With the pandemic disrupting the logistics sector, how did Al-Rashed International Shipping overcome such challenges?

Al-Rashed International Shipping, like many other companies worldwide, faced the impact of the pandemic. However, with the support of the Kuwaiti government and our dedicated team of 185 staff, we were able to navigate through the challenges and continue our business operations. The Kuwaiti government provided us with almost 70 curfew passes, which allowed us to operate at the ports and handle ships and logistical movements smoothly. While there were some delays due to limited staffing at the authorities, they had minimal impact on our overall performance. Our company operates on the principle of “the sun rises, and the sun sets,” and we quickly adapted to the situation. Although the pandemic did affect our revenue and the quality of business, it did not disrupt the flow of our operations. We have established longstanding and reliable relationships with various companies, such as Hyundai, Tecnicas Reunidas (TRK), Siemens, Saipem, Flour, Halliburton, COSL, and many others. Our diligent approach ensured our success even during the pandemic.

What technologies and solutions have been implemented in Al-Rashed International Shipping to improve operations?

Al-Rashed International Shipping has implemented several digital solutions to enhance our operations, particularly in the area of in-office transactions. Many of our current activities are digitized, including bank transfers, customs procedures, and interactions with port authorities and other relevant entities. While there are still certain approvals and documentation that require physical copies, Kuwait is witnessing a trend towards digitalization. However, it is important to note that most Kuwaiti organizations currently do not accept digital signatures unless they are officially signed by the authorities and companies. Nevertheless, we are actively incorporating various technological solutions to improve our services. It is worth mentioning that certain changes, particularly in official agencies, can only be implemented through the proper channels within the state.

What is Kuwait’s strategic position in terms of logistics?

Kuwait holds a strategically advantageous position, situated at the intersection of three major continents. This geographical location presents a great opportunity for Kuwait to become a transit hub towards the West, connecting countries such as Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. However, the pace of change in the logistics sector in Kuwait has been relatively slow. The execution of projects in Kuwait still follows traditional methods, but we are witnessing a paradigm shift with the introduction of Kuwait’s Vision 2035. This vision aims to transform Kuwait into a financial and trade hub regionally and internationally, making it more attractive to investors. Kuwait possesses significant potential, and it can leverage its strategic location to establish ports and strengthen its logistical capabilities. However, this would require adopting public-private partnerships (PPPs) or attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Developing ports and facilities not only enhances the local economy but also creates job opportunities and elevates Kuwait’s standing on the international stage. It is crucial for Kuwait to go the extra mile and harness its strategic advantages by investing in infrastructure and logistical capabilities.

What is Al-Rashed’s priority for the coming months?

In the upcoming months, Al-Rashed International Shipping is focused on further developing our services and increasing our business rate. As we emerge from the challenges posed by the pandemic, we aim to regain our momentum and strengthen our influence in the region. We remain open for business with companies worldwide and operate extensively in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. We anticipate working closely with companies in the oil and gas sector and exploring opportunities to provide assistance to companies involved in transporting goods into Kuwait as the global economy reawakens. Our priority is to continue delivering reliable and efficient shipping services while contributing to the growth and prosperity of the industry.

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