Can you imagine a world without the Internet? Without this digital network of information that brings us together? How primitive would that be? There is another network that we cannot imagine our life without. Yet! We take it for granted. It is the physical network of trade. Like the internet is where information is transferred, the trade network is where physical goods are transported. And with technology. Both digital and physical networks intertwine to form the fabric that wraps our world together. Our business is to weave this fabric.
As IT Director of DP World, UAE Region, Ibrahim Al Najjar has a strategic role to play in influencing Dubai’s transportation and logistics industry; a sector that impacts significantly on people’s lives, locally, regionally and internationally.
We are in the business of enabling the trade and transport of physical goods. Ninety percent of everything is transported from all across the world through a physical network. We are responsible for facilitating the majority of such transactions. With this level of physical connectivity, our business is touching everyone’s life directly or indirectly. We do it efficiently and effectively through technology exploitation and innovative solutions, making us the engine powering the Internet of Trade and connecting the world.
Hyper connectivity using technology
Hyperconnectivity, simply put, is linking everything!. At DP World, UAE Region, we aim to achieve Hyper Connectivity at all levels of our value offerings via technology enablement. Let’s take a look at how this is achieved. Starting from our ports and free zones operations, then exploring how we facilitate a seamless customer experience in the region, all the way to unlocking access to resources and linking societies in global markets, thus bringing the world together.
At the operational level of ports and free zones, our assets, equipment, and facilities are interconnected. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is increasingly deployed to enable us to operate efficiently and effectively. Data are captured by many sensors creating a detailed and up-to-date map of the whole operation. Connected cranes interact with connected vehicles in connected terminals. Remotely controlled and autonomous vehicles are also being adopted and pioneered. Traffic management solutions orchestrate the movements of our 1000+ vehicles fleet. Intelligent Video and Data Analytics are used to secure and optimise traffic flow and routing algorithms throughout the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the city. Our facilities are becoming smarter and automated. The use of robotics in port operations and in automated warehouses are all examples of an environment where everything is interconnected. To expand this hyper-connected environment, we are adopting the latest communication technologies of 5G and WIFI 6 to support our industrial use-cases. This gives us the visibility to make better decisions with the ultimate aim to add value to our customers with an effective level of service.
Zooming out to view our hyper-connectivity from a regional level, we focus on providing an interconnected business environment for trade stakeholders. We continuously use the latest technology to ease our customers’ journeys. One example is the Dubai Trade platform, a single-window of trade in Dubai. Dubai trade is the platform that continuously expands the facilitation of trade and logistics-related services in Dubai. Linking interaction points among the traders, supply chain entities, and authorities all under one evolving platform. Blockchain technologies are increasingly leveraged to create a layer of trust among many of the supply chain entities and authorities where they can offer an efficient level of service without subjecting the traders to undergo duplicate processes like in the case of submitting documentation needed across entities. Direct integration between the ports, the free zone and many other authorities like customs, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), and other regulatory authorities will create a hyper-connected business environment that reduces overheads and deliver a more effective and seamless experience to our customers. Traders can also enjoy a unique and well connected intermodal environment linking sea-air-land transportation channels serving the regional market and pivoting as a transportation hub to the global markets. Such connectivity is achieved with innovative business solutions that leverage technologies to integrate multiple entities, offerings, and services.
Global connectivity and the future
From a global point of you, our business solutions offer a comprehensive service catalogue for traders. A full range of logistical and transportation services offered via a vast network of ports, economic zones, and logistics centers across the globe all continuously getting interconnected. Such hyperconnected solutions are leading to the emergence and growth of platform economies where the whole supply chain and trade participants are physically and digitally, transforming how they conduct their business. Big data and predictive models are analysed to match supply and demand by identifying and utilising excess capacities or match-making between producers and consumers. DP World Cargospeed is an example of innovative solutions leveraging Hyperloop technology, where we are experimenting with augmenting our digitally connected platforms with an innovative physical mode of transport that creates new routes for trade, linking markets.
Such a level of hyperconnectivity poses new challenges of security and complexity. This is why information security, safety, and the well-being of our stakeholders are always embedded in the design and implementation of any of our business solutions. To address complexity, we are identifying use cases to leverage quantum computing
to analyse the huge number of variables that need to be correlated in such a connected environment. Looking from an operational level or a global market level, we realise that such an environment grows to become a complex living and adaptive ecosystem. Enabled by the use of technology, fueled by insights derived by data, and driven by the aim to serve our customers better, connect the wold and make a difference. We power the Internet of trade.