SHIPPING

Kuwait 2017 | TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | B2B

There are still opportunities for companies in the shipping and logistics sectors despite challenging times and stiff global competition.

Ali Jarouche
ALI JAROUCHE
President
Amiral Shipping Co.
Ossama Nazir
OSSAMA NAZIR
General Manager
Maersk Kuwait

How would you describe the range of your operations in Kuwait?

Ali Jarouche The logistics sector is vast and dimensionless, and there are always new ideas and methods for moving and handling cargo, and we are constantly developing and adapting. We began primarily as a sea freight firm, but have grown and evolved into other models and now offer other services in air freight, overland transport, and other logistics services like warehousing, storing, packing, crating, labeling, loading/unloading, distributing, and other related services. We offer an integrated service portfolio to our clients as a single package. We have extensive tracking capabilities through our international network of agents to ensure our operations are fast and effective. We begin tracking a shipment as soon as an order is placed, from the shipper and point of manufacture until the final delivery at consignee warehouse. We are providers and offer door-to-door services, multimodal transport, and full logistics solutions.

Ossama Nazir In Kuwait and the region, Maersk Line supplies ocean transport to exporters and importers. We serve the two main ports, Shuwaikh and Shuaiba. We have fixed weekly vessel calls and can provide customers with reliability in their supply chain. This allows importers and exporters to choose the port they wish, with heightened efficiency. Maersk Line has a global presence in 112 countries, which gives Kuwaiti customers the ability to import their cargo from all over the world as well as for the exports of Kuwait to the global market. That is one edge that we have and helps us continue to be as big and successful as we are. Our hub for Kuwait is in Jebel Ali, where Kuwait's exports are connected to the mother vessels and then to the rest of the world. Imports to Kuwait meanwhile connect to local feeders through the Jebel Ali hub, too. Our customers in Kuwait have access to the most modern vessels, the world's largest and most sophisticated container pools, which give them access to and from all major ports and trading spots in the world, bringing Kuwait's products to the world and allowing customers to bring cargo from the world to Kuwait.

What have been your primary markets and partners?

AJ Kuwait imports cargo from most producers around the world, and our main origins in order of size include: China, our largest market and the biggest volume of consumer items; Italy, because it ships a great deal of high-quality goods and is also involved in gas and oil pipelines; Spain, due to the volume of building materials, food items, and consumer goods; Northern Europe, for agricultural equipment, food items, and cars; and the US for cars, oil industry infrastructure, equipment, and pipelines. The transport of oil as a commodity is handled solely by the Kuwaiti government company. We are pioneers in the logistics sector as we have agents all over the world and they are integral to our operations, covering all the main cities, international ports, and airports. Due to the market situation, competition has become stiff, and in addition to many local competitors, we also see competition from many multinational companies. We often work with other shipping firms as partners in our logistics operations such as Maersk, MSC, CMA, United Arab Shipping Co., Kuwait Airways, Cargo Lux, Gulf Air, Emirates, and others, with which we handle cargo projects jointly, give them our traffic, and cooperate with them closely.

ON In Kuwait, we have relationships with all the well-established businesses that import and export out of the country. It is not about naming them because even the biggest companies do not deal with just one shipping line; all the big firms work with us. In general, our customer base seeks high service levels and reliability. We also have a wide range of customers comprising medium, small, and microenterprises. We have certain customers that just ship one container per year. We have different solutions and, in 2017, we will go over a new customer segmentation. We are able to provide sophisticated services for customers and individualized solutions for them. For the small customers, we have online services and phone apps that allow them to book containers from A to B as well. We seek to make it as easy as booking a flight, though it is not that easy in shipping because we need documentation for ports and customs. However, even the smallest customers are able to reap the benefits of our services in a big way. Customers do not have to be big to get the service that is expected from our company. We look forward to automated systems coming to life in GCC ports so that our customers can benefit from the digitalization of transport infrastructure.