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kerry logistics


Kerry Logistics is a global logistics services provider with an extensive presence in the USA. In 2019, the firm was ranked the third-largest NVOCC (Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier) in terms of Trans-Pacific trade, handling more than 425,000 TEUs.

In December 2020, it announced a new series of multimodal transport solutions to Mongolia, designed to offer an alternate route to a market with untapped potential. 

Specifically, the latest offerings cover road-rail and sea-rail freight for dry and temperature-controlled cargoes between North America, Europe, and landlocked Mongolia via the Freeport of Riga, Latvia. 

William Ma, group managing director of Kerry Logistics Network, commented: “The new services greatly enhance the freight cost-efficiency and variety of solutions to Mongolia for our customers. To access the landlocked Mongolia, our strong rail freight capability in Central and East Asia gives us an invaluable advantage.” 

Kerry Logistics has a firm foothold in the U.S. from which it can help exporters to reach the Mongolian market. For example, it operates more than half a million square feet of warehouses in Southern California, Northern California, and Florida, facilities that employ more than 290 staff members. 

As well as opening opportunities in previously difficult to reach Mongolia, Kerry Logistics provides global coverage with offices in Canada, Mexico, India, the Middle East, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.


Is Saudi Arabia Leading the Race for FinTech Financial Inclusion?

It can be hard to keep up with Fintech. Just as the sector appears to be settling into some form of pattern in the UK and USA, where the next notable round of innovation is widely expected to be the automation that is changing the industry, new markets and new centers are emerging. 

One of these – and one that was thought to be rather unlikely until fairly recently – is Saudi Arabia. Though the Middle East has long had a promising fintech sector, this has largely been confined to Saudi’s smaller neighbor, UAE. 

Now, a range of Saudi startups have raised large sums in seed capital, and seem poised to make a major impact on the industry. In this article, we’ll look at these recent success stories, and explore when they mean for Saudi’s nascent fintech sector. 

Saudi Arabia: A New Frontier?

First, let’s take a look at those recent headlines. Back in April, a promising but relatively small Saudi fintech startup, Tamara, announced that it had raised $110 million for its Series A funding. This came as a real shock to industry, and with good reasons – not only was this the largest level of Series A funding ever raised by a Saudi startup, but it was the largest Series A ever raised by a middle eastern startup.

Perhaps the news shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, though. Observant investors noted that the Saudi fintech sector has been growing steadily over the past few years – from just 10 startups registered under the Fintech Saudi initiative in 2018, to a total of 155 in 2020. And with extra companies comes extra funding – from January to May this year, fintech startups based in Saudi Arabia raised almost $130 million, a whopping jump compared to the $23 million raised by the sector from 2015-2020.

This growth is also likely to continue in the medium term. This level of investment is proving to be an incentive for Western fintech startups, as well, who are now looking to the Middle East as a potential new market for their services. Whether they will be able to take advantage of the size of the market in the region will, however, depend on a number of factors.

As we will see, the biggest problem standing in the way of creating a dynamic Fintech sector in Saudi is not the demand for innovative banking services – that is certainly strong enough. Rather, it is a somewhat traditional banking sector that may be reluctant to open up to technology companies.

Growth Across the Region

Saudi certainly has some well-established models to follow when it comes to catalyzing fintech growth. Bahrain, for instance, is widely regarded as having some of the most fintech-friendly banking regulations in the world, and the sector in that company is growing rapidly. Similarly, Egypt is seen as a real growth market for the sector, given the country’s huge population and a government that seems to be supportive of novel approaches to small business finance.

In both of these countries, government support has been key to encouraging the fintech sector, and Saudi Arabia appears to have recognized this. The Fintech Saudi initiative is the flag bearer for this support, and was launched back in 2018 by the Saudi Central Bank. The bank partnered with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in the kingdom, which has played a pivotal role in providing investment funding for fintech startups. 

