Issue 62: Reimagining the future of trade


Living in the digital age has both benefits and challenges. Digitalisation has seeped into every aspect of our lives and every sector in the business world. Industries are becoming increasingly efficient; the costs of operations are reducing, and processes have become prompt. Similarly, digitalisation has impacted the trade and logistics industry significantly.

In fact, the industry can be considered as one of the most advanced. IoT and blockchain are revolutionising the sector; we at DP World are reaping the benefits. Leveraging Big Data and AI tools, we have been developing novel solutions to optimise Yard planning at our Terminals. The possibilities today are many. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the transportation-and-warehousing industry already has the third-highest automation potential of any sector. And according to PWC, there is “no other industry where so many industry experts ascribe a high importance to data and analytics in the next five years than transportation and logistics – 90% … compared to an average of 83%.”

At DP World too, innovation and technology have been core pillars. Automation and new technology are an integral part of the present and the future. They undoubtedly play a huge role in helping our customers and the wider supply chain realise the efficiencies.

Many say that the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitali- sation, however, DP World has been at the forefront of the digital revolution way before the pandemic. Back in 2014, we received the first vessel call at the world’s biggest semi-automated facil- ity, Terminal 3 at the Jebel Ali Port. The well-equipped terminal is to date providing optimal and sustainable service efficiency and reliability.

Today, we can proudly say that we are the pioneers of several innovative technologies. One of them being Boxbay, a unique concept that will invigorate port level logistics with speed and efficiency. The system is built around a new and intelligent High Bay Storage (HBS) – a rack structure that offers many advantages, because containers are stored up to eleven storeys high, delivering the capacity of a conventional terminal in a third of the surface area. Fully automated, it has direct access to each container, eliminating unpaid and unproductive reshuffling. It also features significant gains in handling speed, energy efficiency, safety and a major reduction in operating costs.

Then, you also have new forms of transport emerging, like the high-speed Hyperloop system and its logistics counterpart Cargospeed, created through a partnership between DP World and Virgin Hyper-loop One. This next-generation technology provides hyperloop-en-abled cargo systems for fast, sustainable and efficient delivery of palletised cargo.

Additionally, our partnerships with leading institutions are further helping us in digitalising operations. For instance, DP World dig- itised 100% of its customer transactions by collaborating with Emirates NBD. Apart from expanding digital infrastructure and encouraging paperless trade, our goal was to support the Dubai Paperless Strategy.

Now, with the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai, one of the most awaited events, we are certain that the world will get a glimpse of many more technologically-advanced offerings that will transform various sectors, including trade and logistics. Smarter trade indeed drives global economic growth and social progress. And if we manifest this and work towards it, soon we will be living in a world with self-driving trucks, drone deliveries and freight zipping through vacuum at neck-breaking speeds.


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