By Robeel Haq
A diverse range of professionals from the logistics sector came together for the SCATA Awards.
The biggest players in the Middle East's logistics industry recently gathered at Dubai's Fairmont Hotel for the inaugural Supply Chain and Transport Awards (SCATA).
The prestigious ceremony, held in association with the Material Handling Show, featured 16 categories in total, covering the entire spectrum of supply chain management. Awards included ‘Express Logistics Provider of the Year', ‘3PL Service Provider of the Year', ‘Logistics Manager of the Year' and ‘Outstanding Achievement of the Year.'
"The logistics industry in the Middle East has experienced monumental growth over the past year. The number of companies offering supply chain and transportation services is constantly increasing and the industry is striving for excellence on a daily basis," says Captain Mansoor Ghafoor, president of the National Association of Freight Logistics and member of the SCATA judging panel.
"As the logistics industry flourishes, we needed a premium event to bring the different players together and honour the achievements of those pushing boundaries and moving the industry towards even greater heights. The SCATA awards have filled this void and the inaugural ceremony has proved an overwhelming success," he adds.
In total, approximately 250 individuals attended the awards ceremony, which was organised by ITP, the leading publisher of magazines such as
Logistics Middle East
Air Cargo Middle East & India
Sea Freight Middle East
"ITP's transportation titles are considered a strong voice for the logistics industry and with the SCATA ceremony, the industry has received deserved recognition for achievers across the board," says Michael Proffitt, chief executive officer, Dubai Logistics City and member of the SCATA judging panel.
"The Middle East is a dynamic market and the annual SCATA awards will ensure that the industry will continue to follow a path of excellence and continued growth," he adds.
One of the biggest winners of the night was undoubtedly Gulf Agency Company (GAC), which received honours in the ‘Shipping Agent of the Year' and ‘Outstanding Contribution to Training' categories. The regional powerhouse DP World also marked a successful year by winning the awards for ‘Port Authority and Terminal Operator of the Year' and ‘Outstanding Achievement'. Other winners at the SCATA ceremony included DHL, Agility, Dubai Cargo Village, Emirates SkyCargo, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Psion Teklogix.
Express Logistics Provider of the Year
DHL Middle East
"DHL is very proud to receive SCATA's Express Logistics Provider of the Year award," says Dirk van Doorn, commercial manager for DHL's express freight and logistics in the UAE. "These awards are vital for the logistics industry in the Middle East and we support them 100%. It's been a fantastic year for DHL Middle East and winning this trophy endorses our achievements and success in pushing the boundaries of supply chain solutions. In addition, our entire team felt the SCATA ceremony was extremely well organised and we are already planning our entry for next year's ceremony."
3PL Service Provider of the Year
"Agility has experienced a stellar year, especially with the rebranding of the company from the previous PWC Logistics brand," says Elias Monem, chief executive officer for Agility in the Middle East and Africa. "It's a great honour to receive the SCATA award for 3PL Service Provider of the Year, especially because of judging panel consisted of some of the most respected names from the logistics industry. It was a close call, because the competition was extremely tough and included all of the major 3PL players in the Middle East. This recognition is therefore excellent for Agility and allows us to showcase our achievements to existing and future customers."
Logistics Manager of the Year
Sebastian Thomas (Al-Futtaim Retail Division)
"I would like to thank ITP Business and the entire team on Logistics Middle East magazine for the initiative shown in organising the SCATA awards," says Sebastian Thomas, logistics manager, Al-Futtaim Retail Division. "These awards offer a fantastic opportunity to recognise and support the achievements of the logistics industry in the Middle East. Receiving the Logistics Manager of the Year award has been one of the greatest achievements I have gained during my eighteen years in the industry. I truly believe the SCATA ceremony was a memorable and exciting night and this award has motivated me to push for greater excellence in the future too."
Air Cargo Winners
Cargo Operator of the Year (Commercial Airline)
"Awards are probably the best motivator for improvement. To be recognised during the inaugural SCATA ceremony proves Emirates SkyCargo is working on the right track. Its our pleasure to receive the Cargo Operator of the Year - Commercial Airline award," says Ram Menen, divisional senior vice president Cargo, Emirates. "If you look at our track record in the market during the past 21 years, we have grown alongside the development of the industry. This business is very much about partnership, whether it's with freight forwarders or airports, or even the city and the region itself, so its great to have awards such as SCATA that bring the community together to celebrate its achievements."
Cargo Operator of the Year (Cargo Airline)
"It is great news for ACT Airlines to receive the SCATA award for Cargo Operator of the Year - Cargo Airline. It proves how far this company has come in such a short space of time," says Bulent Demirci, executive VP at ACT Airlines. "We formed in 2004 and only increased our fleet last year, from one aircraft to seven. Along with the expansion of the fleet, the quality of service has improved during the last year as we started working with UPS, Gulf Air and the UK Ministry of Defence. ACT has also begun investing in maintenance, which means the quality is set to improve again as we initiate plans to expand the fleet to 20 aircraft by 2012. This award reflects our achievements so far and fills us with hope for the future."
