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United Airlines Moves Cargo Around the World in Cargo and Passenger Planes


United Airlines Moves Cargo Around the World in Cargo and Passenger Planes

If you’ve been wondering who is filling commercial jetliners these days, we have the answer: some brave travelers and a whole lot of cargo.

United Airlines has played a vital role in helping keep the global supply chains stable during the COVID-19 pandemic by flying needed goods not only in its cargo planes but what are normally passenger planes as well.

In addition to current service from the U.S. to Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East, United has added cargo-only flights to Dublin, Paris, Rome, Santiago and Zurich.

“Air cargo continues to be more important than ever,” explains United Cargo President Jan Krems. “This network expansion helps our customers continue to facilitate trade and contribute to global economic development and recovery. I’m proud of our team for mobilizing our cargo-only flights program that enables the shipment of critical goods that will support global economies.”

Since United Airlines began the program on March 19, more than 2,400 cargo-only flights have transported more than 77 million pounds of cargo.

Meanwhile, despite a three-year-old blockade on air, land and sea travel imposed on Qatar by its neighbors Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, Qatar Airways claims its share of the passenger and air cargo market has grown significantly over the past three months.

“Qatar can be proud that it is home to not only the Best Airline in the World but also the current largest passenger airline, the largest cargo airline and the Third Best Airport in the World,” states a company release.

The Middle East countries cut diplomatic and trade ties with Doha and imposed the blockade on June, 5, 2017, because Qatar allegedly supported “terrorism” and was too close to Iran. Calling the blockade “illegal,” Qatar rejects the claims and says there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations.

Caesar Act

State and Treasury Departments Designate 39 Entities under “Caesar Act” Syria Sanctions

New U.S. sanctions on Syria took effect on June 17, 2020, as a result of the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” (“Caesar Act”) that was signed into law on December 20, 2019, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The Caesar Act is named after a Syrian photographer who documented abuses in the Assad regime’s prisons.

Pursuant to the Caesar Act and Executive Order 13894, the U.S. State and Treasury Departments announced 39 new additions to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) maintained by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). The Treasury and State Departments also promised that more SDN List designations will follow. The 39 designated entities include regime officials, members of the ruling Assad family, the Fourth Division of the Syrian Arab Army, and an Iran-sponsored militia. The new designations also include 20 private companies.

While most of the designated entities are holding companies based in Syria, several are based outside of Syria in Lebanon, Canada, and Austria. Although the U.S. has consistently imposed blocking sanctions to generally prohibit U.S. persons from transacting with Syria, the Caesar Act now imposes additional secondary sanctions which apply to foreign companies or individuals who “facilitate the Assad regime’s acquisition of goods, services, or technologies” that support regime military activities as well as Syria’s oil and gas industries. The Caesar Act also mandates sanctions on those profiting from reconstruction activities in government-controlled areas of Syria, according to the U.S. Department of State’s fact sheet on the matter.

We encourage clients and companies to familiarize themselves with the Caesar Act.  Non-U.S. companies should be aware of this expansion of the State and Treasury Departments’ authority to impose U.S. secondary sanctions in transactions involving Syria.


Grant Leach is an Omaha-based partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP focusing on international trade, export controls, trade sanctions and anti-corruption compliance.

Camron Greer is an Assistant Trade Analyst in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington D.C. office.


Sawnwood Market in the Middle East Lost its Growth Momentum

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Middle East – Sawnwood – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the sawnwood market in the Middle East amounted to $1.7B in 2018, coming down by -4% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.0% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 when the market value increased by 16% year-to-year. In that year, the sawnwood market attained its peak level of $2B. From 2015 to 2018, the growth of the sawnwood market remained at a lower figure.

Consumption By Country in the Middle East

The countries with the highest volumes of sawnwood consumption in 2018 were Saudi Arabia (907K tonnes), Turkey (816K tonnes) and Iran (489K tonnes), with a combined 55% share of total consumption.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of sawnwood consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Turkey, while sawnwood consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest sawnwood markets in the Middle East were Saudi Arabia ($423M), Turkey ($222M) and the United Arab Emirates ($206M), with a combined 51% share of the total market.

