Aramex and Germany's DB Schenker sign deal to expand in Abu Dhabi

Companies agree to collaborate on freight-forwarding services in Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East and Africa region

Christopher Smith, chief executive of DB Schenker, Middle East and Africa. The German logistics group and Dubai-listed Aramex have signed an agreement to expand services in Abu Dhabi and wider Middle East and Africa region. Courtesy Aramex
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Dubai-listed Aramex and German logistics group DB Schenker are partnering to expand their supply chain services across various industries to serve markets in Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East and Africa region.

By teaming up with Aramex, DB Schenker will be able to grow its footprint in Abu Dhabi, a strategic and growing trade and logistics hub in the region, while Aramex will benefit from the German company's experience in specialised freight-forwarding, the companies said on Wednesday.

The partnership will further boost Aramex’s capabilities and offerings in the region, including the aerospace, defence, infrastructure and healthcare industries, they said.

“Our alliance will enable Aramex to become a stronger, more competitive player in the sea and air freight-forwarding services in Abu Dhabi and other core markets,” said Othman Aljeda, chief executive of Aramex. “This is a very exciting strategic partnership that has the potential to unlock more value for existing customers while also enabling us to realise our commercial and diversification goals.”

The move is in line with Aramex's goal to grow its core freight-forwarding business through investment in technologies and expansion of ground operations to improve its capabilities, capture a greater market share and diversify its customer base.

“By joining forces with DB Schenker … we will accelerate the realisation of our goals in the freight-forwarding business,” Mr Aljeda said.

DB Schenker operates in 2,100 locations in more than 130 countries with a workforce of 76,900 employees. In the Middle East and Africa, DB Schenker serves customers in more than 40 countries with more than 1,700 logistics experts.

“We recognise the immense opportunities emanating from Abu Dhabi and the MEA region,” said Christopher Smith, chief executive of DB Schenker for Middle East and Africa.

“I am confident that together, we will be able to grow our footprint in Abu Dhabi and the wider MEA region. We are excited about this expansion plan, and we look forward to realising synergies and scaling our operations in the region to serve our existing major accounts and new potential clients more comprehensively.”

Aramex was founded in Jordan by Fadi Ghandour in 1982 and was the first company from the Arab world to list on the Nasdaq. It later delisted in 2002 and went public again in 2005. It is currently listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Mr Ghandour sold his remaining shares in Aramex in 2016.

ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, acquired 22.25 per cent of Aramex in September through a series of on-market transactions and an off-market special deal.

Aramex reported a 32 per cent decline in first-quarter profit but its revenue soared on the back of rising e-commerce transactions during the pandemic.

Profit in the first three months of the year fell to Dh46 million ($12.5m) from the same period a year earlier. Revenue in the first quarter grew 24 per cent to Dh1.4 billion.

Updated: July 14, 2021, 10:54 AM