DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- June 4, 2014 – The Middle East  offers “extremely lucrative” opportunities for companies able to take advantage of  the region’s emergence as a global logistics hub, Essa Al-Saleh, President & CEO, Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said today.  

In a keynote speech to the Emerging Markets Logistics Conference in Dubai, Al-Saleh highlighted the outstanding performance of the Middle East in the 2014 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index. The region outperformed all others in favorability for business and trade in general. Qatar, UAE, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ranked highest out of 45 emerging markets countries in the key category of “market compatibility.”

“Against a background of a sluggish global economy, the Middle East continues to shine. The UAE is an attractive location for logistics investments based on ease of doing business, while Saudi Arabia’s strong economic and population growth have also made it a market ripe for investment,” Al-Saleh said. “Saudi Arabia continues to spend on infrastructure. It has been a star performer among emerging markets globally, taking third spot in the 2014 Index.”  

Al-Saleh said Dubai has become a regional hub for business expanding into Africa. The UAE topped all other countries in the Index as having the best domestic and international transport infrastructure and best connections between the two. Logistics and trade professionals pointed to the UAE as the only Middle East market among the top ten emerging markets where they were likely to invest in the coming five years.  

New data presented today at the conference by Transport Intelligence (Ti) supported the healthy picture painted by Al-Saleh. Ti, the leading global, transport-focused research house, estimates that the contract logistics sector in the Middle East will expand 33% by 2017 – an average of 7.5% a year -- to €3.15 billion from €2.36 billion in 2013. Ti predicts that growth in freight forwarding in the Middle East will be even stronger --  7.8% annually until 2017. As a share of the region’s international freight forwarding market, ocean freight is expected to grow to 57.8% in 2017, up from 55.2% last year.

The Middle East has emerged as a global logistics hub as countries, mainly on the Arabian Gulf, have built modern warehouses and transportation infrastructure, developed free zones, adopted “open skies” policies, simplified customs procedures and strengthened anti-corruption measures.

The Middle East is filling a gap for Africa, Central Asia, India and Pakistan, which have fast-growing consumer markets and local production but lack adequate transport infrastructure, storage and services.  Gulf countries are able to act as gateways for goods coming from Asia, Europe or North America or as distribution points for goods moving within markets in the Middle East.

The Emerging Markets Logistics Conference began today at The Address Marina Dubai and continues tomorrow. Join us on Twitter to keep up with the latest in conference news and  to share your thoughts at #TiDubai2014.

The Middle East’s Multimodel Mega-Hubs


About Agility

Agility brings efficiency to supply chains in some of the globe’s most challenging environments, offering unmatched personal service, a global footprint and customized capabilities in developed and developing economies alike. Agility is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with over $5 billion in revenue and more than 22,000 employees in 500 offices across 100 countries.

Agility’s core commercial business, Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), provides supply chain solutions to meet traditional and complex customer needs. GIL offers air, ocean and road freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution, and specialized services in project logistics, fairs and events, and chemicals. Agility’s Infrastructure group of companies manages industrial real estate and offers logistics-related services, including e-government customs optimization and consulting, waste management and recycling, aviation and ground-handling services, support to governments and ministries of defense, remote infrastructure and life support.

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About Transport Intelligence

About Transport Intelligence Founded in 2002, Transport Intelligence (Ti) is a world leading provider of expert research and analysis dedicated to the global logistics industry. Utilising the expertise of professionals with many years experience in the mail, express and logistics industry, Transport Intelligence has developed a range of market leading web-based products, reports, profiles and services used by all the world’s leading logistics suppliers, consultancies and banks as well as many users of logistics services. Website: Twitter: @transportintell LinkedIn: The Transport Intelligence Forum

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