Production in the Middle East

The sawnwood production amounted to 8.3K tonnes in 2018, approximately reflecting the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. Turkey (8.2K tonnes) remains the largest sawnwood producing country in the Middle East, comprising approx. 99% of total volume.

Exports in the Middle East

In 2018, the amount of sawnwood exported in the Middle East totaled 106K tonnes, jumping by 24% against the previous year. Overall, sawnwood exports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. In value terms, sawnwood exports stood at $57M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

The United Arab Emirates represented the key exporter of sawnwood exported in the Middle East, with the volume of exports accounting for 69K tonnes, which was approx. 65% of total exports in 2018. It was distantly followed by Turkey (24K tonnes), making up a 23% share of total exports. Oman (4,182 tonnes), Lebanon (3,923 tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (1,838 tonnes) took a little share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2018, average annual rates of growth with regard to sawnwood exports from the United Arab Emirates stood at +3.0%. At the same time, Oman (+42.8%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Oman emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported in the Middle East, with a CAGR of +42.8% from 2007-2018. By contrast, Saudi Arabia (-1.0%), Turkey (-1.2%) and Lebanon (-13.9%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, the United Arab Emirates ($36M) remains the largest sawnwood supplier in the Middle East, comprising 64% of total sawnwood exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Turkey ($12M), with a 20% share of total exports. It was followed by Lebanon, with a 5.1% share.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the sawnwood export price in the Middle East amounted to $532 per tonne, remaining stable against the previous year. In general, the sawnwood export price continues to indicate a slight contraction.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Lebanon ($729 per tonne), while Turkey ($479 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Lebanon, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the export price figures.

Imports in the Middle East

In 2018, the imports of sawnwood in the Middle East stood at 4.1M tonnes, shrinking by -13.2% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. Over the period under review, sawnwood imports reached their maximum at 4.7M tonnes in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year. In value terms, sawnwood imports stood at $1.7B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

Saudi Arabia (909K tonnes) and Turkey (832K tonnes) represented the main importers of sawnwood in 2018, recording approx. 22% and 20% of total imports, respectively. The United Arab Emirates (508K tonnes) held the next position in the ranking, followed by Iran (489K tonnes) and Israel (464K tonnes). All these countries together held approx. 35% share of total imports. The following importers – Lebanon (132K tonnes), Kuwait (122K tonnes), Jordan (118K tonnes), Oman (112K tonnes), Yemen (106K tonnes), Qatar (90K tonnes) and Iraq (81K tonnes) – together made up 19% of total imports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Turkey, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Saudi Arabia ($423M), the United Arab Emirates ($247M) and Turkey ($224M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, together comprising 52% of total imports.

Import Prices by Country

The sawnwood import price in the Middle East stood at $414 per tonne in 2018, increasing by 14% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the sawnwood import price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Yemen ($717 per tonne), while Turkey ($269 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Yemen, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

Middle East Facility Opens for Peli Biothermal

Global temperature controlled packaging company, Peli Biothermal, announced next steps in its global expansion efforts with the opening of the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia drop point. The announcement follows the companies goals of expanding its global footprint, primarily in the Middle Eastern region.
Additionally, the new drop point puts the company one step closer to meeting their goal to exceed 100 network stations and drop points for its rental program for 2019.
“Our Crēdoon Demand rental program is designed to provide our customers with options,” said Dominic Hyde, vice president of Crēdo on Demand. “Adding another drop point in key logistics hubs in the Middle East will allow our customers in pharmaceutical distribution the flexibility and convenience to choose the best drop-off location for their business needs.”
The new location benefits PeliBio Thermal’s Crēdo™ on Demand rental program by increasing available drop points, providing opportunities for growth in the region. The new facility will provide protection for globally transported payloads containing life sciences and pharmaceuticals.

