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Logistics & Supply Chain

Unique and innovative logistics solutions introduced at Jeddah Islamic Port

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Unique and innovative logistics solutions introduced at Jeddah Islamic Port. Image: LogiPoint
Unique and innovative logistics solutions introduced at Jeddah Islamic Port. Image: LogiPoint
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Located along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, serving as a gateway to the Middle East’s largest economy, and acting as the cultural and commercial meeting point for three continents for centuries – Jeddah Islamic Port has always played an integral part in the world of commerce and trade.

With vision 2030, shipping and logistics have taken center-stage in the Kingdom’s plans, and the race is on to transform the Kingdom’s ports and airports into leading international logistics hubs, which help boost economic activity and leverage the Kingdom’s inherent strengths. There is a spirited drive to embrace change and a renewed focus at the highest levels in the Kingdom to carve out a name for innovation, business-friendliness and customer-centered solutions.

These developments dovetail perfectly with the vision and the plans of the Kingdom’s first and the largest Bonded and Re-Export Zone, LogiPoint – a one million square kilometer logistics zone located within the Jeddah Islamic Port which acts as a transformative platform for the Logistics industry.

LogiPoint is dedicated to enabling logistics in the region and to going OneStepFurther in designing unique and innovative solutions for the logistics industry. They work extensively with their clients to not only understand the needs and requirements today, but also to identify opportunities for innovative new solutions by anticipating the needs of the future. Embracing change, even leading change is part of the LogiPoint’s DNA. Some of the Logistics Solutions rolled out over the last couple of years are as follows:

Export Distribution Hub: Petrochemicals is the Kingdom’s single largest export, with hundreds of thousands of containers exported annually to destinations all across the world. LogiPoint worked tirelessly with the Petrochemical majors Saudi Aramco and SABIC, and with other high-volume exporters to re-engineer the entire export process and to bring the clients closer to their markets by reducing the lead time between order and delivery. In this high-volume, high-stakes industry, this efficiency in logistics translates to vital competitive edge for KSA exporters in the international market.

Cross-border Gulf: Shipments originating in Europe and the Americas, and passing through the Red Sea, typically have a transit time of 8-12 days ahead of them to reach the GCC ports in the Arabian Gulf. LogiPoint introduced the Cross-border Gulf service under which shipments can be discharged in Jeddah and moved to ports and final destinations in the GCC countries via bonded trucking. This helps reduce the transit times by 7-10 days and translates to greater efficiency, increased shelf life, as well as higher revenues and profitability for the clients.

Sea/Air and Air/Sea: LogiPoint have been working extensively with the industry stakeholders and the regulatory bodies to design and streamline multimodal movement of shipments seamlessly. Thanks to the initiatives taken by LogiPoint, it is now possible in KSA to import one leg of a shipment by sea, move it under bond to the desired airport, and load it out by air freight to its final destination. Similarly, air-freight imports can be moved to the LogiPoint bonded and re-export zone for consolidation before being shipped out by Sea. This is an important development in putting the KSA on the world logistics map as a strategically located multimodal logistics hub.

Bonded Express Facility: Lightning fast e-commerce relies extensively on efficient, error-free and high-speed logistics for survival and success. LogiPoint introduced the Bonded Express Facility to cater to e-commerce segment. This facility is dedicated to the clearance and fulfillment of express and e-commerce shipments and is the first of its kind at a Saudi Port. Through policies, processes and an infrastructure built with e-commerce needs in mind, the facility handles and facilitates inbound and outbound express shipments by sea, air and land, thus enabling the e-retailers and online platforms looking to penetrate and serve their target markets in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. These initiatives have led to signing of groundbreaking contracts with global and regional e-commerce industry leaders.

Value Added Services: Over the years, LogiPoint have been offering a wide array of Value-Added Services (VAS). These include short-term storage, packing, co-packing, labeling, bundling and distributing goods, duty deferment (important especially when VAT has become such an important part of costing for a supply chain), and clearance and delivery support. There is also the Reefer Village, which boasts a Reefer Container Yard with 240 plug-in points, Reefer cross-stuffing stations, and an ever-expanding fleet of trucks and gensets.