The goals of these investments are certainly ambitious. The mission statement of the CMA states that it is tasked with “transforming Saudi Arabia into an innovative fintech hub with a thriving and responsible fintech ecosystem”. As part of this wide mandate, Fintech Saudi facilitates the licensing process for startups, connects entrepreneurs with investors, service providers, and banks, and has an accelerator program run by Flat6Labs.

This government support is, in turn, part of a broader change across the region, in which governments who were previously averse to change are embracing new ways of doing business. Just as the oil industry is changing, and becoming more transparent, so is the financial sector. And that will have impacts far beyond investors and bank staff because fintech might just be able to make banking truly inclusive.

Open Banking and Inclusion

If, as seems likely, Saudi Arabia becomes a leader in the fintech space, it will act not just as a catalyst for the development of fintech solutions across the region. It will also be the biggest test run yet of one of the central promises of fintech – that this technology can open up banking in a way never seen before.

On the one hand, Saudi Arabia seems like an unlikely place to be at the forefront of inclusive banking. The country is still very conservative and has some of the most secretive banking practices in the world. However, there are signs that the kingdom is open to change – both socially and in regard to the way it does business.

This has been overtly stated by Fintech Saudi, which is developing an open baking framework for the kingdom. Their aim, they say, is to force Saudi banks to be more open, and to share data about their activities more widely. This, in turn, will likely make it easier for under-represented groups in the country – women, most of all – to access banking services. 

At the moment, many guest workers and women in the country are under-served by financial institutions, and by allowing them to open accounts it is hoped that the country can become more open generally. In addition, fintech can help these workers to make international payments more easily, sending money back home and sharing the benefits of the strident Saudi economy.

The Challenges

Of course, changing the way in which a conservative country runs its banking system is not going to be easy. The Fintech sector in the country, while attracting a lot of funding, will have to overcome some real challenges if it is going to succeed.

One of these is a skills gap. A recent report from Fintech Saudi, for instance, shows that hiring qualified talent was the primary challenge for 40% of startups in the fintech space. Without qualified workers to power the work of startups, it’s likely that these will either stall or be forced to move their activities (and their profits) elsewhere.

Secondly, there is the issue of cybersecurity. Saudi has been a major target of cyberattacks in recent years, many of which appear to have originated in Iran. While the average fintech startup might not be a target of global cyber-weapons, the sheer number of common cybersecurity risks that the average Saudi company experiences every year could be enough to deter some startups and investors from working in the country.

The Bottom Line

That’s not to say that these challenges don’t have solutions, of course.  Open banking has progressed in two ways around the globe in recent years, either via regulators forcing traditional banks to embrace it and work with fintech startups (as is the case in the European Union) or (as we see in the US) incumbent banks opting to partner with open banking providers to keep pace with innovation.

If Saudi Arabia can do the same, while also recognizing that both talent acquisition and customer service are key to success in Fintech, there is no reason why it cannot emulate the success of its neighbors, and become the next global fintech hub.



More United Under Abraham

On September 15 at the White House, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Israel signed the Abraham Accords to normalize relations. It had been more than 25 years since Israel signed a peace deal with a major Arab country, the previous being Jordan in 1994 and Egypt before that back in 1979. One diplomatic breakthrough can beget others. Sudan followed on October 23. Oman and Qatar are reportedly in discussions.

These agreements – and those that may follow – could portend a significant turning point for the Middle East and North Africa region. Greater regional economic integration would be a stabilizing force for peaceful relations. It would enable broader-based prosperity for struggling economies in the region and could become a key ingredient of post-COVID growth that is less dependent on oil as a driver for Gulf state economies (and for Israel to rely less on oil that transits Turkey from Iraq). As European and American companies offer a natural bridge to commercial ties with Israel, Gulf states could reduce their reliance on China.

AA Map

Through the Abraham Accords, commercial, cultural and personal relationships can take root and blossom. In anticipation of its signing, delegations from the UAE and Israel were deployed to establish direct flights and sign bilateral deals to promote infrastructure and technology investments, tourism, educational and scientific exchange, and to collaborate in advanced healthcare-focused most immediately on coronavirus treatments and vaccination.