Source: Peli Biothermal

Cold Chain Packing and Peli Biothermal To Exhibit at Arab Health

Global leader in temperature controlled packaging, Peli Biothermal will join distributor partner, Cold Chain Packing in exhibiting shipper solutions at Arab Health in Dubai to support Middle Eastern expansion efforts. This event is known for being one of the largest exhibitions in the world. Products scheduled for feature include Peli Biothermal’s CoolPall™ Flex system as well as is Crēdo™ Cargo.

“We are pleased to present our high-performing products and services at Arab Health alongside Saudi Arabia based Cold Chain Packing. Together we will be sharing our collective industry insight, knowledge and extensive expertise.

Differentiating features from Coolpall Flex system includes payload efficiency on aircraft, specifically for restrictive cargo spaces. Crēdo™ Cargo ensures and provides protection of globally transported life science and pharmaceutical payloads.

“With healthcare expenditure in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) projected to reach US$104.6 billion by 2022, this region is a significant key growth area for Peli BioThermal, where our superior systems and products provide protection for pharma payloads in a region renowned for its temperature challenges,” Director of Sales EMEA at Peli BioThermal, Paul Terry, said. “The show’s substantial size allows us to showcase our shipper solutions and services to thousands of delegates, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the region and collective capabilities to meet customers’ increasing requirements in this area.”

Spectators at the conference are encouraged to inquire about the company’s full product portfolio.

Source: Peli Biothermal 


And the winner is…

The Transport and Logistics Middle East ceremony awarded LogiPoint the official Logistics Zones Operator of the Year for their unmatched involvement and footprint in the logistics supply chain sector for the region.

According to the release, “By introducing Logistics Parks Modon 1 and Logistics Parks-South Jeddah we hopes to build on the success of the Bonded and Re-export Zone and develop similarly high quality integrated facilities throughout the Kingdom,” (W7 Worldwide).

The company is also applauded due to the remarkable development and operation of what is the largest and first re-export zone. With technology growing more in the economic and trade sectors, LogiPoint has stood the test of time with technology innovations and efforts to team up with stakeholders for a unified mission. Their efforts include an impressive facilities and warehousing in addition to customized alternatives for client needs.

With more innovation and conceptualization on the horizon, LogiTech focuses on integrating international logistics solutions in the mix. With 19 years of success and innovation to account for, LogiTech continues to create strategic planning and implementing standards that put them at the top with record numbers.

About LogiPoint

LogiPoint, which used to be known as Tusdeer but underwent a re-branding exercise last October, will contribute to the Kingdom’s vision of the future and renovate it into an integrated logistics solution provider by achieving global competitive standards, adapting to change creatively and adopting a customer-focused approach in a transparent manner.”

Source: W7 Worldwide 

What corporations should know about operating in Abu Dhabi

Economists have long debated the effectiveness of laws enacted to spur economic development. But cities continue to try to create jobs and wealth, and some like Abu Dhabi seem to be doing something right.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates in 2015 created a financial district where it relaxed tax and regulatory requirements to attract foreign investment. In three years, the Abu Dhabi Global Market has emerged as a vibrant business community featuring financial services companies and professional advisers.

Writing laws conducive to growth has secured Abu Dhabi’s place as a global financial center. It’s ranked 25th in the Global Financial Centres Index, just behind better known European financial hubs Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Paris.

Governance and law in the Abu Dhabi Global Market was modeled after its UAE neighbor, Dubai. Using its newfound oil wealth in the 1970s, Dubai started upgrading its infrastructure to become a commercial center in the Middle East. The fundamentalism of Gulf Coast countries, though, was a deterrent to foreign investment in the Middle East. Leveraging a concept called “free zones,” Dubai developed economic areas that waived corporate taxes, allowed 100 percent foreign ownership and simplified start-up processes.