Air Cargo Hub of the Year
Dubai Cargo Village
"It's a delight for the entire Dubai Cargo Village team to receive the SCATA award for Air Cargo Hub of the Year," says Ali Al Jalaf, vice president, Dubai Cargo Village. "In fact, this is the third award we have received this year, which clearly highlights the importance of our hub terminal. We are currently ranked 13th in the world and I think we deserve this SCATA award for being very active in the Middle East over the recent years. The developments currently underway at the cargo village will make it even more spacious, provide for more cargo and therefore promote the development of the air cargo sector in Dubai in general. We want to make Dubai the best hub in the world and this award proves we are on the right path."
Sea Freight Winners
Port Authority & Terminal Operator of the Year
"I believe the SCATA ceremony has created a brilliant platform for DP World to showcase its achievements," says Abdulla Bin Damithan, deputy director, commercial for DP World - UAE. "As such, we continually strive to achieve high efficiency and service levels, which in turn add value to our partners bottom-line and allow them to focus on their core business. Winning the Port & Terminal Operator Award therefore builds upon our customer focus and commitment to quality. We would also like to thank everyone involved in the SCATA awards. The categories and criteria for the awards ceremony were well structured and the evening's agenda was precisely carried out."
Shipping Agent of the Year
"GAC Shipping has consistently delivered world-class service across the Middle East and to the international market for all types of port calls," says Captain Dan Hjalmarsson, managing director, GAC Dubai. "As ship agents, GAC has also demonstrated our dedication in delivering excellent services to our principals at all times. I am delighted that the SCATA judging panel has highlighted these achievements by selecting us for the Shipping Agent of the Year. The awards ceremony was certainly impressive and the strong support by the industry's cargo, logistics and port professionals at the gala awards ceremony is also testament to its success."
Shipping Company of the Year
"The Middle East is expected to grow faster than any other market in the entire Maersk network, so receiving the Shipping Company of the Year award at the SCATA ceremony is a particular joy," says Poul Woodall, area line and operations manager of Maersk Middle East. "Its been a great year for the company, with the operations of Maersk Line recording a jump in turnover from US$4 billion to $19 billion in 2006. The Middle Eastern market has witnessed particularly outstanding growth and now represents 10% of volumes handled by Maersk Line internationally."
Shipyard of the Year
Dubai Drydocks World
"I think tonight's awards have been quite spectacular, particularly well laid out and organised," says Kavi Kapila, Dubai Drydocks World. "We are not very big on supply chain, logistics and transportation in general, we fix ships and that is our contribution to the sector in general, which we are happy to have recognised. I think the awards has been a valuable network resource, it gives an opportunity to outsiders like ourselves who use supply chain services to come and see who the big players are."
Judge's Awards Winners
Technology Provider of the Year
"We're extremely proud to win the Technology Provider of the Year category at the inaugural SCATA awards," says Melvin Francis, business development manager, Psion Teklogix. "The past twelve months have been extremely rewarding for Psion Teklogix, in terms of showcasing our technology and implementing the latest technology trends across the Middle East. It's a pleasure to have these achievements recognised by SCATA's prestigious panel of judges. A number of other ceremonies around the world often focus on the operational side of logistics, so it's encouraging that the SCATAs have recognised the importance of technology in supporting supply chain management operations."
Outstanding Contribution to Training
"GAC is proud to receive the award for Outstanding Contribution to Training at the SCATA ceremony. The launch of GAC Corporate Academy earlier this year marks the cornerstone of our human resource development strategy. It is a key initiative that offers learning opportunities to our employees around the world and enables participants to enhance their work skills and fast-track their professional development," says Jan Farnelid, group vice president, human resources, GAC. "We would like to thank everyone involved in the SCATA awards, which we believe has successfully met its objective in recognising companies which have demonstrated outstanding performance, innovation and contribution."
Industrial Area of the Year
Jebel Ali Free Zone
"Jebel Ali Free Zone has developed in a fast way," says Salma Hareb, JAFZA's chief executive officer. "This year in particular, the growth in occupancy in the free zone has been extremely steep. This SCATA award is evidence that we are doing something right. There are many free zones around the world, and several of them have failed. However, our comprehensive business model has played a major part in attracting companies. The more we develop the model, the better it becomes as a package for investors."
*Robeel Haq, senior editor of ITP Transport, collected the award for Industrial Area of the Year on behalf of Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Outstanding Achievement Award
"It's with great honour that DP World collects the SCATA Outstanding Achievement Award," says Abdulla Bin Damithan, deputy director, commercial for DP World - UAE. "I believe our transition from a regional player to a truly global port and terminal operator probably stood out as the single most defining factor that swayed voter opinion in our favour. We would like to thank the SCATA judging panel. DP World looks forward to participating once at in the Supply Chain and Transport Awards in 2008. It will be interesting to see how the awards develop in range and recognition across the region."
Material Handling Provider of the Year
"We're delighted to receive the SCATA award for Material Handling Provider of the Year," says Paul Floyd, managing director, FAMCO. "At the end of the day, it's a team effort and I would like to thank the entire FAMCO team for their hard work and efforts to ensure our success. I would also like to congratulate everyone involved in the SCATA ceremony. The awards are invaluable to the logistics industry and provide an ideal opportunity for everyone to get together and network, while the awards themselves created a lot of excitement for the evening. It's been a great success."
Contribution to Employee Care
ASRY - Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard
Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) won the employee care accolade in recognition of the company's tireless efforts to improve the living and working conditions of its largely expatriate workforce. Particular emphasis was placed on the leisure facilities provided for the staff including recreational spaces.