With an eye to the future, LogiPoint have invested into becoming operators of Logistics Parks and Zones in the Kingdom and beyond. Logistics Park, Modon in Jeddah Industrial City 1 and the Logistics Park, South Jeddah in Khomrah are two examples of such investments, which will help create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. There are exciting new projects in the pipeline, which will see LogiPoint expand their footprint across the Kingdom through strategically located new Logistics Parks and Economic Zones.

In addition to strengthening the Logistics sector in Saudi Arabia, LogiPoint are working diligently to develop Jeddah and the Kingdom into the region’s foremost multimodal logistics hub serving the global trade. In terms of life cycle, LogiPoint are only at the beginning of their journey, and are very well-poised today to play an ever-greater role in nation building and development.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DHL Express global network expects 50% increase in volumes 

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DHL Express global network expects 50% increase in volumes. Image: DHL
DHL Express global network expects 50% increase in volumes. Image: DHL
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DHL Express, the world’s leading express service provider, expects unprecedented online shopping and shipping volumes during the upcoming peak season of 2020. With continued globalization and the Covid-19 pandemic driving consumers to shop online like never before, especially during upcoming mega shopping days such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Singles Day’, DHL Express is expecting an all-time high in e-commerce trade around the globe. Having already experienced around 35% e-commerce shipment volume growth in 2020, the upcoming peak season will further accelerate this and result in more than 50% higher shipment quantities compared to last year’s peak season.

“Over the years, we have seen consumers and even businesses shift their purchases online, but the pandemic has truly pushed the trend to leapfrog a few years ahead,” said Ken Lee, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific. “At DHL Express, it is our mission to enable global trade and support our customers during the most important days of their business. The upcoming peak season will be challenging to the logistics industry, but we stand ready to make sure that our customers’ shipments are delivered as fast and as safely as possible. We are proud of the steadfast commitment of our employees and couriers who are out there to fulfil our mission of connecting people and improving their lives.”

DHL Express has taken numerous precautionary measures for over 100,000 employees operating in more than 220 countries and territories, such as providing face masks and disinfectants, and implementing social distancing and remote working where suitable. The company has also developed safe delivery procedures including removing the need for customers to sign for their shipments. These steps taken helped to secure business continuity for DHL, our customers and global trade.

DHL Express is prepared for significantly higher volumes and an earlier peak season start

It comes as no surprise that e-commerce numbers are rising given its growth trajectory in past years. However, the volume of shipments have grown tremendously higher than expected due to Covid-19. Numbers from the most important shopping occasions from earlier this year have already shown an increase in online e-commerce shipment volumes by at least 35%.

Facing such increasing volumes and Covid-19 spreading around the globe in parallel, the challenges for logistics providers are tremendous. In addition to the consistent observation of the situation and flexible management of precautionary measures to keep employees safe, the unprecedented peak of shipments poses an additional challenge for logistics. To be prepared, DHL Express has hired more than 10,000 new employees globally. Thanks to its annual investments in infrastructure such as hubs and gateways, aircraft, vehicles and state-of-the-art technology, the company was able to multiply the capacity of its operations significantly and therefore manage the upcoming volumes.

“In Asia Pacific, we are expecting this year’s peak season shipment volumes to be 30-40% larger than last year. While these are extraordinary numbers, our state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated aircraft fleet, and insanely customer centric employees are fully prepared to meet our customers’ requirements. DHL Express invests approximately EUR 1 billion annually to improve its infrastructure, network and people, so that we are prepared for these kinds of situations and to ensure that global trade continues even in the most challenging periods,” said Sean Wall, Executive Vice President, Network Operations & Aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific.

