GAC VOICES / 07 Apr 2024

Eye on the future: Saudi Arabia’s bold digital vision

by Kumar Ganesan, Managing Director, GAC Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is ready to become a global logistical powerhouse. Its strategic location linking Africa, Asia and Europe, combined with its ongoing bold infrastructure projects, port and terminal upgrades, expanding logistics zones and warehouse development, will only serve to boost its international trade credentials.

But to reach its potential, the Kingdom’s logistics sector - which comprises an extensive network of providers, Special Economic Zone (SEZ), transportation links and regional support networks - must keep up with the trends shaping the future of the supply chain.

As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, global logistics will be defined by data, diversity, collaboration and transparency.

All are vital to creating a vibrant and dynamic logistics ecosystem to serve the world’s supply chain and support the ever-changing needs of customers.

Digitalise and diversify
Implementing digital systems and operating procedures is key in today’s logistics sector, particularly in Saudi Arabia where its Vision 2030 strategy seeks to diversify the economy, empower its businesses and create innovative growth opportunities for the entire country.

Riyadh city saudi arabia 2drones photography freepik
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

The integration of real-time tracking systems and ‘Internet of Things’ systems to facilitate better traceability and real-time decision-making are now ‘must haves’ for any logistics provider looking to make their mark.

Data analytics tools offer insights into performance, identify areas for improvement and optimise data-driven decisions, while the growing adoption of Blockchain technology will boost security and trust in logistics processes.

With a focus on energy logistics, including handling of pipes, reels, cables, heavy lift operations and more, GAC Saudi Arabia harnesses digital systems for enhanced transparency, giving our customers greater access to data that enables them to make more informed decisions. We also tap into our wider Group’s freight tracking system and digital solutions to improve operational effectiveness for shore-based logistics, freight forwarding, offshore supply support and more.

For customers new to the Saudi Arabian market, or to those looking to access more of the Kingdom’s logistical services, such technology provides greater confidence and security to effectively do business in a developing market.

Technological advances such as automation, artificial intelligence and robotics will facilitate faster, more efficient connections within the supply chain while improving the security, transparency, control and efficiency of the import-export process.

The power of people
But we must not forget the value and input of people in this ecosystem. End-to-end logistics is complex with many parties involved. We need to think about humans and machines in tandem, considering change management and the psychology of how people adapt.

There’s little value if we provide a digital tool without considering the human element.

This is where GAC, not just in Saudi Arabia but globally, shines. We continue to invest in our staff, empowering them to be customer-focused and people-driven. They are always at the end of the phone, offering constant support to promote a truly interconnected supply chain. And by sharing data and information they help us build trust and confidence in the services GAC provides.

Staying ahead
Continuous improvement is vital in logistics, and that is a core value for us at GAC Saudi Arabia.

There is no room for complacency. The minute we start to feel comfortable, we need to examine what we are doing and how we can build upon or improve that for the benefit of our customers.

By taking steps to keep ahead of the curve and proactively adapting to changing market trends to improve supply chain resilience, GAC has a key role play in achieving Saudi Arabia’s vision to become an important cog in the global supply chain machine.

Kumar Ganesan leads GAC Saudi Arabia as Managing Director. With more than 25 years of experience in the shipping, offshore energy and the logistics sector, Kumar guides the company's strategic direction, enhances operational efficiency, and cultivates a culture of collaboration, diversity and innovation.

Kumar Ganesan MD GACKSA portrait

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