+971 4 8831 303 info@cssdubai.com

Lighthouse - May, 2021.

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE


As tragic scenes from COVID ravaged India shake the very essence of our being, we have come to a grave realization that the virus has not gone away. It caught India unawares even as several other countries worldwide battled severe second waves of the pandemic.

Several Indian states are reeling under the pressure of daily rising of positive cases along with a severe shortage of medical oxygen and a lack of hospital beds; things are spiraling out of control. The UAE was one of the first countries to offer help with six cryogenic oxygen containers, followed by financial aid. UAE also expressed its support to India by lighting up the iconic buildings in the Indian tricolor on April 25th.

It is essential to realize that the virus is not contained within countries and nations but can travel through international borders and boundaries. One country’s problem cannot be seen as an isolated one, but we need to accept that we are an increasingly global community. As global citizens, we need to embrace the suffering of our fellow human beings. I extend my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to everyone whose families in India have been affected by this virulent virus.

The real lesson from this catastrophe of epic proportions is the dire need for preparedness. The year 2020 was a watershed year for businesses across the spectrum. COVID-19 shook the logistics industry as well and it was indeed a wake-up call. Protocols were introduced to ensure the integrity and continuity of the supply chain. While 2020 proved to be a breakdown of all paradigms, 2021 is not a time to let down our guards. What we have to acknowledge today is that unpredictability is the new normal.

As we restructure and move ahead together, the CSS family must be flexible, open, and prepared; these are the keys to our success. We cannot sketch out the opportunities and challenges in the field of logistics. We need to be agile enough to operate in a flexible technology environment instead of predicting what’s ahead in terms of market conditions. If we do that, we will emerge resiliently, and more importantly, we will be better set up for success.

Let’s always keep in mind that the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” The compound effect is the principle of reaping great rewards from a series of small but smart choices. The compound effect works both ways, and it can also lead to ruin if the habits are bad.

It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary


TEAM CSS ATTENDS THE PRESTIGIOUS IDEX AND NAVDEX EXHIBITIONS


Represented by Mr. Bitto – Senior Business Development Manager and Mr. Roshmon – VP Sales and Marketing of the Sales and Marketing Team, Team CSS attended the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX). Hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the event was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – ADNEC, Abu Dhabi from February 21st – 25th, 2021.

CSS decided to be part of this path-breaking event in line with its growing capability in handling defense cargo. Over the past year, we have a proven track record of successfully providing logistical support to mission-critical projects across the region. Our reliable and strategic logistics have gained us a reputation in defense shipments, and we continue to build our capability in this arena.

UAE – A critical role in the global defense industry

His Excellency Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs in the UAE, inaugurated the conference. His Excellency highlighted how the UAE plays a critical role in advancing global defense industries. Subsequently, four main sessions were held, with the participation of a group of Emirati and international figures specializing in defense affairs, advanced technology, and the fourth industrial revolution.

Both local and international participants attended the five-day events. The event was a huge success, especially as it is the first global defense event during post-pandemic times. Strictly adhering to COVID protocols, the event was attended by 62,445 attendees at the venue across five days. There were 900 exhibitors, 59 countries, and 35 international pavilions at the IDEX and NAVDEX 2021. With five new countries participants – Israel, North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Azerbaijan, there has been an estimated USD 5.7 billion worth of deals that the UAE Armed Forces inked.

An exceptional event

The closing ceremony of the events was held in the esteemed presence of His Excellency Major General Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions, and His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Muhammad Al Balushi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industries and Development of Defence Capabilities at the Ministry of Defense, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Committee, and Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company ADNEC and its group of companies.

Commenting on the conclusion of the exhibitions, His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee, said, “The 15th edition of the IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions has been nothing short of exceptional. These events continue to strengthen their global position, providing exhibitors and participants from around the world with an integrated global platform, despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. IDEX and NAVDEX drive and enable innovation, in line with the rapid development of the fourth industrial revolution.”

He emphasized that these exhibitions’ success has been rooted in the stalwart and visionary support of UAE’s wise leadership. It is their confidence that has enabled the committee to host the world in Abu Dhabi.

With 2021 marking the Golden Jubilee Year of the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, the committee has a renewed commitment to cultivate and expand the nation’s defense infrastructure and technological systems, using them to ensure security and peace across the Middle East.

His Excellency explained at length the strict implementation of all precautionary protocols to ensure the health and safety of all participants, exhibitors, and visitors. IDEX and NAVDEX have also provided a boost to the tourism sector. These exhibitions ensure that UAE products are globally competitively, both meeting the nation’s needs alongside reaching new markets.

