SAILING ON

Lebanon 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

Radec Logistics sees potential for Lebanon to become a regional logistics hub and is investing in warehouse management systems to better serve its customers.

Magdi Ghossainy
BIOGRAPHY
Magdi Ghossainy is the Deputy General Manager of Radec Logistics, with over 24 years of experience in the shipping, logistics, and supply chain fields in some of the sector’s leading and highly reputable companies. Prior to Radec Logistics, he worked for Fattal Group as the Project Manager for Excel Logistics Distribution Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has several accreditations related to his field.

What is the history of Radec Logistics?

Radec Logistics is a member of a group of companies operating in Lebanon and Syria since 1959, whose core activities are in shipping, port agencies, forwarding, and logistics. Radec Logistics was established as a result of three different cycles encountered by the group. It first started in 1993 when our mother company, National Shipping Company, a leading shipping company in the Lebanese market, expanded activities to cover its customers' logistics demand. In 2004, the group's logistics activity became semi-independent, as we teamed up with different partners and bought a large industrial facility to convert it into a warehousing facility. This second cycle lasted until 2007, when we pulled out of the market as a result of a leasing agreement in favor of a major FMCG distributor. In 2009, Radec Logistics started gradually taking over group's logistics operations and strengthening its presence in the Lebanese market by opening a new warehouse in Port of Beirut Free Zone. Since then, we have positioned the company amongst the leaders in the field and grown from 8,000cbm of capacity in 2009 to 50,000 in 2019, offering integrated warehousing and distribution services and logistic solutions for some of the major companies in different sectors. We are presently operating three non-bounded warehouses in Beirut city in addition to one in Beirut Port Free Zone Logistics area and a fleet of trucks for distribution. As our history shows, we are a flexible company. Following market opportunities and trends, we consider any possibility that will benefit the business; we do not hesitate to restructure and open up to partnerships. Following our slogan “Your Cargo... Our Solutions," we easily adapt to our clients' needs to provide them with tailor-made solutions, which is one of our main strengths.

Where do you see opportunities for the growth of the logistics sector?

The logistics sector is heavily influenced by the adverse market conditions in Lebanon, which limit the volumes traded. The sector has not seen any significant growth in the last three years due to the country's economic instability. This does not mean that there has been no demand; however, from our perspective, before committing to significant investments, we need to ensure that clients can honor sustainable agreements. Given Lebanon's limited size, the growth of the logistic sector will come from its neighbors, where we see opportunities if regional stability is reinstated, and Syrian post-war reconstruction commences. The distance between Beirut and neighboring capital Damascus is shorter than between ports within Syria itself. Lebanon is ideally positioned as a natural gateway to different Syrian and Iraqi cities and a strong candidate to act as a logistic hub for the Levant. However, if Lebanon is to serve the region, it is essential that a sustainable national strategy be put in place, where the first step must be the development and improvement of the road network, the introduction of dry ports, and better rules and regulations. Poor infrastructure currently costs the logistics sector in terms of time and money.

How are you investing in IT and software?

Investing in IT can contribute to the strength of any logistics company. It is a substantial investment that you recover in deferent ways, yet can ensure higher quality and accuracy of the services the company is offering to its customers. IT was one of the largest investments we made upon startup, whereby we had our own in-house IT development team that helped with the success and rapid growth achieved. When Radec restarted logistics activities in 2009, our first decision was to develop a more international approach by implementing a modern warehouse management system.