimize costs and promote efficiency?
The double trailer movement is a prime example of how we are promoting efficiency. We are also adjusting our warehousing to optimize space. For most facilities in Abu Dhabi, the maximum height is generally between seven to 10 meters. Our ceilings are higher, allowing for great- er storage capacity in less area. The warehouse is designed in a way where we use every centimeter efficiently. Overall, this allows us to pass on cost savings to our customers.

What are some innovative ways in which you are helping SMEs with their logistics needs?
Recently, we invested in, a digital online platform that moves air and sea freight. Its is a user-friendly platform that targets SMEs. The majority of SMEs do not have an in-house logistics department, or even enough proper logistics know how.