Mr. Bitto spoke on attending this landmark event, “With several high-value deals being sealed during the exhibitions, CSS can play a pivotal role in providing reliable and trustworthy supply chain management services to both local and international clients.”

Echoing his words, Mr. Roshmon concluded, “CSS’s logistics capability and successful track record will help us provide optimal solutions for challenging and complex defense cargo movements in the region and beyond.”


CSS PROVIDES CRITICAL SUPPORT FOR SHIPMENT FROM JEBEL ALI TO PORT HEDLAND IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA


CSS proved its capability in the Projects, Oil & Energy logistic movements with the team’s recent shipment. The shipment was from Jebel Ali to Port Hedland in Western Australia.

Fourteen wooden boxes (4×40’FR) that are deployed Oil & Gas industry cargo were used for this shipment. CSS was instrumental in EXW’S cargo collection from Abu Dhabi to Jebel Ali port.

The CSS Projects, Oil & Energy division has a proven track record of successful project management and is seen as an expert in the global energy business.

The division always conducts intensive research into the geographical and product mix of every project we undertake to provide optimal solutions and save on time and money. CSS’s strength lies in scheduling flexibility, reliability, availability, and management accessibility.


DUBAI INITIATED WORLD LOGISTICS PASSPORT SPREADS ITS WINGS


The World Logistics Passport is a path-breaking development in the Logistics sector. This is a global freight loyalty program that has been launched by the Dubai Ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum under the directives of the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE.

The program was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020. With four continents and 11 countries adopting the program, it further strengthens Dubai’s position as a strategic trade hub for emerging markets. The program links Customs World, DP World, and Emirates Group, thus improving connectivity through Dubai. The WLP reinforces Dubai’sDubai’s growing status as a major global hub for multi-modal trade.

Speaking on the success of the program, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum said, “The World Logistics Passport is yet another major initiative that reflects the UAE’s vision to shape a brighter future for our world through programs that foster global trade cooperation. In just one year, we have taken the WLP from vision to reality, bringing together several leading nations, logistics partners, and multinational corporations in a close alliance focused on trade growth. The WLP demonstrates once again the UAE’s keenness to work together with other nations to enhance prosperity and expand growth opportunities for businesses at a time when global markets are seeking to renew their momentum for growth.

The World Logistics Passport program offers numerous benefits, including:

  • In return for increased trade, the traders and freight forwarders get to access benefits in each of the trade hubs
  • Several businesses get the chance to diversify into new markets like Latin America, South Asia, and Africa
  • High performing business get several operational and financial benefits
  • In the uncertain times of the pandemic, the Government is assured of competitiveness and economic resilience
  • The WLP promises the creation of jobs and enhanced investment
  • The program helps in the utilization of financial and non-financial benefits for increased trade volumes by members
  • The WLP allows firms to remain internationally competitive by reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of the logistics value chain.
  • The WLP Digital Platform taps into a global network of more than 30 partners in 12 hub countries, thus unlocking opportunities that provide access to 20% of the world trade
  • The program has top organizations like UPS, Pfizer, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and LG as its registered members
  • The platform creates opportunities for businesses to improve existing trade routes and develop new ones.

Thailand, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa have become a part of the World Logistics Passport. Colombia, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Brazil, and Uruguay have already joined the initiative, aiming to handle a sizable portion of future global trade, with Dubai playing the hub point.

As the President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group and Chair of the World Logistics Passport-Global Steering Group) states “We are very proud that Dubai has been at the center of this exciting and novel initiative.

The CEO of the World Logistics Passport – Mike Bhaskaran, states, “Our study has shown that traders were most concerned about the availability of information and experience in local demand and overseas regulation. Furthermore, 68% of respondents reported that they face issues connected with the complexity of clearance processes of goods. We are confident that the World Logistics Passport will tackle issues of traders, increase and enable entry to new markets- by connecting traders to local entities (benefit providers) and help overcome key obstacles to doing business in other markets“. The WLP is counted as the world’s first logistics loyalty program for freight forwarders and traders, incentivizing increased trade through more efficient and cheaper trade processes.


THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS – INDIA STORIES


With over 25 years of experience coupled with excellence, the CSS family gets you to close to what you define as the pinnacle of success. – India Stories

MR. JINU JOHN:
HEAD, CORPORATE FINANCE

Jinu John started his career with CSS India in 2005 as Manager Accounts and now is Head of Corporate Finance. He is a team player and sees CSS as a customer-oriented and employee-friendly company. He has handled various challenges and delivered on key performance areas across his 16 years of continuous service. His goals and vision are to improve financial ratios related to working capital cycles, debtors management, Balance sheet health, and maintain compliance discipline in the best professional manner along with his focus on teamwork.

