MAWANI, Saudi Customs launch initiative to facilitate empty containers imports

Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI), in cooperation with Saudi Customs, launched on Feb. 28, a new initiative to facilitate and restructure the procedures for importing empty containers in Saudi ports.

MAWANI said in a statement that this initiative will help reduce the time needed to complete customs procedures for empty containers since arrival to the port until they are released from three days to only limited hours.

This will be done by eliminating the need for a customs service to clear containers, so that customs procedures will be performed directly through the shipping lines offices operating in Saudi ports without having to review the customs port.

The initiative aims to support and encourage Saudi exports and maritime trade by facilitating the import and availability of empty containers, reducing operational costs on container import lines, facilitating procedures for the releasing containers, and speedy exit of empty containers for exporters from the port, the statement added.


Saudi transport ministry adopts advanced system to enhance road network efficiency

The Saudi Ministry of Transport adopted a new system based on advanced technology to manage the Kingdom’s road network and enhance its efficiency, SPA reported.

The system is based on advanced technology to collect and analyze data about roads and reschedule the required maintenance and repairs.

The work mechanism depends on several elements that include an evaluation of the construction and functional performance. It also defines maintenance priorities.

The ministry aims to depend on its resources to start operating the new system.


SAL, KAEC sign deal to boost Saudi’s logistics sector

The Saudi Logistics Company (SAL) has signed a memorandum of cooperation with King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in order to provide further support to both logistics sector in the Kingdom and KAEC. The signed memorandum by Omar Hariri, CEO of SAL, and Ahmed Linjawi, CEO of KAEC, focuses on enhancing logistics services and contributes to creating promising logistic and economic opportunities in conjunction with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious 2030 vision to transform the Kingdom into a global logistic hub.

Commenting on the event, Hariri emphasised on the importance of this strategic partnership and its role to enhance the cargo ground handling services from and to KAEC.

Commenting on the memorandum, Ahmed Linjawi, said, “This memorandum aims to enhance the strategic partnerships we enjoy with different public and private entities and is part of our continuous efforts to provide investors from inside and outside the Kingdom with a comprehensive stimulant investing environment to support and diversify the national economy. The signing of this memorandum is parallel with KSA’s 2030 vision to becoming a global logistic hub and cements the Industrial Valley’s position as an important logistic connection point for the east and west trade routes.”

The Industrial Valley at KAEC serves as an attractive destination for the world’s reputed food and pharmaceutical firms offering investors with high quality logistic and integrated infrastructure services. The Economic Cities & Special Zones Authority (ECZA) is the sole regulator of KAEC, which serves as the facilitator of all governmental procedures and ensures a comfortable and stimulant environment for all investors in and outside the Kingdom.


Jeddah port receives world’s largest LNG-powered ship

Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port has received the first and largest container ship in the world completely powered by environment friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This marks the container ship’s first visit to Saudi Arabia and Jeddah Islamic Port, which is characterized by its high capacity to receive the world’s largest ships, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The container ship has a capacity of 23,000 standard containers, with a length of 400 meters and a width of 61 meters. The French CMA CGM container ship was completed and entered service in September 2020.

This pioneering event comes as a continuation of the strategic partnership between Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) and CMA CGM, a leading shipping and logistics firm, with the support of the Saudi logistics system and the follow-up from the Minister of Transport Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, to increase the power of linking Saudi ports with international ports.


