Saudi’s Mawani & Maersk lay cornerstone for Middle East’s biggest logistics zone

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) and Maersk have laid the cornerstone of the company’s biggest comprehensive logistics zone in the Middle East at the Jeddah Islamic port, at an investment volume of $346 million that will provide over 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.

The ceremony was attended by officials from the maritime and logistics sectors. This is one of the initiatives launched by Mawani with the aim of developing and providing investment opportunities in logistics zones for the private sector, and increasing the number of logistics zones that deal with re-exports to 30 by 2030, in line with the goals of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy to enhance the Kingdom’s position as a global logistics center and a hub for three continents.

The new zone, established on an area of 225,000 square meters, offers several logistics solutions that connect and facilitate the movement of supply chains, and deal with annual volumes of up to 200,000 containers of different products. Works are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

The zone will include storage and distribution areas that accommodate merchandise intended for export and import, warehouses to accommodate refrigerated food products, as well as a re-shipping area, air shipping, LCL cargo shipping, and an eCommerce execution center, with high-storage intensity designs, and leading mechanical solutions.

It will use renewable energy and will apply decarburization solutions to achieve zero-carbon rates by 2040. Thus, the zone will be 100 percent powered by solar power generated by solar panels on rooftops, spread over 65,000 square meters, and trucks used for transport will be electric, to effectively reduce emissions.

The zone will operate according to an advanced warehouse management system that applies modern technologies and digital solutions to manage inventory efficiently, and provides unit-level tracking. An advanced dashboard will be provided for improving competencies and giving a competitive advantage to importers, exporters and navigational agents, and an in-house women’s academy will offer training programs dedicated to women.

Mawani and Maersk signed the agreement at the end of 2021. The comprehensive logistics zone at the Islamic port of Jeddah will support the growth of the logistics industry, contribute significantly to the economy and increase the volume of the Kingdom’s non-oil export share by 50 percent, creating growing career opportunities in the logistics sector.

Related: Mawani launches King Abdulaziz Port container terminals development project