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Chaturvedi (left) and Eriksson at the signing ceremony

Chaturvedi (left) and Eriksson at the signing ceremony



GAC adds facility in Abu Dhabi

In 2018, the logistics major entrenched its position in the Middle East, opening new operation points in various locations and winning several international recognitions, writes ABDULAZIZ KHATTAK

January 2019

The year 2018 was a remarkable period for Gulf Agency Company (GAC), one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics giants, which went from strength to strength in the Middle East, opening new operation points in various locations and winning several international recognitions.

Its latest move is the inauguration of a warehouse and open yard at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), the Middle East’s largest industrial zone and a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Set to become operational this month, (January) the facilities will serve a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, manufacturing, construction, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), household effects, and specialist equipment.

According to GAC Abu Dhabi’s managing director, Göran Eriksson: “Khalifa Port is an essential gateway to Abu Dhabi. Setting up operations at Kizad gives us the advantage of being close to the state-of-the-art port, enabling greater operational efficiency for both GAC and our customers.”

GAC already has facilities in Abu Dhabi including two yards and a warehouse in Mina Zayed, a dedicated warehouse and yard in Mussafah, and others in Sila, Ruwais, and Abu Dhabi International Airport. It has a big fleet of trucks with access to oil security zones, and a shipping team supporting rigs and offshore support vessels in Mina Zayed’s Free Port as well as Mussafah Port.

Half a century after the first GAC office opened in Abu Dhabi with just a handful of staff, it has grown to a major player with more than 120 employees dedicated to providing an integrated range of shipping and logistics services.

Last year GAC Abu Dhabi was appointed by European bulk logistics provider RB Logistics (RB) for a second time to provide a complete logistics service package that covers freight services, transportation, warehousing and handling of talcum powder from Italy to Ruwais.

The company is also now a partner with the UAE government in fulfilling goals as defined in the UAE’s 2030 growth strategy to stimulate private sector partnerships and initiatives. GAC Abu Dhabi was last year certified under the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc) In-Country Value (ICV) programme to support local businesses and their role in driving economic diversification and GDP growth in the UAE.

In other developments over the last year in the region, GAC opened a new state-of-the-art Dh100-million ($27 million) purpose-built contract logistics facility, in Dubai South.

The 45,900 pallet, two-chamber temperature- and humidity-controlled facility is designed to handle a diverse range of product categories including FMCG, food and beverage, beauty products and dangerous goods (DG) of classes 2, 3, 5.1 and 8. It also features a 2,400-sq-m dedicated Value-Added Services (VAS) facility, offering an extensive range of value-added services to meet customers’ requirements and international quality standards.

The facility complements GAC’s established facilities in the Jebel Ali and Dubai Airport Free Zones, bringing its total capacity to more than 170,000 pallet positions.

GAC Dubai was also last year certified by Dubai Customs as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and which will allow it to provide customers even faster customs clearance.

Meanwhile, Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) recognised GAC Dubai’s Protection & Indemnity (P&I) team for its effective and efficient response to maritime emergencies and its contribution to maritime safety within the Emirate’s territorial waters.

In Q1 2018, GAC Bahrain opened a new warehouse and office building as testimony to the country’s growing logistics sector. The 3,200 sq m, 3,019-pallet position ambient racked warehouse replaces the company’s leased facility. GAC Bahrain also operates 1,500 sq m and 1,404 sq m of bonded warehousing at the airport and seaport.

In Saudi Arabia, GAC signed a partnership with Fendercare Marine Middle East, part of James Fisher and Sons, to offer Fendercare products, including a full range of ropes, chains and shackles, to local clients. This is in line with the country’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (Iktva) programme as enshrined in Vision 2030.

 

CSR INITIATIVES

In its concerns towards the planet, GAC last year helped raise awareness about ocean pollution by collecting daily water samples and sending them for analysis back in Dubai. It did this through its support for the Dubai-based syndicate Row4Ocean’s attempt to complete an endurance-testing journey from Dakar in Senegal to Paramaribo in Suriname. GAC provided freight services for the boat’s journey from Dubai to Dakar.

 

AWARDS & CERTIFICATIONS

In 2018, GAC Dubai was named FMCG Logistics Provider of the Year and FMCG Supply Chain of the Year Award for the second year running, while the Group as a whole won the Transportation and Logistics accolade.

Meanwhile, GAC Saudi Arabia was given the Best Ship Agency title in the IMC Excellence Awards 2017 – Bahrain & KSA Chapter, recognising its professionalism and contributions towards the development of the maritime industry.

GAC Dubai was also awarded the ISO 13485:2016 Medical Devices Management System certification, demonstrating its ability to provide quality warehousing, distribution and value-added services of medical devices that meet the high standards of the sector and the regulations that govern it.

Established since 1956, the privately-owned group employs over 9,000 people in 300 offices in more than 50 countries and works with trusted partners to cover over 1,000 locations worldwide. It represents more than 3,500 principals and hands as many as 86,000 jobs annually.




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