MR. T K VISHWANATH:
GENERAL MANAGER SOUTH INDIA

T.K. Vishwanath has been an old stallion and has been associated with the CSS Group since 1999. He heads the South India branches of Tirupur Tuticorin and Coimbatore. Tirupur, known as India’s knitwear capital, contributes a huge amount of foreign Exchange through cotton knitwear export and over 10000 garment manufacturing industries in Tirupur. The industry has been able to book orders from all the world market, including European Union, U.S.A, Canada, Japan & Gulf countries.

Tirupur & Coimbatore is an inland container station and movement through Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin for the sea Shipments and Air Movements through Coimbatore, Chennai, Cochin & Bangalore. Apart from knitwear exports, they now started getting orders in provisions, coconut, coco by-products, food items, engineering tools, paper & pottery items.

Despite all challenges, his branches continue to deliver due. The most valuable thing he sees about CSS is job security, promotion, growth opportunities for the work done, treating employees in a friendly manner, and being given full freedom to work in their way of thinking.

“I HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY THE MANAGEMENT & TRUE ENTHUSIASM EMPLOYEES HAVE TOWARDS CSS DEVELOPMENT.” says Vishwanath

CSS CHENNAI:
MR. JITTENDRA / MR. SATHIYA

Chennai is a thriving metropolis that saw an unprecedented boom over the last two decades, with several new industries related to automobiles, engineering, ports, logistics, supply chain, chemicals, entertainment flourishing in this period.

The immensely talented human capital in this market catered to the logistics needs of the industry.

Our CSS Chennai team is no different, and with their talent pool and absolute commitment, they have been able to deliver on organizational goals at all times.

The branch is headed by Mr. Jittendra, along with Mr. Sathiya, who runs Accounts for Chennai & Bangalore, and their wonderful team serves the clients to their best potential and is highly efficient in their output. They find the culture at CSS as friendly and considerate. Their vision is to help fulfill the goals of the organization in the most committed and professional manner.

CSS COCHIN / HINDUSTHAN SHIPPING:
MS. LATHA ASHOKAN

Latha has been with the CSS Group since 1997 and handles the clearance department under Hindusthan Shipping apart from the regular consolidation and logistics activities. She is highly motivated and very happy with her long stint at CSS Group. She strives to remain a committed employee to the company and serves her best always.

CSS BANGALORE:
MR SANDEEP ANTHUR

Sandeep has been with the CSS Group since 2007. He started his stint at the Mumbai operations and then relocated to Bangalore in 2009 where he is currently a branch manager.

With an office at the prime St Marks Road in Bangalore, they cater to various customers from garments, forgings, furniture, elevators, luggage, and packaging industries.

Bangalore, the hub of Information Technology in India, offers a professional work culture and an organized environment. With their various service verticals under import, export, clearance, logistics, clearance, etc., CSS Bangalore is poised to cater to its clients’ logistics needs.

With a close working relationship with team Chennai, which serves as a hub for Bangalore, the team is committed to delivering!

CSS KOLKATA: MR PIJUSH,
BRANCH MANAGER

Kolkata is the hub for all activity in the resource-rich eastern Indian belt.

West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, and even Nepal are served via the port of Kolkata.

CSS Kolkata offers logistics solutions to its customers in this industrial and mining belt with its various product verticals in imports and exports

They have the vision to be a provider of choice to the large marketplace. Pijush and his team, with the office located in the heart of the city, strive to satisfy their customer needs with all the resources at their disposal.

CSS DELHI: MR. RAJEEV KUMAR,
SR GENERAL MANAGER

Delhi has evolved into a large manufacturing and services hub over the last three decades. Industries related to automobiles, textiles, garments, engineering, construction, food and beverage, spices, condiments, and renewable energy. With a massive development leading to high cargo volumes and strategic ICD’s at Tuglagabad, Dadri, Patparganj, and rail infrastructure connected to Mundra and Nhava Sheva ports, this market serves the entire northern belt of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh.

The developing towns of Panipat, Manesar, Sonepat, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon, and the prominence of Delhi as the national capital saw CSS Delhi commence its operations in 2007 and go on to serve these markets with their service offerings. Rajeev Kumar, who has been with the group since the day the Delhi office started, has been instrumental in this growth story. Along with his team, he is a dominant market leader by volume in the import consolidation vertical and continues to up the flag in this market for CSS India.

Team CSS Delhi’s experience is no different from any other office, and they find the creative and free decision-making atmosphere to be the hallmark of the group. It helps to hone talent in an open environment and leads to excellent thinking and quick decision-making to solve customer’s needs.

