UAE’s status as an important global logistics center is helping the global community efficiently navigate the coronavirus pandemic according to a new Analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Analysis titled ‘UAE Logistics Sector – Connectivity and Resilience’ highlights the country’s active air cargo routes, high maritime transportation connectivity, well-established warehousing network and the effective logistical system as key factors that are enabling communities to overcome the limitations being created by the current condition.
The Dubai Chamber Analysis found that Middle Eastern cargo carriers, led by Emirates Airline, are showing resilience to early disorders caused by the COVID-19 crisis, with Middle East-North America, Africa-Middle East, Europe-Middle East, and Middle East-Asia routes all experiencing annual year on year (y-o-y) growth between 2.5% to 9% during February 2020 compared to 2019. This has opposed the trend that saw global carriers’ international activity drop by -0.9% y-o-y, with around half of their global cargo routes experiencing instability.
The Analysis also highlighted the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that showed that international cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) – a measure of air cargo traffic. Carriers in the Middle East grew 4.3% y-o-y in February 2020 as they expanded their cargo capacity by 6% y-o-y. This was despite having to decrease their passenger volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From a maritime perspective, the Dubai Chamber found that the UAE’s connectivity has been a pivotal part in ensuring that vital supplies reach global markets. Highlighting the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) – a widely used barometer of countries’ accessibility to global trade – it revealed that the UAE has the highest connectivity to global maritime trade networks among all countries in the Middle East and neighboring Africa, West Asia and South Asia regions – a strong indication of its global trade hub status.
The Analysis pointed out that the UAE’s regional markets of Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan and Tanzania have their highest bilateral connectivity with the UAE higher or equal to China which is considered as the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity. While for markets such as Kenya and KSA, the UAE enjoys the second-highest bilateral connectivity after China. It is worth remarking that the network of marine trade routes owned by the Emirates reflects the existence of an enormous possibility for easy and flexible movement of goods, thus saving cost and time, which makes the UAE’s logistics sector a key player in the global efforts to fight Covid-19.