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Apple part in Transforming Saudi Arabia into a Global Logistics Hub

, Apple part in Transforming Saudi Arabia into a Global Logistics Hub, eTurboNews | eTN

Riyadh’s King Salman International Airport is becoming the center of a private logistic zone with Apple as the first international investor.

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Mega projects in Saudi Arabia are not only related to travel and tourism. However, there seems to be a wider range of connections in today’s announcement by the crown prince for the Kingdom to become a giant Global logistics Hub, with its main nerve center at King Salman International Airport in Riyadh.

The ambition of the Kingdom is to expand this airport to become the largest in the world. It’s already larger than the City of Las Vegas.

It also goes along with another ambition for a new airline, Riyadh Air, to become the largest airline in the region and connect the world through Riyadh. The airline said this would not directly compete with Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, or Turkish Airlines. Riyadh Air is in the process of buying single-aisle aircraft to establish new niche markets and concentrate on developing tourism to Saudi Arabia from various new markets. At the same time, the airline has a goal to connect to such destinations for Saudi travelers as well.

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Transport and Logistics Services, unveiled a master plan for these logistics centers.

The plan’s goals are to expand the logistics sector’s infrastructure, diversify the local economy, and solidify the Kingdom’s status as a top investment destination and global logistics hub.

In keeping with the goals of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS), HRH the Crown Prince has stated that the logistics center’s master plan is an extension of the current initiatives to enhance the logistics industry in the Kingdom.

We want to strengthen international trade networks and global supply chains by improving local, regional, and global logistics infrastructure.

By making use of the Kingdom’s location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa, the strategy also seeks to strengthen ties with the private sector, increase employment possibilities, and establish the country as a worldwide logistics hub.

The Master Logistics Centers Plan lays out 59 facilities, covering more than 100 million square meters in total, strategically located throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

There are 18 distribution facilities in the rest of the Kingdom in addition to the 12 in the Riyadh area, 12 in the Makkah area, and 17 in the Eastern Province.

The current efforts are concentrated on 21 centers, with the completion of all centers scheduled for 2030. By providing fast links between logistics centers and distribution hubs in different regions, cities, and provinces of the Kingdom, the centers would help local enterprises efficiently export Saudi products and assist e-commerce. Additionally, the strategy streamlines the process of obtaining permits for logistical activities, especially with the advent of the unified logistic license.

As of now, more than 1,500 local, regional, and worldwide logistic enterprises have been issued licenses, and in conjunction with the necessary government agencies, FASAH, the two-hour licensing program, has been launched.

The logistics services industry is poised to become a stable economic and social foundation for the Kingdom. Several high-quality projects and major innovations are underway to help the industry experience a quantum leap in growth and broaden its economic and developmental impacts.

The Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services (MOTLS) strategy aims to enhance export tactics, expand investment opportunities, establish partnerships with the private sector, and promote the logistics services sector.

In April 2023, the Kingdom made significant progress in the field of transportation and logistics, moving up 17 spots to the 38th position out of 160 countries in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, an international ranking of logistics effectiveness.

To further establish the Kingdom as a worldwide logistics hub, the MOTLS has lately started a series of measures in the logistics sector to boost performance efficiency, reengineer processes, and incorporate best global practices.

By 2030, the NTLS hopes to have the Kingdom ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the Logistics Performance Index.

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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