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Necessity will be the mother of invention, says DP World chief

[ December 13, 2022   //   ]

Rising costs and stunted economic growth will force change across Europe in 2023, says DP World chief executive and managing director of Europe, Rashid Abdulla.

He believes that the predicted tough year ahead will force transformation across supply chains as firms continue to demand faster, greener and smarter end-to-end solutions.

Mounting pressure is being placed on private entities, in the wake of ongoing instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, to find long-term solutions that protect consumers from supply shortages for years to come. Compounded by the war in Ukraine and spiralling freight prices, these costs are now impacting consumers directly.

Rashid said: “Analysts are telling us 2023 is going to be a testing year for most sectors, and that will especially be the case for trade as the cost of living and inflation takes hold.

“But just as we saw during the pandemic, challenging times can force positive change, and this may be the year where firms are forced to adapt to survive. In this type of environment, it is the businesses that take a more forward-looking approach that will succeed in the long-term.”

He added that DP World has been customising its logistics propositions to customers who need quick-fix supply chain solutions as the first step in a long-term strategy to evolve into a complete end-to-end logistics operator, something which Rashid predicts will be replicated by DP World’s industry peers.

Rashid explains: “In 2022 a growing number of our customers have asked us to take more positions in their supply chains. Our agility and expertise enable us to take this on and our customers are starting to see the benefits of this customised approach, such as greater visibility, flexibility and streamlined management through one point of contact rather than several.”

One example is DP World’s recent work with agribusiness, Al Dahra, which faced challenges due to the location of its operation, now exacerbated by rising costs and supply chain disruption. DP World started barge services that provide greater capacity and flexibility on the frequency of services, and also reduced CO2 emissions by 300 tons.

Rashid says: “Joining forces with Imperial Logistics and Syncreon has increased our end-to-end logistical capability in Europe and beyond in the past year, providing us with greater market access for our customers. Further, our growing network enables us to envision a totally synchronised supply chain that provides reliably consistent services from factory floor to customer door.

“It’s not just physical infrastructure we’re reimagining. We’re also building resilience through digitalisation, creating real-time visibility of goods throughout our trade routes while streamlining operations to keep costs down. This has the dual benefit of boosting confidence with our customers and shielding the end-consumer from unnecessary costs as the cost-of-living crisis beds in.

“All this will ensure that as we work towards our complete end-to-end solutions, we can offer a compelling proposition for customers, supporting them through what is expected to be a tough year ahead.”

Rashid concludes: “A lot has happened in 2022 to drive us further apart and the causes of these are unlikely to vanish overnight. Yet perhaps disruption, the good kind, is what we’ll see more of next year.”