Al Jallaf: DCV and the new Jebel Ali facility will complement each other

Al Jallaf: DCV and the new Jebel Ali facility will complement each other

Cargo hub grows as restructuring proceeds

01 July 2008

Dubai Cargo Village (DCV) has made enviable progress from the time it was established in 1991, achieving double digit growth year-on-year all the way.

Last year it handled around 1.7 million tonnes of freight, compared with just over 1.5 million tonnes in 2006, an increase of more than 10 per cent. Despite capacity restraints, Cargo Village has been averaging around 10 per cent growth over the past couple of years.
This year it expects to cross two million tonnes with additional space made available following the opening of the Mega Terminal, says Ali Al Jallaf, vice president, cargo unit, Dubai Airports.
Its peak period for handling freight in 2007 was November and December, when it recorded 149,527 tonnes and 147,754 tonnes respectively. Its highest growth over the corresponding period in 2006 was 17.3 per cent in February.
DCV is currently undergoing a major restructuring aimed at enhancing coordination between the current facility and the new one coming up in Al Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali.
“The new airport coming up in Jebel Ali will be the future,” Al Jallaf says adding that a cargo terminal is also currently under construction in Jebel Ali airport with an initial annual capacity of around 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes.”
“We are also building a runway there and encouraging some airlines to move there as Jebel Ali offers immense potential for growth because of its close proximity to Jebel Ali Free zone as well as a number of industrial zones and the logistics city coming up,” he says.
“For the time being DCV will continue to maintain its growth before the new airport facility becomes operational. The two facilities are planned to complement each other and not compete.”
Commenting on the recent achievements of DCV, Al Jallaf says the biggest undoubtedly was the completion of the Mega Terminal offering an additional 1.2 million tonnes in handling capacity. It will be home to the rapidly expanding Emirates SkyCargo and is well equipped to meet with future market trends.
“It was a challenging time for us during the construction period. We had been working at 100 per cent capacity for two years and we got full support from our clients during this period.”
Commenting on growth, he says:  “The complex was originally designed to handle 150,000 tonnes. But within a few years, it became too small for rapidly increasing demand.”
There are many factors behind this growth, he says. “Dubai has become a hub for many airlines today. The huge success of Emirates Airlines has also helped.”
Emirates contributes around 60-65 per cent to operations at DCV. Nearly 85 per cent of the cargo handled by airlines comes from passengers. In general about 70 per cent of the cargo that comes into Cargo Village is from passengers.
Presenting his thoughts on general business in Dubai, the official says much of the international trade in the UAE is transacted in the emirate. And though there is not much manufacturing in Dubai, there is a lot of re-export. The image of Dubai and its infrastructure has helped growth. Also contributing much to the business scene is sea transportation. Cargo has been coming from all over the world with China emerging as a big market for Dubai. China-origin products are re exported to Africa, ME, Europe and the GCC.
Dubai has developed as a hub for importers from all over the world and the city handles all kinds of cargo from industrial equipment, garments and food to electronics and spare parts.
The Cargo Village has stacked up some exciting statistics. It is home to 110 airlines, 85 freight forwarders and 40 agents and consequently is playing a big role globally. Currently, DCV is ranked 11th on ACI’s list of world cargo hubs. When it started 17 years ago it was positioned at 64.
“The Mega Cargo Terminal will herald a new era in cargo handling and will further consolidate Dubai’s position as an international cargo handling hub,” enthuses Al Jallaf.

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