It took the idea a step further in 2004 by opening a free zone called the Dubai International Finance Centre with its own legal structure, financial regulator and courts. The DIFC, as it’s known, is governed by British common law rather than Sharia law. A transparent legal regime aligned with international best practices offered certainty and familiarity to global financial institutions and foreign investors.

The legal changes combined with business-friendly regulations, political stability and modern infrastructure have turned Dubai into a favored city for business in the Middle East and Africa. It’s also at the center of trade between the East and West, connecting the region to the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. The DIFC has a working population of more than 22,000 people and 2,000 companies, according to its website. It has attracted many of the world’s largest banks, as well as multinational corporations.

The DIFC now has healthy competition from within the UAE. Abu Dhabi seeks to exploit its oil wealth –estimated at 6 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves – to transform its economy and global competitiveness.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market is in the capital’s shiny new Al Maryah Island, a half square-mile piece of land being developed by Mubadala, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Taking a page from the Disney corporate playbook, Abu Dhabi has carefully planned the growth and development of the island. The first phase was the financial district, a shopping mall, a luxury hotel and the world-class Cleveland Clinic hospital. Another shopping center, featuring department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdales, is expected to open later this year. Al Maryah is poised to become one of the world’s most luxurious neighborhoods.

The financial center, known as ADGM, is housed in glistening new towers and a low-lying central building shaped like an upside-down trapezoid. Like its Dubai counterpart, it has an independent financial services regulator and a court system built on English law.

The ADGM’s legal approach is more progressive than the DIFC’s by adopting specified English laws and related jurisprudence. It also reaches out to its community or to experienced advisers on new considerations or initiatives before launching white papers for public comment. This allows any new laws or regulations to be carefully considered, which is unique in the market.

The ADGM has also reduced the need for laborious notarization and legalization processes, which add time and significant cost for any new company entering the market or expanding. It is the only jurisdiction in the Middle East offering this.

While ADGM permits a range of financial services, from banking to insurance to wealth management, it has also launched several firsts in the region, including a private real estate investment trust regime, a new venture capital framework for fund managers and an aviation financing scheme.

The existence and interaction of federal laws, individual emirate laws and free zone laws can be quite complex and confusing, making it essential to seek out a local expert. For example, a foreigner wishing to conduct business outside the free zone must have a local partner owning 51 percent of the business. Other challenges include a small domestic market, risks of speculative bubbles, geopolitical instability in the Middle East and dependence on oil.

Foreign investment in Abu Dhabi and Dubai allowed the UAE to weather the slump in oil prices that began in 2014. UAE saw the inflows of foreign direct investment increase by nearly 8 percent last year, to $10.3 billion, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. In sharp contrast, inflows of foreign direct investment to the region, excluding Israel, fell by 16 percent in 2017.

The UAE’s favorable business climate, led by the ADGM, had a lot to do with that.


About Stephanie Williams:

Stephanie, who joined TMF Group in 2013, has been working in the Middle East for 10 years. She’s a specialist in business structuring and corporate governance, as well corporate secretarial services and communication. She has helped set up businesses in the UAE and has broad knowledge of the local complexities.

Signarama Signs Middle East Franchise Deal

West Palm Beach, FL – Sign and graphic services franchisor Signarama signed an agreement with entrepreneur Ghassan Barazi, owner of the company’s master license in Canada, to bring the company brand to 20 Middle Eastern countries.

The new agreement will cover the countries of Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, Yemen, Iran, South Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and the Palestinian Territory.

Signarama offers branding and messaging solutions in addition to comprehensive sign and graphic services to consumers and commercial customers – from business signs, vehicle wraps, and digital signs, to advertising and marketing services.

Operating under the United Franchise Group as part of the $49-billion-plus worldwide sign market, Signarama has served the sign industry for more than two decades.

Approaching 900 locations worldwide, the company expects to have more than 1,200 locations worldwide by the end of 2016.

The Signarama brand was founded in 1986 by Ray Titus and his father, franchising pioneer, Roy Titus, and was recently ranked 28th on Franchise Direct’s ‘Top 100 Global Franchises’ list.