GAC, one of the largest integrated providers of shipping, logistics and marine services in the region and the world, has signed an agreement with Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to establish a contract logistics facility and office in the Ras Bufontas Free Zone. The agreement with GAC will play an important role in expanding the logistics offerings for QFZA and Qatar, strengthening supply chains and bolstering Qatar’s position as a global hub for trade.
The virtual signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Sayed, the Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA. The agreement was signed by Mr. Björn Engblom, GAC Group Executive Chairman & Trustee (via video conference) and Mr. Lim Meng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of QFZA, in the presence of Mr. Abdulla Al-Misnad, Deputy CEO of QFZA.
Sustainability & business
The purpose-built 27,000 sqm multi-user contract logistics facility, due to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, will be built from sustainable materials, partly fueled by solar power, have several energy-saving features and use recycled water in its operations.
Mock-up of GAC’s contract logistics facility in the Qatar Free Zones
The warehouse will serve key sectors including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), food & beverage (F&B), fashion, sports, energy, aerospace and healthcare. It will maintain temperatures ranging from -18°C to +22°C to support cold chain operations and will feature dedicated mezzanine levels for Value-Added Services activities such as component assembly, repacking and labelling to enhance customers’ supply chains.
GAC’s marine and offshore services will be well supported by Marsa Port, the marine cluster in Qatar Free Zones. Its operations at the port will serve the energy companies active in the North Field expansion projects.
Mr Lim Meng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of QFZA praised the partnership and said: “We welcome the partnership with GAC and we are pleased to see them join the group of logistics companies in Qatar Free Zones. The role of the free zones is to partner with companies who bring services that our local and regional market needs, allowing them to grow and our economy to grow with them. To bring in the world’s best companies to the zones, we are focused on sectors where we have a strong value proposition for these companies.”
Mr Engblom added: “As a pioneer of contract logistics in the region in 1993, GAC continues to augment its capabilities in this area at key locations globally. This agreement with the Qatar Free Zones marks another exciting milestone for GAC as we continue to invest in and expand our service offerings in strategic areas.
“We have seen robust demand for GAC’s logistics services including integrated solutions for the energy sector, and foresee even greater opportunities in Qatar in the lead-up to the global football sporting event in 2022 and as the North Field expansion projects progress. Qatar Free Zones is an excellent base for our contract logistics operations in the country from which we will serve our local and international clients.”
Located in the heart of the Middle East, Qatar is well-positioned to connect markets across three continents – All three continents are placed within reach of the Free Zones through Qatar’s award-winning air and seaports that sit directly adjacent to Qatar Free Zones, providing streamlined access for logistics and other companies.
According to the recent Mordor Intelligence report about Freight and Logistics Market, Qatar’s logistics sector is predicted to grow at an annual 7% in the coming years, outpacing the global average. This growth has been enabled by two factors: heavy investment in logistics infrastructure which has helped establish Qatar as a major regional hub for logistics companies; and major national projects including the North Field Expansion and the World Cup Qatar 2022 which are helping to fuel the domestic demand for specialized logistics services.
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