Q1. With the advent of new technologies in the market and digitization being encouraged like never before. How do you think digitalization benefits infrastructure building in the logistics industry?
The Logistics industry has seen a sea change in its outlook from basic services in the early 2000s to a much-evolved value-based delivery services structure in the last half a decade. This change in the industry outlook, coupled with the heightened expectations from consumers on their logistics deliveries, has ushered in an era of unprecedented digitalization. I think it’s the right time to make technology investments, and business cases from such initiatives have started yielding fast and exponential returns to further cement the idea of a digital logistics revolution. The central idea that all logistics service providers and supply chain stakeholders must have is efficient and real-time connectivity, which means all mannerisms of devices and systems have to talk to each other during every single transaction and every activity location. This burst in new-age logistics infrastructure will yield massive gains over the next decade.
Q2. Khimji Ramdas and Kale Logistics Solutions’ partnership offers more value to its clients and accelerates Trade Facilitation. How far do you think we have been successful in reaching our goal?
KR ICT has always been at the forefront of introducing revolutionary and path-breaking technologies in the Sultanate of Oman. This principle is complemented through our partnership with Kale Logistics Solutions whose technology solutions and services are accepted worldwide and in the most complex logistics business scenarios. We firmly believe that the products and solutions from Kale logistics will provide the much-needed impetus in driving the digital-based logistics ecosystem in the Sultanate of Oman. We are in talks with multiple government agencies as well as business groups to provide holistic, large scale and purpose-built solutions in the areas of logistics marketplaces for business efficiencies, cross border movements with neighbouring states, customs clearance related activities, a central logistics nervous system for monitoring the goods movements in and out of the country as well as internally within Oman.
Q3. With Air and Sea cargo reaching its pinnacle in these trying times, the seaports are struggling with congestion, and Air cargo is no better, with many passenger flights turning into freight planes. Digitalization is the need of the hour. Will Community Systems help in making all the processes not only faster but seamless too?
Community Systems, be at seaports or airports, are meant to drive the collaborative nature of the global supply chain. Such Community Systems bring together each and every stakeholder right from the manufacturer to the end consumer in every single goods movement and transaction. Our experience of port community systems over the past two decades has shown more than enough evidence of the benefits of transparency, real-time visibility, and financial and logistical tracking. All these benefits have now been noticed and accepted by state authorities worldwide, and therefore regulatory changes and new bylaws have been ushered internationally as well as locally by many countries to improve their trade facilitation practices and remove trade barriers. We in Oman have been thinking out of the box by not having a PCS for every single seaport or airport but by creating a National PCS grid that will serve more than 5000 stakeholders involved in international and national logistics services including state authorities, international service providers freight forwarders and customs SME brokers.
Q4. Oman’s being in a strategic position, linking the East and the West, as well as being on the route for trade centres, makes Oman a key player in Logistics. How is Oman influencing the logistics industry worldwide?
According to the Minister of Transport & Communications of Sultanate of Oman, Oman is aspiring to increase the logistics sector contribution to the GDP of Oman by over OMR 14 billion by 2040. This shall make the logistics sector the second crucial source of GDP, transforming it into a global logistics hub by 2040. Understanding the importance of this sector, the government has formulated the Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy 2040 (SOLS 2040). A program developed by the Oman Logistics Center team of experts to outline a strategy to achieve its goal. Technology is seen as a crucial strategic enabler of SOLS 2040. Oman Logistics Center (OLC) aims to identify and adopt innovative logistics technologies and leverage them to gain a globally competitive advantage. Additionally, OLC intends to establish a single-window and use mobile technology for 90 per cent of logistics services within five years through track-and-trace systems.
Oman gains from being located on the strategic axis of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf, which boasts of accessible and fast transit times trade routes to the world’s most attractive emerging markets. In terms of transportation connectivity, Oman is placed on the major international shipping routes and within two weeks of most major ports. It also has direct trade routes to the growing GCC market like India and Africa.
Oman plays a critical role in facilitating the GCC’s trade connection through its FTA with the US as well as, being part of the Ishqabad trade corridor. Additionally, it is also part of the European Free Trade Association-GCC, Singapore-GCC, and has FTA negotiations with the EU, China, New Zealand, and Australia.