Aramex teams up with Regent to develop electric seagliders for sustainable logistics

UAE logistics company will explore opportunities in the Middle East and other key markets

Seagliders combine the speed of an aircraft with the convenience of a boat. Photo: Regent
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Aramex, the Middle East's largest courier firm, has joined forces with the US maritime transport company Regent to develop electric seagliders for middle-mile logistics in order to make its operations more sustainable.

Middle mile in logistics refers to the segment of a supply chain responsible for transporting goods from the port to either a warehouse or a distribution centre.

Seagliders are a new mode of transport that combines the speed of an aircraft with the convenience of a boat. Built to serve coastal and island communities, they operate over the water and can carry people and cargo for up to 290km using battery technology.

“We are keen to enhance our capabilities to move packages efficiently and effectively over sea routes, given the expansion and development of coastal cities within our core region,” said Angad Singh, global director for innovation at Aramex.

“This completes the trifecta of air, sea and land for our future vehicle programme development.”

The partnership is facilitated by the Strategic Development Fund, Aramex said, adding that in the beginning, it aims to explore opportunities in the Middle East, followed by other key markets.

The companies will assess the feasibility of integrating Regent's high-speed seagliders into Aramex's existing logistics network.

They will identify potential middle-mile routes on which seagliders can transport cargo from ports to coastal distribution hubs while offering a cleaner and more efficient alternative to existing transport options.

Demand for green logistics is on the rise, with 75 per cent of shippers looking for environmentally friendly options when exporting goods to high-income countries, World Bank's Logistics Performance Index revealed in April.

Opting for environmentally sustainable logistics options can also lessen the carbon footprint of supply chains and keep trade flowing by shifting to less carbon-intensive freight and more energy-efficient warehousing, the Washington-based lender said.

Middle-mile logistics is a “large, untapped opportunity for sustainable innovation” and the partnership will “unlock new economic potential”, said Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and chief executive of Regent.

Last month, Aramex said its third-quarter profit dropped as revenue for the period declined amid continued global macroeconomic challenges, high interest rates and foreign currency fluctuations.

Net profit attributable to equity holders of the company for the three months to the end of September dropped by nearly 76 per cent year-on-year to Dh9.64 million ($2.6 million).

Updated: December 20, 2023, 4:29 PM