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19 December, 2013

Raman Kumar, acting managing director for Al-Futtaim Logistics, looks back at 2013

HOW DID THE FIRM FARE IN 2013?
Despite the challenges to the logistics industry this year, Al-Futtaim Logistics has performed better than expected. We’re growing at a faster rate than ever before and this year recorded notable achievements. Under the leadership of Mr. Len Hunt [president, automotive group], Al-Futtaim Logistics is on track to finish the year in grand style. One of the major reasons for this is his commitment to ‘Driving Magic Moments’ an associate engagement campaign which has become part of our DNA, and part of everything we do here. Mr. Hunt feels that putting the customers at the heart of everything we do has become a key element of our work culture driven by engaged associates. This success story is reflected in our results, especially in the last six months, means we are heading in the right direction.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR AL-FUTTAIM LOGISTICS IN 2013?
We won three awards in 2013: recognized in the market as an ‘Outstanding Achiever’ and a ‘Highly Commended 3PL Service Provider’ at the SCATA 2013 awards and then as a ‘Warehousing and Material Handling Provider’ winner at the Dubai Trade and Export Middle East Excellence Awards. This is a reflection of our business conduct with quality, service and efficiency in mind.

In addition, Al-Futtaim Logistics received an ISO 9001:2008 recertification this year, and also the FIDI-FAIM PLUS relocation and moving quality certification - we are one of only four firms in the UAE to have this prestigious accreditation.

IN WHAT AREAS DID AL-FUTTAIM LOGISTICS GROW IN 2013?
In third-party logistics today, non-group customers [customers outside the Al-Futtaim Group] has increased during the year 2013. Al-Futtaim Logistics is having major share of the UAE automotive logistics market. Handling a large portfolio of automotive brands, we provide integrated logistics solutions and we’re still in the growing phase.

Most of the contracts that we’ve signed in the last six months have been non-group customers. If you look at our Corporate Transportation division, we transport 25,000 people a day. A distance of 40,000 km equivalent to going around the world in a day! 70% of our people transport is non-group customers. Al-Futtaim Logistics is more focused to strategically expand its non-group customer base than last year. We’ve also added a suite of value-added services, notably the relocations of vintage and classic cars from the US and UK. We have taken on new facilities for warehousing and an open yard in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Industrial City, which increase our current warehousing and open yard facilities beyond 1 million square meters, and introduced new trade lanes for airfreight and contract logistics from Asian countries.

The way we’re growing is phenomenal! The main thing which hinders our growing faster is limitation of facilities, but we are in the process now of making sure that it does not become a problem next year.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM AL-FUTTAIM LOGISTICS?
Going forward, Al-Futtaim Logistics will deliver more customer solutions to its existing portfolio, solutions such as the expansion of its fashion logistics solutions in Jebel Ali Free Zone. We are working with our major customers for value-added service in Levant and other emerging markets alike. Our rapid expansion into Home Delivery services for our retail clients is a recent milestone, in addition to the exploration of the Afghanistan and Northern African market, where we operate charter flights, providing solutions for the humanitarian and military industry sectors. Early next year, Al-Futtaim Logistics is expecting ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001certification to achieve the IMS quality standards.

Al-Futtaim Logistics has industry specialized management team to take the business beyond 2014. We can confidently state that Al-Futtaim Logistics is well positioned in the coming year to be the strategic partner of choice growing footprint from North Africa to China, especially with the focus placed in the latter part of this year on infrastructure and geographic expansions.

AL-FUTTAIM LOGISTICS will be increasing its facilities in the upcoming months with more warehousing and an open yard in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Industrial City, which increase our current storage and open yard facilities beyond 1 million square meters.

Automotive logistics is one of major part of Al-Futtaim Logistics’ business. The firm has also recently added the relocations of vintage and classic cars from the US and UK to its portfolio.

Raman Kumar is the acting managing director for Al-Futtaim Logistics