CSS LUDHIANA: MS. MEENA
BRANCH MANAGER

Whether it is India’s telecom czar Bharti groups Mittal family or Shri KC Mahindra of the Mahindra Group, it is all thanks to this industrial city, which is also ranked as the best in India for ease of doing business by the World Bank. Small scale industrial units produce industrial goods, machine parts, auto parts, household appliances, hosiery, apparel, and garments. Ludhiana is Asia’s largest hub for bicycle manufacturing and produces more than 50% of India’s bicycle production of more than 10 million each year. Ludhiana produces 60% of India’s tractor parts and a large portion of auto and two-wheeler parts. Many parts used in German cars such as Mercedes and BMW are exclusively produced in Ludhiana to satisfy the world requirement. It is one of the largest manufacturers of domestic sewing machines. Hand tools and industrial equipment are other specialties.

Meena heads the branch for CSS Ludhiana and is instrumental in spreading the message of our service capabilities in this market. She is dedicated and hardworking with a team player spirit.

CSS MUMBAI

Mumbai is the financial capital of India. It also has the largest container port in India, which is Nhava Sheva, located to the east of Mumbai. This serves as a gateway for conglomerates like The Tata Group, Reliance, Essar, Mahindra, Bajaj, Mercedes, Skoda, Thermax, Cummins, Alfa Laval, Glenmark, Pfizer, Glaxo, from Indian to Foreign corporates who are based in the western belt of Mumbai, Pune, and Aurangabad. Financial giants like HDFC Group, Kotak, ICICI, Bajaj Finance, NCDEX, NSE, BSE are all part of this vibrant ecosystem. Not to forget the multi-billion entertainment industry such as Disney, Sony, Yashraj, Dharma productions, Netflix, Zee, Balaji, and Prime Video are all located in Mumbai.

Then investment banks and large brokerages like Morgan Stanley, Motilal Oswal, Edelweiss, IIFL or wealth management firms like Marcellus, Helios or construction giants like Indiabulls, Lodha, Hiranandani and shipping giants like MSC, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk, CMA CGM, no one misses the cash cow of Mumbai. Mumbai offers a very well-trained and professional workforce. Pune is also called the Oxford of the East with its wide range of universities and international students.

CSS Mumbai went on an expansion spree since 2007 and has seen year after year growth and is the heartbeat of CSS India. It has professional, committed, loyal people in its journey, who continuously

TOTAL AVERAGE

RahatTalreja

Vice President – CSS India Operations

Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I’ll refine it further to say that these are five people that occupy your mind space and not necessarily physical proximity always.

You can apply this to your own life and see if it holds.

There are a set of words and thoughts that you constantly encounter, and your mind is occupied with them all the time.

Let’s take an example of a Carvels Ice cream store owner in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York. The words and thoughts resonating in his mind always are: Flavours, to promote the ice cream of the season, Lynbrook LIRR station to give directions to his customers, Weather to see if its summer enough for his clients to order ice cream, and so on.

Now take a flight and come to India.

The words that constantly resonate in a working Indians life and office are as follows :

Challan

TDS

ITNS 280

ITNS 281

Form 15CC

ESI

PF

Form 24G

GSTR 1

GSTR 7

GSTR CMP 08

GSTR 3B

GSTR 5A

Registration

Certificate

Form 3BB

Cess

LBT

Property Tax

Form 13

Form 16

Capital Gain

Long term

Short term

Indexation

Labels

Weights

Measurement

BMC

RTO

Aadhar

PAN

Passport

True Copy

Self Attested

Documents

Customs

SIIB

SVB

CBI

NIA

Flying Squad

Investigation

Form C

Notary

Stamp Paper

DIN

Digital Signature

Authorized Signatory

Xerox

Lunch Time

Scan

PDF

Front and Back Copy

Manager

Approval

Peon

Head Office

Returns

Statement

OTP

Password

RTGS

NEFT

Application

Form

Letter

Docket

KYC

File

Colour copy

Short payment

Excess payment

No payment

System

Virus

Hang

License

Restart

N Form

C Form

Form 15CB

Due Date

We are the sum total of all this. Till we reach our own Due Date


DP WORLD SIGNS PACT TO BUILD $1.2B CONTAINER PORT AND LOGISTICS PARK IN INDONESIA


Alongside its partner Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), DP World signed a long-term agreement with Indonesia’s Maspion Group to begin the construction of an international container port industrial logistics park in Gresik, within East Java Province of Indonesia.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and LuhutBinsarPandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, in Jakarta at the Indonesia-Emirates Amazing Week 2021 Building Path Towards Economic Recovery business forum. The signatories of the formal agreements are Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, and Dr. Alim Markus, Chairman, and CEO of Maspion Group.

