FEATURE SUPPLY CHAIN AND COVID-19 | RESTARTING THE SUPPLY CHAIN: SAUDI The pandemic forced the entire supply chain to rethink strategies and business practices, planning for the future has never been more important especially when operations need to run smoothly for the essential service provider The logistics and maritime industry has been resilient to the ill effects of coronavirus mainly since the sector was classified as an essential services provider. Stakeholders such as ports, logistics service providers, companies in the supply chain and suppliers who support businesses were swung into action in one way or another. that led us to a major expansion of our activities in April.” RSGT also increased its investments in technology ever since the spread of the pandemic and work from home orders were issued. This allowed its customers to have all its services via e-portals. Floe says this has led to drive efficiencies up in the logistics industry. “Digitalisation has been growing faster for RSGT in the last three months than they have for the last year. We are happy with the steps we have taken in this direction.” Meanwhile, over the last 12 months Jeddah-based LogiPoint were busy signing “one deal after another with the likes of Amazon and Aramex”, according to its chief executive officer Farooq Sheikh. “Things slowed down since March but even during the last three months we have continued to perform, and hit the mark. The supply chain was announced as one of the essential industries and we were not affected much with the lockdown,” Sheikh tells LogiPoint, a logistics service provider established by SISCO and Xenel Group, deals with a wide range of clients from blue chip companies to SMEs. Many of its clients operate in In the months leading up to outbreak of the pandemic business was booming across various sectors with deals being signed on a daily basis across the GCC. Jens O. Floe, chief executive officer of the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) said his firm enjoyed a “positive experience over the last 12 months”, it was RSGT’s best year-to-date. Floe adds: “We completed a new concession with the government to the tune of US$1.7bn to develop the northern part of the Jeddah Port. We are in the early stage of development and Covid-19 has led to a slight delay but we remain on course. The new concession also allowed us to acquire a neighbouring container terminal. In every way Logistics ME. 40 | LOGISTICS MIDDLE EAST JULY-AUGUST 2020 www.logisticsmiddleeast.com
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