The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world in an unthinkable manner. Be it our personal or professional lives, or businesses around us, nothing has been spared from the impact of this global crisis. Not only has it changed the way we view our lives and perceive our future, but it has also changed the way businesses approach their future plans. And at a time, when most of us are living an isolated, quarantined life, logistics in the Middle East that has become a global gateway of cargo movement has shown an unprecedented resilience by continuously providing services and helping businesses survive.
These are not ordinary times, and the pandemic has affected almost every business sector in the world. To survive and continue to support the supply chain is a commendable feat that the logistics sector in the UAE has been able to do. As the pandemic has shut down a large part of the world, travel restrictions and financial crunch have made a huge dent in the supply chain the world over. This is the time when the importance of the logistics sector and how it pushes the global economy has been realized. And even though the UAE has been putting in a huge amount of money in boosting its logistics sector, there has never been a more resolute commitment towards providing their services as it has been in the last one year. Despite all the challenges, the sector has seen positive growth in business, which is nothing short of a miracle.
A report submitted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that the cargo industry in the area witnessed and year-to-year growth of 2.5 percent to 9 percent in February 2020 as compared to the previous year. These are hearty signs for the world as well as for the UAE that has been concentrating on the logistics sector to support its economy which was hitherto over-reliant on oil. The government has invested huge amounts of money in creating support infrastructure and developed policies that create a pro-logistics environment. Their initiatives like the World Logistics Passport have made the region a global hub that connects regions like Africa, Asia, and India.
What is even more commendable is to see an industry that is still establishing itself, adapt to the new normal so quickly and efficiently. Businesses and lifestyles across the world have seen a drastic change and so has the supply chain. There is more demand for cargo movement and with all the supply chain disruptions and restrictions, it hasn’t been easy to meet this global demand. But several global shipping and logistics companies have very smartly changed the way they operate and have been able to survive and thrive through this period through better planning and strategy.
According to Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index for 2021, the UAE was declared number one in the GCC area and fourth globally in business fundamentals, domestic and international logistics in the region. This further reinforces the fact that the kind of resilience global shipping and logistics companies in this area have shown is worth appreciating. This is not just great from the business point of view, but from the consumer point of view as well. At a time when most consumers are buying online and most businesses are adapting to a different work model, maintaining the rising supply chain is never easy. But the logistics sector in the UAE managed to push itself through this crisis and come on top of all adversities.
And this is not a coincidence or mere luck, the UAE government, along with other global shipping and logistics companies have made it happen through their impeccable planning, foresightedness, and proactiveness. One of the biggest factors that helped the logistics sector keep itself afloat in the UAE was its strong business relations with its major partners. For example, their trade never saw any hiccups with India even during the lockdown. Not just that, the UAE government was able to track and maintain their orders, shipments, and other cargo movements without any delays through strong bonds with other countries like Africa and the Arab countries. Add their utilization of advanced technology like real-time tracking and data management and risk management to further ease the situation for the logistics sector.
All these factors played a really important role in the logistics in the Middle East getting the better of this global crisis. The government’s unrelenting efforts made sure that the sector sailed through the tough times and came out a lot stronger. There is no doubt that the Middle East has become a global logistics hub and it moves a large part of global cargo around. And with their resilient efforts, they were able to play a crucial role to maintain a highly important but very critical supply chain that is prone to break very easily.