With a total investment of up to US$1.2 billion, the work on the project is expected to start in the third quarter of 2021. The project will enhance East Java’s position as a key trade gateway for Indonesia.

A Joint Venture

Ushering in a new season in the Indonesian transportation sector, the project involves a foreign direct investor (FDI) partner and a private sector Indonesian company. Under the agreement, a joint venture company will be established between DP World and CDPQ’s global investment platform and Maspion Group.

With a design capacity of up to three million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), DP World Maspion East Java will become the sole operator of a modern international container port.

Integrated industrial and logistics Park

DP World and CDPQ will also work with Maspion Group to develop an integrated industrial and logistics Park adjacent to the Container Terminal, with an initial land area of 110 hectares with scope for future expansion. The Park will provide a world-class trade environment for domestic and international businesses to help drive economic growth and create jobs.

Indonesia is rapidly developing as one of the world’s most important economies. “The partnership with Maspion Group is an important development in developing global ports and logistics network. This project will create modern, efficient infrastructure, as well as an industrial zone that provides quality logistics,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.

Port Investments

Since its launch four years ago, the $8.2 billion DP World-CDPQ platform has invested in 10 port terminals globally and across various stages of the asset life cycle. This investment will allow the partnership to pursue its objectives to further diversify its reach in terms of geography and trade lanes.

“Maspion Group is committed to supporting Indonesia’s sustainable economic development to be aligned with President Jokowi’s grand plan to make Indonesia the fifth largest economy in the world. Surabaya is an important gateway in Indonesia. The existence of this Container Port will further enhance economic development and investment opportunities in Indonesia,” spoke Dr. Alim Markus, Chairman, and CEO of Maspion Group.

Ground-breaking on the Container Terminal is expected to take place in 2021, with commercial operations scheduled to begin in 2023.

Source: www.gulfnews.com


BETTER TIMES AHEAD FOR UAE LOGISTICS


The upward trend of the logistics industry of the UAE reveals that it is on a rebound with increased economic activity, especially in the field of eCommerce, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ecommerce has come to rule the roost as people resorted to online shopping with the lockdowns imposed due to the pandemic. Geoff Walsh, country manager at DHL Express UAE, said logistics has, and always will remain, a necessity for trade and commerce to endure. Despite the industry’s initial shock in the first few months of the pandemic spread, “our industry was a vital service provider” during these times. The eCommerce sector has seen an unprecedented rise in the level of online sales.

Logistics Sector Spurs Economic Growth in the UAE

Latest research points that the e-commerce market in the MENA region surpassed $15 billion at 35 percent CAGR in 2020. The global retail e-commerce sales are expected to hit an all-time high of $50 billion by 2025. Ecommerce will pave the path for this upward trend, and it is indeed a time to make the most of this opportunity. Logistics players need to expand their operations and capture the untapped potential of cross-border eCommerce.

With the logistics sector contributing to nearly 13% of the UAE’s total gross domestic product (GDP), this sector is a substantial contributor to the nation’s economy. Geoff Walsh emphasized, “As we get closer to EXPO 2021, and with the UAE’s 2030 industrial plans in place, the logistics and supply chain segment is expected to strengthen even further”.

The airline and tourism sectors will also be the other positive drivers of economic growth with the travel and tourism sector’s restarting. UAE has started the travel and tourism business-related activity earlier than the counterparts in the GCC region. Increased cargo outflows and tourist inflow will kickstart the economy and take it forward.

“We are also seeing accelerated development in new technologies being introduced in the logistics industry, in the likes of data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and Cloud services. As the pandemic transforms the future of work and business, the speed of innovation in our industry will be crucial to manage customer expectations,” he added.

Rising from the COVID Conundrum

Like every other business segment, the logistics sector was heavily impacted due to the economic crisis spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. It required immense vigor to course unchartered territory as logistic companies scrambled to get essential supplies channels moving in the face of transport disruptions, limited cargo capacity, delayed connections, and broken trade links. With airports closed down and borders shut, providing seamless and timely deliveries was the biggest challenge for logistic and supply chain providers. But logistic companies managed to stay resilient and even saw a steep increase in cross-border e-commerce volumes in the UAE and other GCC markets.

UAE – The Hub of Connectivity

UAE stands among the top nations in the world for the infrastructure for connectivity and ICT. According to the latest DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020, the UAE emerged as one of the top five most globally connected countries in the world, on the same rank as the Netherlands, Singapore, Belgium, and Ireland. The DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020 tracks international flows of trade, capital, information, and people across 169 countries and territories, he said

The UAE also features among the most attractive ICT markets in the Middle East driven by digitalization initiatives and aided by the increased adoption of leading technologies such as Cloud, big data analytics, internet of things, and artificial intelligence.

