One Omani Logistics Giant Is Changing the Future Of The Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains forcing businesses to adapt in order to stay competitive – and Omani logistics group, Asyad, is one business that has succeeded in doing just that. Through the right combination of leadership, advanced infrastructure, and responsive decision-making, the global integrated logistics service provider resiliently weathered the storm, emerging stronger as a result.
Through careful maneuvering and sound use of its sizable assets, Asyad optimized its operations to make the processing of containers and shipments faster and more efficient, saving its customers cost and time and alleviating the impact of oil prices. Even when difficulties did arise, the group prevailed. According to the Group’s CEO, Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, Asyad managed to reduce its costs by 17% during the pandemic to secure the flow of essential goods, and stayed ahead in the competitive international container market by keeping its prices 12% lower than the competition.
Looking to the future, while Al Hatmi believes in the importance of his group’s physical assets and infrastructure, he sees emerging technologies as a potential gamechanger in the logistics industry. “I would say technology will play a major role in bringing the costs down and also [improving] efficiencies and delivery times,” says the CEO.
In addition to embracing big data, adopting cutting-edge technologies, and integrating and restructuring its businesses to provide global markets with a full-suit of solutions, the Oman-based group demonstrated its commitment to technological advancement through investing in R&D and experimenting with and implementing emerging technologies across its operations. The group has also launched a number of initiatives such as tradetech and Tech Try. Launched last year, Tech Try was featured by the World Economic Forum and showcased how new technological advances could help facilitate trade and propel the growth of the logistics industry.
This year, Asyad has had even bigger aspirations. With Expo Dubai 2020 presenting a platform for the world to showcase new ideas, the Omani group took the opportunity to launch the Asyad Global Logistics Challenge to promote Oman’s logistics sector and its competitiveness in the global market. The challenge included two initiatives: the Asyad Global Logistics Hackathon Challenge and the Asyad Logistics Startup Challenge. There were more than 630 applicants for both challenges combined and through a meticulous screening process, 57 individuals were selected to take part. The successful applicants hailed from 15 countries across six continents.
In collaboration with Hypermotion, the Asyad Global Logistics Hackathon Challenge ran from November 2 to November 4 and served as a platform for data scientists from all over the world to compete and share their ideas on how to solve real-world logistics problems.
Winning first place, Team Noufal, a two-member team from Oman and India, successfully built an algorithm that uses historical ship building data to accurately forecast potential build prices and predict the best time to buy or hold a vessel. Team Ninja came in second followed by Team Stars in third place. The finalists have since been offered training and mentorship by eight Asyad leaders and their projects will be developed and implemented in Oman to help optimize the competitiveness of the logistics sector.
Meanwhile, with the participation of 12 companies, the Asyad Logistics Startup Challenge saw talented teams present innovative solutions to problems facing the logistics industry. Through the challenge, participants had the opportunity to market their products on a global platform, with the chosen winners sharing $50,000 in prize money.
Cubex Global from the UAE achieved first place winning a prize of $25,000, while UVL Robotics came in second. Though based in the United States, UVL Robotics is a home-grown Omani company, demonstrating the potential and talent that the sultanate has to offer. Meanwhile, PalletPal from the United States achieved third place, rounding out an exceptional and exciting competition.
Through its multiple initiatives and technology-oriented approach, Asyad is helping to remap the future of the logistics industry, not just in Oman, but world-wide. According to Al Hatmi, Asyad is striving to secure status as a global industry player, with plans to further increase its assets, international presence, partnerships, and collaborations as it looks to the future.
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