To manage the demands of e-commerce shipping and also of highly important personal protective equipment and medical goods, a large number of additional cargo flights is necessary, as most commercial passenger aircraft are still on the ground. To counter this, DHL Express has increased the number of its daily flights significantly. This year alone, the company has already commissioned four new wide body aircraft of the model B777 F in its operations, and two more units are expected in the next month. These six additional aircraft enable the company to carry out more than 3,000 additional intercontinental flights per year.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Covaxx and Maersk partners to distribute global Covid-19 vaccines

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Covaxx and Maersk partners to distribute global Covid-19 vaccines. Image: Unsplash
Covaxx and Maersk partners to distribute global Covid-19 vaccines. Image: Unsplash
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COVAXX, a U.S. company developing a multitope synthetic peptide-based vaccine to fight COVID-19, announced a global logistics partnership with Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping and integrated logistics providers. The agreement lays out a framework for all transportation and supply chain services that will be needed to deliver COVAXX’s vaccine candidate UB-612 around the world, once approved by regulatory authorities. Financial terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

COVAXX is developing UB-612 using a high precision, synthetic peptide platform to activate both B-cell and T-cell arms. The investigational vaccine is designed to mimic natural biology and preclinical studies have shown high immunogenicity and levels of neutralizing titers against SARS-CoV-2. The technology platform has been successful in commercializing blood diagnostics as well as safe and effective vaccines for infectious disease in animal health and has been tested in numerous clinical trials for other indications to date.

COVAXX is currently conducting Phase 1 clinical trials of UB-612 in Taiwan and has an agreement with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to conduct Phase 2 trials in the United States, upon regulatory approval. The company has advanced pre-commitments for over 100 million doses of UB-612 around the globe. In September, COVAXX announced an agreement with Dasa, the largest diagnostic medical company in Brazil to conduct a large-scale human efficacy clinical trial in Brazil.

The mission of COVAXX is to defeat COVID-19 and ultimately democratize health worldwide. Maersk will help fulfill this mission by overseeing all logistics activities to ensure efficient transportation to developing countries. The agreement provides for end-to-end supply chain management, packing and shipping, via air or ocean, ground transportation, warehouse storage and distribution to facilities to support COVAXX’s requirements for a pharmaceutical grade, temperature-controlled supply chain. COVAXX is planning to manufacture 100 million doses of UB-612 during early 2021, and a billion doses by the end of 2021. The design of the vaccine components will allow for the use of existing cold-chain storage and distribution channels, as the COVAXX vaccine does not require additional infrastructure such as -80⁰C freezers or liquid nitrogen tanks to store materials at extreme temperatures. “The COVAXX vaccine is unique in that it can be stored in the fridge you have at home, moved in the same trucks that deliver groceries and administered anywhere you can get a flu shot.” – Lou Reese Co-Chief Executive Officer of COVAXX.

“Our team, which now proudly includes Maersk, is committed to addressing the needs of countries where the greatest unmet needs exist today,” said Mei Mei Hu, co-Chief Executive Officer of COVAXX. “To do what is in the best interests of society at this time of the global health crisis, we are aligning with the strongest leaders in their respective industries to meet the large-scale demand and compliance requirements that we expect. It is not enough to focus on vaccine development and approvals. We must work in parallel to establish the infrastructure and partners with the strongest capabilities, like Maersk, to safely deliver our vaccine around the world.”

“Efficient and safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world is the most urgent logistics challenge we face today. A. P. Moller – Maersk is committed to working closely with COVAXX to ensure smooth end-to-end global delivery of this vaccine as soon as it becomes available,” said Rob Townley, Head of Special Project Logistics at Maersk.

“Our specialized logistics expertise and the global infrastructure of Maersk make this a perfect match.”