UAE’s robust and highly resilient infrastructure and ICT network have enabled the nation to maintain its critical links to the global arena while COVID-19 derailed business and life worldwide.

A Season of Great Change

The pandemic has also ushered in a season of great change, with many learnings from navigating the disruptions of the global supply chain. Like most business verticals, the logistics industry is also in a flux state with several new trends that are predicted to remain while new ones are constantly evolving with the changing global business climate.

The question that is at the top of every logistics company is how one anticipates and plans for what consumers and businesses will do next to be better able to support customers and ensure speedy, seamless delivery is not impacted. There has been a significant shift in the B2C, and B2B landscape with the new wave of users, and companies need to re-align investments to match future trends.

As remote working models become the norm, companies need to ensure that they are closer to where their customers are and make themselves present in areas closer to the target locations. Digitization, investment in air networks, increasing courier and customer service capacity, and innovating last-mile delivery methods will become a primary focus for logistic companies.

Companies also need to analyze their reliance and spend on partner airlines and continue maximizing their fleet usage.

The UAE is poised to position itself as a global logistics hub in tune with the nation’s economic vision.

Logistics Giants like DHL are committed to investments in the UAE and the wider MENA region to support their clients and provide exceptional customer experience.

Source: www.khaleejtimes.com


WALMART OPENS E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE TO NON-US VENDORS


Walmart rolled out its third-party marketplace to foreign sellers, who no longer need a U.S. address or business tax identification for trading. Walmart Inc. has removed rules requiring sellers on its marketplace website to be registered in the U.S. — an attempt to close the e-commerce gap with Amazon.com Inc. and tap into China’s vast network of manufacturers.

Walmart is looking to expand its marketplace, where suppliers can offer their products via its website and its allied services, like fulfillment and advertising. For retailers, marketplaces are attractive because they provide revenue from fees without the cost of storing inventory. Last year, Walmart began offering fulfillment services for its marketplace sellers, a move that Amazon made 15 years ago. Sellers can also purchase advertising on Walmart’s websites, supporting the company’s new Walmart Connect media platform. The vendors still will be carefully vetted, both locally and by Walmart’s global trust and safety team, to prevent the listing of unsavory items. The new sellers will make up just a fraction of Walmart’s total seller population, which is mainly based in the U.S.

Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon has said that Walmart’s marketplace business is a “huge opportunity” for the retailer. In February 2020, he told investors that Walmart would make a “greater push” to expand new services like fulfillment. “We have strong relationships with many reputable companies around the world, and we have some of the most rigorous seller requirements in the industry,” Walmart said in an emailed statement. “As a result, we are opening our U.S. marketplace to a limited number of international companies who share our commitment to customer trust and safety.”

Hurdles in the Way

However, the opening of the doors poses several risk factors as well. Walmart’s marketplace has faced flak for carrying offensive items that hurt sentiments for certain segments of society. A while back, Walmart had to take down about 20 million items off its marketplace as it failed to meet its quality standards. AS opposed to the Amazon’s marketplace, which is open to anyone who registers, Walmart is invite-only, allowing the company to vet its sellers. Walmart has also made deals with Shopify Inc. and BigCommerce Inc. over the past year to widen its reach.

Rise of the Chinese Manufacturers

Chinese manufactures have tapped into the American customer base by reaching out to them through online marketplaces. According to researcher Marketplace Pulse, Chinese merchants represented 75% of new Amazon marketplace sellers, an increase from 47% a year earlier.

Walmart also foresees this same trend to be replicated in their online marketplace as well.

This will get Walmart more selection, more affordable goods that already dominate Amazon best-sellers lists,” said JuozasKaziukenas, founder and CEO of Marketplace Pulse. “To an investor, that reads as positive news.”

Amazon vs. Walmart

More than 60% of the $532 billion global shoppers will spend on Amazon this year will go to marketplace merchants, according to researcher eMarketer. Amazon charges a commission — typically 15% — on each transaction plus additional warehouse storage, packing, and delivery fees. Amazon also charges its marketplace merchants to advertise on the popular website. Amazon’s advertising business will grow 30% this year to reach $23 billion in sales, according to eMarketer.

Walmart doesn’t disclose how many marketplace sellers it has, but Marketplace Pulse pegs it at about 80,000. Walmart carries more than 80 million unique items online. Not all of the new vendors will be based in China. While the company is opening up its marketplace to international sellers, it’s also making a push to stock more U.S.-made products in its aisles. Walmart Inc. ranks No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

Source: www.ttnews.com


QATAR AND INDIA TO INCREASE DIRECT SHIPMENT CAPACITY


Qatar and India have shown a keenness to enhance the current direct shipment frequency as part of efforts to strengthen the economic and business relations between the two countries.

