By Edward Attwood
Express firm building up local infrastructure, looking for international acquisitions - COO
Logistics giant Aramex will continue to invest in Middle Eastern infrastructure even as it looks to expand its operations further afield, a senior official at the firm has said.
“The geographical expansions we’re looking at are mainly focused on Africa, the CIS and also within Asia,” Ayad Kamal, Aramex’s chief operating officer, told Arabian Business.
“But within the region itself, what we’re doing is expanding infrastructure, so we’re doing investments in Egypt, Oman and also looking at expanding warehousing infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. We’re also looking into the Lebanese market.”
Kamal declined to state how much Aramex was investing into local infrastructure.
On Monday, Aramex CEO Fadi Ghandour said that the firm was looking to make four to five international acquisitions in Asia and Africa by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Kamal said that the new acquisitions would be local companies that were similar to Aramex, but without the full suite of services that the Dubai-based operator provides.
“We are looking at companies that will have infrastructure in the countries they operate in, and we would go and bring in all the Aramex solutions,” he said.
“You might have a domestic operator that doesn’t have freight forwarding or vice versa. So we will go into that country, utilise their infrastructure build our brand and bring products to that country, whether it’s warehousing, international express, or domestic express.”
The COO also confirmed that the express company’s 41,000 square metre facility in Dubai Logistics City – next to the newly opened Al Maktoum International Airport – would be opening on time by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Aramex already has a facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, but is building the new warehouse due to increased demand.
Kamal also said that the firm was “monitoring the situation” with regard to its decision to suspend shipments from Yemen.
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