GMG opens new mega warehouse in Riyadh

Gulf Marketing Group (GMG), one of the Middle East’s leading family-owned holding companies, is increasing its investments in Saudi Arabia and has announced the opening of a new mega-warehouse facility in Riyadh to serve its expanding customer base.
The new warehouse will initially support the company’s growing GMG Sports division which today caters to the growing appetite of Saudi consumers for high-quality, authentic sports apparel.
The warehouse will serve homegrown GMG Sports brands beginning with Sun and Sand Sports—the Middle East’s largest sports retailer—while the company is also a distributor for global brands like Nike, Columbia, Timberland, Vans, and more in the kingdom.
The site will include a new service centre that allows for faster deliveries and an enhanced service experience for GMG’s customers.
According to industry reports, the Saudi retail industry is poised for continued growth, with a recent Euromonitor study stating that the sector is likely to reach $119 billion in value by 2023. The modernisation of shopping and entertainment facilities, coupled with more spending power among women in the workforce, are among the factors supporting that growth.
Mohammad A Baker, Deputy Chairman and CEO of GMG, said: “Today, GMG is keen to be a partner for sport in the kingdom. The ‘Quality of Life’ program announced as a component of the Vision 2030 has already placed a renewed focus on sports and athletic activities. In line with that vision and with the launch of our new mega-warehouse, we can further support physically-active and healthy lifestyles by giving more people easy access to the best offerings right at their doorstep.”
The latest facility is strategically located in Riyadh’s The Logistics Park, a rapidly-growing and premium locale that is expected to contribute to the capital’s ongoing economic and industrial diversification.
GMG’s new 23,000-sq-m warehouse increases the company’s Riyadh capacity more than 10-fold, and features advanced technologies that facilitate increased productivity, are environmentally conscious, and drive efficiency through automation.
“Saudi Arabia’s retail sector has both expanded and matured in recent years, yet it still retains huge untapped potential. We have only scratched the surface. The continued diversification of the national economy, support for foreign direct investment, and other policies are all contributing to the sector’s evolution. There is still much we aim to achieve, and we look forward to innovating new ways to bring added value to our partners and our customers across the Kingdom,” added Baker.
In recent years, GMG has been collaborating with the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) as the official distributor of Nike in Saudi Arabia, working to encourage sport participation at all levels across the Kingdom. GMG has also partnered on exciting projects such as the new kits for the Saudi National football team for the 2020-2021 season.
Over the last several years, GMG has been expanding its global operations with a portfolio of brands that now covers numerous sectors including sports retail, food, healthcare, logistics, and more. Operating across Saudi Arabia, the GCC region, and internationally, GMG has introduced more than 90 global brands into the Middle East while also creating quality-driven homegrown brands.

King Abdullah port concludes 2020 with increased throughput and significant contributions to logistics sector

King Abdullah Economic City: King Abdullah Port concluded 2020 with an impressive increase in its container throughput, in addition to its continued contributions to the growth of the Kingdom’s logistics sector during the year. The port recorded a 6.6% increase in container throughput in 2020, reaching 2,153,963 TEU compared to 2,020,683 TEU in 2019, and achieved a remarkable 16% increase in the number of imported containers compared to the previous year.

As for bulk and general cargo, the port registered a 12.4% growth last year, reaching 3,329,380 tons, compared to 2,962,867 tons in 2019, thereby strengthening Saudi Arabia’s logistics competitiveness and contributing to increasing the volume of non-oil exports and diversifying the Kingdom’s sources of income in accordance with the objectives of Vision 2030.

Amid last year’s global challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the port continued to play an active role in revitalizing the logistics sector and maritime trade, besides facilitating the flow of various goods to vital economic sectors in the Kingdom. Imports of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies witnessed a remarkable 72% increase during the first eight months of 2020. There was also a 15% increase in the imports of building materials, which helped meet the needs of Saudi Arabia’s building and construction sector. Moreover, the port completed the handling and transportation of 3,200 tons of huge equipment for the Petro Rabigh Phase II upgrading, which involved special technologies and modern equipment.

Last year, the port successfully received three of the world’s largest container ships in the same week, thanks to its superior infrastructure equipped with 18-meter-deep berths designed to receive mega container ships. The port was also selected as the main logistics terminal on the Red Sea for two of the largest shipping lines, Maersk and MSC, as part of the new shipping routes recently launched by the two companies. The latter is a clear indicator of the importance of the port’s location as a link between the East and West and its ability to play a prominent role in the international shipping industry by supporting trade exchange between the different continents.