Qatar and India are working on finding new direct shipping routes between the two historically friendly counties. The move has come in the wake of the economic blockade imposed on Qatar by the siege countries. This situation has caused Doha to review and strengthen its maritime diplomacy. Ten days before the blockade, the Ministry of Transport and Communications launched a new direct maritime line between Qatar and India, India Qatar Express Service, linking Hamad Port with Mundra (Gujarat) and Nhava Sheva Port (Maharashtra).

The Qatar India Business and Investment Conference

The India Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) organizes the first Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC). Speaking on occasion, K M Varghese, the president of IBPC, said, “To increase the frequency of the current direct shipment capacity, an exclusive session will be held on ‘Doing Business in Qatar’ from a logistics point of view, addressing relevant issues related to this subject”.

K M Varghese said the conference’s main objective is to kick-start a series of such events to bring experts, decision-makers, and key stakeholders in wide-ranging areas, both Qatar and India, to find the synergies to engage in the two countries. Being the first conference, this conference’s focus will be on expertise and technologies rather than outright investment and projecting expected trade volumes between the two nations, stated Varghese.

Varghese also disclosed that QIBIC is slated to be an annual event. He concluded by saying, “We believe a conducive ambiance and atmosphere should be built first, between the experts, decision-makers, and stakeholders, to find areas of common interests before getting into the next phase of investing. We do hope that later episodes will scale into a higher level of exploring business deals.”

Connectivity between Doha and Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai

Milaha Maritime and Logistics, a subsidiary of Milaha Group, was the first to launch the direct container service between Qatar and India in 2015. The non-stop service connects Qatar’s Doha port with Nhava Sheva, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, located in Mumbai.

Trade between Qatar and India has shown a phenomenal growth trend in recent years. The renewed trade links will further expand the thriving trade activities between the two nations. The trade links between the two nations go back in history, and India will always be Qatar’s natural business and trade partner

Source: www.gulf-times.com


GENERAL AVERAGE IN MARITIME LAW


cssAs we have noticed in the past few months, there have been legal deliberations and discussion on clauses in agreements that most or us take for granted; these clauses are commonllycategorised as general clauses. However, the last one year has taught us that we are living in a time where situations are changing rapidly, whilst we coping with adaption to a new normal. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion caused by COVID-19, the event of the mega container vessel “Ever Given” lodging herself in the Suez Canal, has also shifted the focus on the legal implication and effect of a tiny clause on “general average” embedded in the Bill of Lading. Through this article, we shall have an insight into this clause without getting entangled in the legal nitty-gritty of the current event, which has trigged discussions in this area.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary “general average” is defined as “Average resulting from an intentional partial sacrifice of ship or cargo to avoid total loss. The liability is shared by all parties who had an interest in the average.” In layman’s terms, general average is a legal principle of Maritime Law under which, all parties who are involved in the voyage, are asked to proportionally share the losses resulting from sacrifice made during the voyage. That being said, general average can only be invoked when certain extraordinary sacrifices are made, or expenses incurred to avert a peril that threatens the entire voyage. In such cases the party sustaining the loss confers a common benefit on all the parties to the maritime ventures. Here the party suffering the loss, apart from contract or tort has a right to claim contribution from all participating in the venture.

The doctrine of general average is of ancient origin based on the principle of equity and can be traced back to Rhodian Sea Law, which was a body of regulations governing commercial trade and navigation in the Mediterranean Sea during 800-600 BC. A part of the law dealt with, jettison which is a rule of maritime law which exists today under the name “general average”. The Rhodian Sea Law was subsequently adopted by Roman jurisprudence which influenced the rule making activities by all parties involved in long distance sea transport which rolled into the Middle Ages. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Byzantine sea commerce dwindled, and eventually the law became obsolete. The practice of general average was later, formally adopted by the global shipping community under what is known as the York-Antwerp rules 1890. The rules are part of generally accepted maritime insurance principles that undergo regular amendment, the most recent being in 2016.

The York-Antwerp rules sets the guidelines regarding sacrifices and/or expenditures that can be included for general average contribution and which cannot be included. As per general average, each party will pay the same percentage of amount that they have saved. The process however is much more complicated than we can image, as some parties may be shipping cargo or low value like scrap material, while others more expensive cargo like high class furniture or luxury vehicles etc. Hence without defined set of rules cargo interest may not be willing to bear the blunt let alone to share voyage, fuel cost or crew wages and the like. This is where the York-Antwerp rule come into play.

