Saudi forges ahead to gain logistical ascendancy

Saudi Arabia’s ongoing investment in existing and new infrastructure to bolster its freight capacity is gathering steady momentum as the country works hard towards reaching objectives set out in its Vision 2030 growth strategy.

In recent news it announced that cities to the west and east, Yanbu and Damman, respectively north of King Abdullah Economic City and close to the kingdom’s Persian Gulf border with Bahrain, are to be rail-linked with the capital of Riyadh and nearby hinterland zones of industry.

In respect of Damman it involves significant upgrading of existing infrastructure, but on the Red Sea coast it involves the installation of a rail network linking Yanbu with King Abdullah harbour.

In addition a new dry port and industrial zone are also on the cards.

Highlighting the country’s focus on comprehensive logistics, Saudi Cargo’s executive director for its commercial division, Amer AbuObeid, remarked that the kingdom was geographically well placed, had a burgeoning population that was well educated and switched on in industry 4.0 terms, and that it bordered eight countries in the Middle East.

Considering China’s intention to route its Belt and Road Network through the Middle East, Dubai’s global retail primacy, as well as recent news that Israel has opened a new airport in Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, competition is clearly rife to gain a controlling grip on multi-modal freight in the Middle East.

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