The UAE, with its concentration of logistics infrastructure, financial expertise and venture capital, is a good match with Israel, renowned for technological invention and entrepreneurship. Their economies have complementary economic strengths. Speaking at a September 16 Atlantic Council event, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari said the agreement could lead to as much as $500 million in new bilateral trade and investment, growing to $4 billion a year.

Science Nerds, Students and Traders as Peacemakers

Scientific inquiry is a common human denominator. The Middle East Desalination Research Center based in Oman was an outgrowth of the 1996 Middle East Peace Process and continues today as a model of cooperation in shared research and capacity-building on transboundary water projects between Israel and Arab states.

The Abraham Accords are likely to yield a more significant surge in joint research in areas such as space exploration, technologies to address common food security challenges in the region, renewable energy, and advances in computing. The Accord opens the door to freer travel by scientists and exchanges of scientific samples and research equipment. Already, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and the Weizmann Institute of Science signed an agreement to create a joint institute for artificial intelligence.

After prohibitions on travel, the UAE could become an attractive destination for Israelis to experience Arabian culture in a Persian Gulf country. UAE airlines Emirates and Etihad will begin flights to Tel Aviv. Observers think these airlines’ existing connections to global destinations through Dubai and Abu Dhabi could be enticing to Israeli tourists but also for business travelers to deliver professional services.

Another important way to foment integration and understanding is through student exchange. Arab students accounted for 16.1% of undergraduate students in Israeli universities in 2018. The Abraham Accord and diplomatic efforts to implement them will focus on greater student exchange.

AA Quote

Set for Takeoff from Free Zones

Intraregional trade throughout the Middle East – North Africa (MENA) region is today fairly insignificant. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates just 5 percent of exports from MENA countries go to regional neighbors, the lowest rate in the world. It’s difficult to know exactly how much of Israel’s trade is intertwined with Gulf states since trade is transacted through subsidies outside the Middle East. The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change calculates it may be only about $1 billion.

One of the important and relatively quiet ways that more direct trade relations have been established is through free trade zones. As Arab Gulf States Institute scholar Robert Mogielnicki has put it, special economic zones in the Middle East have served as “politically neutral commercial gateways,” a way of dipping a toe in diplomatic relations.

In 1996, the U.S. Congress authorized a Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) program to extend the benefits of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement. Firms operating in QIZs located in Egypt and Jordan could export to the United States duty-free if the exported products contained inputs from Israel. The opportunity to do so created foundational commercial partnerships among Israeli firms and those in neighboring Arab countries with which Israel had signed peace agreements and provided the basis for extending benefits for those countries to the U.S. market.

As the ink dried on the Abraham Accords, Dubai-based logistics firm, DP World, entered into a partnership with a major Israeli port operator to assess free zone opportunities in Israel and possible direct shipping routes between Eilat and Jebel Ali ports. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce is also moving quickly to work with major free zone operators in Dubai.

Mogielnicki says the QIZs not only became commercial incubators, they “started to act as bellwethers for the geopolitical and economic reconfigurations underway across the broader Middle East”. Perhaps the flurry of new zones under the Abraham Accord will send similar signals across the region.

Blair quote

And What of Palestine?

Critics of the Abraham Accords cite concerns that Palestine is left out in the cold. Supporters believe the Abraham Accords are a road that leads back to Palestine in a more constructive way.

As the White House recognizes in its seminal proposal from January 2020, Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People, “the conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinians has kept other Arab countries from normalizing their relationships and jointly pursuing a stable, secure, and prosperous region.”

A deeply complex set of issues to resolve, the Trump administration writes that durable solutions must combine political agreements with an “economic vision for investments and government reforms” to create jobs, reduce poverty and create conditions for growth of the Palestinian economy. The administration’s proposal offers support to Palestine to develop property and contract rights (fundamental growth drivers), to put in place anti-corruption measures and infrastructure for capital markets, and to implement a low-tariff scheme for Palestine to make it more attractive to traders.

