Growth potential: Airfreight heavyweight to operate 3-4 cargo flights per week from Muscat International Airport
DHL, a global market leader in the logistics industry, says it plans to capitalise on Oman’s potential to become a regional hub for ecommerce — an industry that has grown internationally at a blistering 300 per cent during the pandemic.
According to a high-level executive, newly announced investments in dedicated storage facility at Muscat International Airport are in line with DHL’s ecommerce growth strategy.
“As you can see, the world is shifting more into ecommerce now and it has become essential that we prepare for future demands (of this sector)’’, said Moustafa Osman, Country Manager — DHL Oman. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the volumes of inbound B2C shipments increased by almost 300 per cent. Oman has great potential to become a huge hub for the ecommerce business serving the local market and the region’’, he stated.
The comments came as DHL announced a strategic partnership with Oman Aviation Group to develop 50,000 sq metres of storage capacity close to the apron at Muscat International Airport dedicated to air logistics. The facility’s location on the airside will “create a seamless operation offering both time and cost-savings for DHL’s customers’’, he said.
Significantly, Muscat will become the latest hub for DHL’s air cargo operations in the Gulf region, joining existing hubs in Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, said the executive.
“Our new storage facility in Oman will become the leading hub in the region. We are planning to have 3- 4 flights a week to start with, and we see DHL flights operating more and more out of Muscat International Airport, which is in line with (Oman Aviation Group’s) target to grow the air cargo business to 730,000 tonnes by 2050. We are also happy to be part of the growth strategy set out in Oman Vision 2040’’.
DHL’s commitment to Oman will be long-term and broad-based, Osman stressed.
“This investment is important for us because Oman plays a very important part in our plans. It offers great potential for growth and development.
It occupies a great geographical location and has great political relations; it’s a very peaceful place and business friendly too. We have had great support from the Omani government’’.
The global giant also has its sights on Duqm, where a mammoth industrial and economic hub is under development. “We are committed to more investment in Oman, in places like Duqm and others. We are increasing our fleets to ensure we are serving the Oman market and providing great service for our core customers, but also SMEs’’, he added.