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Air Freight

Emirates SkyCargo DWC cargo terminal re-opens as vaccine hub

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Emirates SkyCargo DWC cargo terminal re-opens as vaccine hub. Image: Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates SkyCargo DWC cargo terminal re-opens as vaccine hub. Image: Emirates SkyCargo
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Emirates SkyCargo is stepping up its readiness to handle the logistical complexities of distributing a potential COVID-19 vaccine globally by creating the world’s first dedicated airside cargo hub for the vaccine in Dubai. The air cargo carrier is taking a global leadership position by announcing that it will be re-opening its Emirates SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal in Dubai South to serve as a dedicated anchor hub for cold chain storage and distribution of the vaccine.

The freight division of Emirates has also set up a dedicated rapid response team to coordinate requests from the various partners involved in the international vaccine distribution ecosystem and to streamline the carrier’s response to vaccine transportation requests.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive said: “Dubai is well positioned to serve as a gateway and distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world. We have the infrastructure and logistics connections, and a geographic location that puts markets representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population within an 8-hour flying radius. Over the years, through our continuous investment in capabilities and processes for the transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, Emirates SkyCargo has managed to position Dubai amongst major global pharmaceutical customers as the year-round preferred point of transit for their valuable cargo. Setting up a dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccines is a keystone project harnessing our network, reach and competencies to positively impact the lives of people around the world.”

World’s first dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccine

Emirates SkyCargo’s vaccine hub in Dubai South will be the largest dedicated airside facility in the world for COVID-19 vaccines. The Dubai hub will allow the air cargo carrier to fly in vaccines from manufacturing sites globally, store and prepare shipments for regional and global distribution.

Emirates SkyCentral DWC has over 4,000 square metres of temperature controlled GDP certified dedicated pharma storage area allowing for large scale storage and distribution of the potential COVID-19 vaccines. Overall, it is estimated that the facility can hold around 10 million vials of vaccine at a 2-8 degrees Celsius temperature range at any one point of time.

The state of the art infrastructure at Emirates SkyCentral DWC is also complemented by one of the world’s largest fleet of Cool Dollys helping protect temperature sensitive cargo during transit between the aircraft and cargo terminal. Additionally, the availability of a large number of temperature controlled trucking docks and the proximity of the terminal to the aircraft parking gates will ensure rapid and efficient clearance of cargo for further distribution.

In addition to cold storage, Emirates SkyCargo will also offer dedicated zones for value-added services such as re-icing and repackaging of vaccines for global distribution for its customers.

The extensive size of the facility, which can potentially handle millions of vaccine doses, along with the creation of a dedicated team to handle and execute requests will allow Emirates SkyCargo to be able to effectively handle the large volume of time critical requests for cross-border vaccine movement that will follow the successful introduction of a vaccine.

Through a combination of scheduled and charter flights, the cargo carrier will then be able to fly the vaccines to markets where they will be most needed.

Emirates’ pharma transportation capabilities

Emirates SkyCargo is harnessing decades of experience gained from transporting temperature controlled pharmaceutical products and vaccines for global manufacturers to develop innovative solutions that will meet the challenge of distributing a potential COVID-19 vaccine globally within a short timeframe.

Since 2016, the air cargo carrier has invested substantially in its capabilities for the transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals. This included the introduction of a specialised product – Emirates Pharma – and the development of dedicated GDP certified ‘fit for purpose’ infrastructure pharma both at Dubai as well as at major origin and destination points under its pharma corridors programme that currently covers more than 30 cities. Emirates SkyCargo has moved more than a quarter million tonnes of pharmaceutical cargo in the last four years.

With its fleet of modern and efficient all wide-body aircraft and a network that currently spans more than 130 destinations across six continents, combined with the strategic geographic location of its Dubai hub, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to rapidly move vaccine shipments from manufacturing sites to the vaccine hub and then onwards to the rest of the world on a combination of scheduled and passenger flights.

Over the last few months, however, Emirates SkyCargo has worked on restoring its worldwide network and cargo connectivity with flight services restored to 75 destinations by May, 100 by July and nearly 135 destinations by early October. Emirates SkyCargo’s network covers all major pharmaceutical clusters and manufacturing locations, facilitating the eventual transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine once manufacturing commences.

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