Fully owned by the Ports Development Company, King Abdullah Port is the region’s first port to be owned, developed, and operated by the private sector. It was previously listed as the fastest-growing container port and emerged as one of the world’s top 100 ports within four years of operation. With its strategic location in King Abdullah Economic City – a modern city with a pro-business ecosystem and infrastructure – the port leverages the city’s advanced facilities and services, particularly the Industrial Valley, which has attracted many logistics projects as well as light and medium industries.

With a current throughput of six million TEU, 10 of the largest shipping lines operate at the port to offer integrated services to importers and exporters. The port’s development plan is proceeding at a steady pace with a clear vision to become one of the world’s leading ports and the cornerstone of Saudi ports’ success.


Saudi Arabia and Ukraine sign air transport agreement

Saudi Arabia and Ukraine signed an air transport services deal on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
It includes a number of regulatory provisions related to the multiplicity of national carriers for both countries, aspects relating to air safety assurance, aviation security, the schedule of routes to be operated, and other items that enhance cooperation in air transport services.
The president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri, and the head of the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine, Oleksandr Bilchuk, co-signed the cooperation agreement virtually at GACA’s headquarters in Riyadh.
GACA is seeking to develop air transport in line with the latest international standards, strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a global player in the civil aviation industry, achieve financial growth and sustainability, enforce rules, regulations and procedures to ensure the safety of air transport, and build a modern airport system equipped with state-of-the-art services.


Jizan Governor opens $268m worth transport, road projects in Saudi

HRH Prince Muhammad bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jizan region, has inaugurated a number of road and transport projects in the region, with the projects being valued at $267m.

The projects that were inaugurated in the presence of HE the Minister of Transport, Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser. These projects included the 190km roads leading to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz housing development sites in Jizan.

The Sabya and Al-Eidabi road project with a length of 68km, and the agricultural roads project, which includes raising the level of Al-Dair Road, Al-Tarf.
Additionally, the Phase 1 pf the Jallat Al-Hayat road with a length of 3.8km, and a project of Al-Sahalil Road in Haroub Governorate, with a length of more than 5km.

The governor also inaugurated Al-Jouf, Al-Ahwash road, which contributes to linking Al-Eidabi governorate with Haroub governorate, and Jabal Naama road, which is 22.5km long.

During the meeting the governor was also briefed on the projects that have been inaugurated and the projects approved and under implementation including public transport, roads and their maintenance projects. In addition to the expansion of the new King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Airport.


Saudi Arabia and Hungary sign deals on air transport services and water management

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and Hungary have signed agreements to boost mutual cooperation in air transport services and water management system, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The agreement on air transport services was signed by Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.

The agreement includes a number of regulatory provisions related to air transport services.

The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between the two sides in the field of air transport.

Earlier, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of water management.

The MoU, which was signed by Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó at the headquarters of the ministry, comes as the two countries realize importance of cooperation in the field of water and wastewater management and the need for joint efforts.

As part of the agreement, both sides are expected undertake efforts to develop and implement integrated strategies for water management and conservation, utilization of water resources, as well as efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

They also need to improve irrigation efficiency and reduce the effects of floods and manage their risks, in addition to developing sustainable measures to prevent and predict the erosion of valley banks.

The two sides agreed to move forward toward improving the energy efficiency of the water supply, improving the chemicals used, supporting technical innovation in this field between the two sides, and working as well to reduce non-income water and finding an appropriate mechanism for how to benefit from the reuse of wastewater.

According to the agreement, the two sides aim to strengthen cooperation between the institutions of the two countries that conduct education and research activities in the field of water management, exchange research information and scientific publications for specialists in the field of water management, as well as raise awareness through intensive campaigns to preserve water, and work to innovate new tool and technology in the field.