As per the Rule of Interpretation under the York-Antwerp Rules 2016, except as provided by the Rule Paramount and the numbered Rules, general average shall be adjusted according to the lettered Rules.

Let us therefore look as what are these so called Rule Paramount, the Lettered Rules and the Numbered Rules..

Rule Paramount – In no case shall there be any allowance for sacrifice or expenditure unless reasonably made or incurred.

Apart from this Rule the other Rules are categorised alphabetically from Rule A to Rule G these pertain mainly to general guidelines on what can be construed as general average; while the numerical rules i.e. Rule I to Rule XXIII are based on specific circumstances, sacrifices that can be made and expenditure sharing that can be included as general average.

Alphabetic/ Lettered Rules for basic understanding
Rule A, for instance prescribes the characteristics and extent to which general average will apply, stating in brief that, the expenditure or sacrifice needs to be extraordinary, the act must be intentional and for common safety and that there must be a peril.
Rule B states that the nature of operation undertaken, must be commercial, with the measures taken to preserve the cargo and vessel or to prevent the peril.
Rule C enumerates that only losses, damages or expenses, which are the direct consequence of the general average act, shall be allowed as general average, while stating what is not included, like, damage to the environment, damage or loss on account of delay etc.
Rule D says that the right to contribute to the general average, is not affected by the onus on the party who has or has not defaulted, hence all parties have to contribute to the general average.
Rule E the onus of proof is upon the party claiming general average; the issuance of notice for general average to all parties and to the average adjuster, limitation etc.
Rule F expenses and extent to be included in general average.
Rule G that general average is to be adjusted in relation to loss and contribution on values at the time and place when the common maritime adventure ends and the proportions

Numeric/Numbered Rules, randomly selected for comprehension
Rule I – Jettison of cargo when permitted
Rule VI – Salvage Remuneration
Rule X – Expenses at Port of Refuge etc.
Rule XI – Wages and Maintenance of Crew and Other Expenses Putting in to and at a Port of Refuge, etc
Rule XIII – Deductions from Cost of Repairs
Rule XVI – Amount to be Allowed for Cargo Lost or Damaged by Sacrifice
Rule XIX – Undeclared or Wrongfully Declared Cargo
Rule XXIII – Time Bar for Contributing to General Average

The York-Antwerp rules and principle of general average have legal force only if these are included in the bill of lading or charter party agreement.

General Average declaration and its impact mainly on cargo interests
Usually once general average is declared an average adjuster is appointed, whose duty it is to collect all the information in relation to the cargo and make a statement of general average contribution of each party, collect general average security from each party and assist in impartial and effective settlement of the general average.

The general average clause is seen on most carrier’s bills of lading which binds all interested in the cargo, carried by the vessel. General average losses are commonly included in standard marine insurance policies, hence it is firstly pertinent for the cargo owners and those interested in the cargo, to ensure that they have appropriate marine insurance cover, for their goods on board. A declaration of general average can put the owner of uninsured cargo in jeopardy and the cargo could be lost/forfeited, as the vessel owner, as per the clauses in the bill of lading may be in a position to exercise lien over the cargo till the general average contribution is paid.

Thanks to the York-Antwerp rules, the owner of the cargo, is not burdened with a huge liability and is only required to pay an amount proportionate to the value of the cargo that has been saved. Here it is the vessel owner who will need to bear the major chunk of the contribution towards the general average, as the costliest asset saved, is the vessel itself, in most cases. For instance, a ship owner may have to contribute upto 60% of the general average cost, leaving the remaining 40% to be divided amongst cargo owners, depending on the value of their cargo. This principle takes care of the small cargo or single container owners, in relation to owners having multiple containers or huge or expensive cargo, on the vessel.

Though the cargo owners need not pay their share, before they collect their cargoes, they need to provide a general average guarantee, mainly through their cargo insurers, or if they do not have any insurance, in the form of a bank guarantee or a bond or a cash deposit to cover their contribution. The general average contribution, will be adjusted subsequently, by general average adjusters, which could take a couple of month to years, depending on the number of cargo interests involved. Despite there being an option to dispute or contest the general average contribution, this is rarely challenged in court, by the cargo owners, primarily due to legal complexity, time, money and effort involved.

To conclude, we need to pay careful attention to all clauses on the reverse side of the bill of lading, taking into account the liability that we may be exposed to, whilst verifying if the insurance cover is adequate. The York-Antwerp rules come as a consolation when general average is invoked, but we need to examine if there could be a better alternative to general average, given its complexity, expense and the time consumed, in finally settling the matter.


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