Abu Dhabi to become first Gulf port to host world's largest vessels
It has been made possible as a resu...
Abu Dhabi Ports is to become the first port in the Gulf to handle some of the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels.
It has been made possible as a result of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company outside oil and gas, signing long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to import raw materials through Khalifa Port.
With this agreement, Abu Dhabi Ports will be able to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships.
Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth.
The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18.0 metres basis zero tide.
EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.
The agreement was signed at EGA’s headquarters in Al Taweelah (KIZAD) by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports and Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA.
Captain Al Shamisi said: “Today’s announcement marks another milestone for Abu Dhabi’s maritime and trade industry, and demonstrates our commitment to ongoing innovation and expansion in response to market and customer demands.
“As vital trade, logistics and industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port and KIZAD play a vital role in the Emirate’s economic diversification strategy.
“Khalifa Port will be the first port in the region with capsize vessel handling capacity, and with EGA’s long term commitment, will give an important boost to trade and investment in KIZAD and more broadly in the region.”
The development at Khalifa Port is expected to lead to larger ships calling in to Abu Dhabi, creating new trade opportunities, supporting local industries and boosting the Emirate’s position as a global maritime trade hub.
EGA will use Capsize vessels to ship bauxite ore, the feedstock for alumina refineries, from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.
Currently, EGA is constructing UAE’s first alumina refinery next to its aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, located adjacent to Khalifa Port, ensuring streamlined logistics. Upon achieving full-production, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will process five million tonnes of bauxite per annum.
Bauxite ore from Guinea will be transported to Abu Dhabi via the global shipping firm K-Line. Earlier this year Mr. Kalban attended the naming ceremony for one of the vessels K-Line will use for this service. The vessel was named Cape Taweelah.
Capesize vessels are amongst the largest dry bulk cargo ships. They are named Capesize because they are too large to transit the Suez and Panama Canals and must round the southernmost point of mainland Africa (Cape Aughulus) to transit between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the southernmost point of mainland South America (Cape Horn) to transit between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.