The plan proposes coupling policy reforms with strategic infrastructure investments to help hospitals, schools, homes and businesses secure reliable access to affordable electricity, clean water, and digital services. Businesses in the West Bank and Gaza should be better connected with key trading partners in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon – including through free zone arrangements. The plan even proposes a U.S. free trade agreement with Palestine to solidify the continuation of duty-free treatment but also undergird economic reforms; it encourages countries in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere to pursue its own free trade agreements with Palestine.

There’s a lot to be worked out. For example, Palestine doesn’t have direct access to key ports and must enter into more expansive arrangements with Israel regarding use of port facilities. A focus on these kinds of economic details is a good way to keep the conversation going.

A Strategic Agenda

As part of the Abraham Accords, the Parties agreed “to join with the United States to develop and launch a ‘Strategic Agenda for the Middle East’ in order to expand regional diplomatic, trade, stability and other cooperation.” The language is vague but future looking. It’s broad but opens the door to more specific initiatives. Following the October 23 joint statement, Sudan and Israel plan to exchange delegations to negotiate cooperative agreements in agriculture technology and aviation.

Even Saudi Arabia, which is not ready to sign the Abraham Accord, was supportive of the UAE and Bahrain in their decisions to do so and will directly support commercial relations by allowing Israel commercial flights to UAE to cross Saudi airspace. It becomes harder to turn back on peace when relationships begin to proliferate among individuals, companies, universities, institutes, and other entities outside of governments. Economic insecurity is destabilizing. Stronger economic ties induce cooperation. The Abraham Accords will be much more than symbolic if they produce a swell of private commercial activity and stronger trade relations.


Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

conventional arms

U.S. Moves to Block Conventional Arms Sales to Iran

President Trump issued an Executive Order on September 21, 2020, which is effective immediately, imposes secondary sanctions on the transfer and sale of certain conventional arms shipments and the supply of related services to Iran by non-U.S. persons. This Executive Order follows the current administration’s failed effort to reinstate sanctions and a conventional arms embargo by the U.N. Security Council. The Executive Order, titled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to the Conventional Arms Activities of Iran”, attempts to enforce such sanctions unilaterally by authorizing the U.S. Secretary of State to impose blocking sanctions on any non-U.S. person who transfers conventional arms to Iran or otherwise performs activities to support such transfers.

If the U.S. Secretary of State, in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, determines that a non-U.S. person has engaged in any of the following activities, then all of that non-U.S. person’s U.S. property (including property in the U.S., which transits through the U.S. financial system or which is otherwise in the possession of a U.S. person) will become blocked. U.S. persons and the U.S. financial system will be prohibited from transacting with those:

-Engaging in any activity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran, or for the use in or benefit of Iran, of arms or related materiel, including spare parts;

-Providing Iran any technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services, or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of arms and related materiel;

-Engaging, or attempting to engage, in any activity that materially contributes to, or poses a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of arms or related materiel or items intended for military end-uses or military end-users, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer, or use such items, by the Government of Iran or paramilitary organizations supported by Iran;

-Materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the Executive Order;

-Being owned or controlled by, or to having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this Executive Order.

The Executive Order clarifies that it does not apply to persons “facilitating a transaction for the provision (including any sale) of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran.”

Following the issuance of the Executive Order, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) added several individuals and two (2) entities to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, thereby subjecting the designated entities to the above-described blocking sanctions. The Iranian entities are Mammut Diesel and Mammut Industrial Group P.J.S. (aka Mammut Industrial Group, Mammut Tehran Industrial Group, or Mammut Industries).

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added five (5) individuals to the Entity List who BIS says “played a critical role in Iran’s nuclear weapons development program and continue to work for the Iranian regime.” By adding these individuals to the Entity List, they are now prohibited from receiving any items or technology that are “subject to the EAR”, which will essentially prohibit any exports or re-exports of U.S. origin items or technology to these individuals.


Cortney O’Toole Morgan is a Washington D.C.-based partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. She leads the firm’s International Trade & Supply Chain group.

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.


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