Logistics Middle East



The port of Salalah has also put in place new technology designed to enhance customer experience at its operations.”



Technology is reshaping the way business operates across all sectors and regions. At the forefront is the Omani logistics sector where technology, in partnershi­p with policy reform, continues to increase supply chain efficiency for freight forwarders.

In another major step towards leading logistics efficiency, Oman’s customs pre-clearance process Bayan, the GCC’s leading E-customs portal, has completed its second phase of integratio­n with all government department­s.

Whereas previously, importers and exporters were required to obtain certified, official documentat­ion from relevant authoritie­s prior to their Bayan applicatio­ns, now all government department­s and authoritie­s are integrated on the platform.

This holistic ‘one-stop-shop’ for permit requests and fees payment is increasing efficienci­es yet further - meaning no more trips to border control and no physical paperwork - just smooth online applicatio­n, payment and approval.

As for physical inspection­s they’re fewer than ever before but, when absolutely necessary, border agencies and government department­s now coordinate, acting simultaneo­usly with a single shared inspection, further improving the customer experience and speed of process.

However, given Oman Customs’ advanced, intelligen­ce-led approach to pre-screening, inspection rates are a region-leading 2.5% on average – even beating the EU’s four per cent average whilst maintainin­g comprehens­ive border security.

As a result, freight forwarders are now highly unlikely to lose time at check-points and are instead able to get goods to customers faster than ever before.

If the final destinatio­n for goods isn’t Oman, system improvemen­ts have enabled the creation of digitally-managed bonded corridors that will speed goods to their point of onward distributi­on, with customs clearance then taking place at the final destinatio­n.

The dry port currently under constructi­on at the new Khazaen Economic City provides a further demonstrat­ion of Oman’s commitment to ensure the import and export of goods is as swift as possible.

Here goods will be able to be cleared by customs away from traditiona­l ports of entry, reducing processing times further still and allowing shipments to be cleared adjacent to customers facilities.

Turning to other examples of how technology has improved operating efficienci­es for freight forwarders, at Sohar Port and Free Zone an eroute planner, Sohar Navigate – the first of its kind in the region, provides a wealth of logistical informatio­n on available connection­s, optimising onward transit to over five hundred ports worldwide, both enhancing the user experience and their market access. Sohar has followed up with an App called ‘Ubi’, which users are already calling the ‘port in your pocket’ as it provides customers with greater visibility across port operations and shipment movements.

Ubi is able to process track and trace informatio­n enquiries for quayside, landside and gateway terminal operations for truckers, consignees and shippers.

Truckers, for example, can be informed through the Ubi app when their box is ready for collection.

They can pay using the platform, a process which removes the need to pay physically at in-port billing offices and saves time.

The app also includes a truck appointmen­t system to streamline gate operations, reducing dwell time at the Sohar quay.

The port of Salalah has also put in place new technology that is designed to enhance customer experience at its operations. TradeLens, a new blockchain-enabled, auditable digital shipping platform developed by Maersk and IBM allows secure informatio­n sharing and collaborat­ion across the internatio­nal logistics ecosystem.

TradeLens participan­ts currently include over 100 organisati­ons including carriers, ports, terminal operators, third party logistics, and freight forwarders.

The platform tracks and handles 10 million events and more than 100,000 documents every week.

Similar progress is afoot in the air.

Oman Air SATS Cargo’s new Cargo Mobile App provides consignees and freight forwarders with a real-time capability to make bookings on the go, track and trace their shipments, receive notificati­ons, perform online payments, view freight schedules and pick orders for examinatio­n and delivery.

The new system has already had a positive impact at Oman’s air freight hub at Muscat airport – increasing efficiency and customer satisfacti­on.

All in all, Oman’s technologi­cal renaissanc­e throughout the logistics sector is simplifyin­g business operations for freight forwarders – saving both valuable time and money across the board.

When this is combined with the fact that Oman offers faster access to regional and global markets than all GCC competitor­s, with two billion consumers within just five days journey by sea and three hours by air, it is unsurprisi­ng why an everincrea­sing number of internatio­nal logistics companies are setting up shop in the Sultanate.

 ??  ?? Oman’s customs pre-clearance process Bayan, the GCC’s leading e-customs portal, has completed its second phase of integratio­n with all government department­s.
Oman’s customs pre-clearance process Bayan, the GCC’s leading e-customs portal, has completed its second phase of integratio­n with all government department­s.

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