Special Report: Editor's Comment: Advantages of bulk logistics solutions

Bulk logistics is still a new trend in the region.

Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.
Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.

In the niche segment of logistics for the petrochemical industry, the clients are looking for service providers who gives them the best quality and flexibility at a reasonable price. The resulting challenge is to provide customised solutions, while maintaining all the expectations of each clients.

Our Knowledge Partner (pages 32-33) for this Special Report is Schmidt Middle East, which has developed unique systems and processes for dry bulk logistics that can catapult an organisation to the path of higher success in its entire operations. The company has developed various types of road tankers and bulk containers to ensure the provision of the most efficient transportation at all times.

Schmidt provides a customised door-to-door logistics solution to clients, starting with engineering, consulting and conceptualisation to the execution and operation, ending with delivery at the customer facility. One of the unique solutions the company provides in the Middle East is the build-up and finance of mobile silo storage units. These solutions work to service the client for its bulk requirements without having to invest large capital and reengineer the current process flow.

With the dry bulk logistics centre launched by Schmidt Middle East in 2017 in Abu Dhabi’s KIZAD, the company aims to speed up and enhance the process with which it delivers its services, expand its reach, and ease the complexity that is usually faced with distribution networks, thus allowing for the continuity of providing quality services. As explained in the Knowledge Partner column, Schmidt is a trend-setter in bulk logistics with innovative solutions to offer.

The Port of Antwerp has supported this Special Report through an Infrastructure Focus column (pages 34-35). Many large companies of the Middle East are using the port as their import hub for Europe. For example, Sadara Chemical Company, SABIC, Borouge and Saudi Aramco are using the port as their import hub. Most of the large producers and even traders from the Middle East use the port for the import flows of the companies.

Antwerp is the largest European integrated petrochemical cluster. The large refinery hub that is located in Antwerp is being complemented by a downstream chemical industry. This makes the cluster very diverse and offers customers a large string of products. In addition to the diverse and integrated cluster, the Port of Antwerp has the expertise of its workforce with many years of experience.

S.A. TALKE has participated in the Special Report through an interview of its managing director Oliver Klingbeil in the Last Word column (pages 36-37). S.A. TALKE is a joint venture company between ALFRED TALKE from Germany, SISCO Group from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Al-Jabr Group from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The company offers logistic solutions, logistics analysis, consultancy, optimisation of logistics processes, and turn-key construction of logistics plants to its clients in Saudi Arabia.

In recent years, S.A.TALKE significantly increased the size of its team and the total number of manpower went from 500 to 1,500, and the company also increased its Saudisation rate. The company is fully committed to providing jobs and opportunities for Saudi youth. In 2017, S.A.TALKE hired 221 Saudi nationals for various project sites, including young Saudi females in the western region.

In the Five Minutes With column (page 58), Markus Koepsel, general manager, RSA-TALKE, details on the latest trends in the UAE’s chemical logistics sector. According to Koepsel, the market is still in its development stage, and is yet to reach optimal maturity levels when it comes to the respective infrastructure, processes and regulations. This means that the biggest challenge for the business is to ensure that the high standards are applied to all touch points across the supply chain.

Bulk logistics is still a new trend in the region. Due to the lack of communication between suppliers, producers, converters and clients, it is a real task introducing innovative bulk logistics solutions to this market as these are the most efficient in time and cost. The entire supply chain players need to collaborate to identify the advantages of the bulk logistics solutions.

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