Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rail Cargo and Passenger Group Signs New Intermodal Agreement with Freight Forwarding Outfit

Railway Will Provide Ideal Solution for Links Across the Desert Regions
Shipping News Feature

UAE – Abu Dhabi and the surrounding Emirates have always looked to the logistics professional and ideal place to run a properly integrated rail system and now Etihad Rail is forging ahead with both passenger and cargo services with the announcement that stage one of its plan to operate services throughout the Arab world is ready to begin. Additionally this week the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with forwarding and warehouse group JBC Express Freight LLC intending to launch an intermodal link with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

This is just the latest such agreement and last month Etihad signed a similar MoU with New York based National Air Cargo, allowing the US carrier to incorporate a rail option into its service portfolio and Stage One of the Etihad plan will see the Habshan-Ruwais open to traffic by the end of the year. Stage Two means will connect the railway to the Saudi and Omani borders and serve the ports at Jebel Ali and Khalifa from Mussafah whilst Stage three will make connections right up into the Northern Emirates.

Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the Emirates. It is intended to connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east. Speaking of his company’s latest agreement, Dr. Nasser Al Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail, said:  

"Etihad Rail is an integral part of UAE Vision 2021 - strengthening the UAE’s position as a logistics hub in the region and beyond - while JBC has also established itself as a contributor to the growing regional logistics sector. As such, the MoU with JBC is in line with Etihad Rail’s strategy to build relationships with key industry players as part of its commitment towards the economic growth and development of the UAE. This will not only allow JBC to experience the benefits of a modern, efficient and integrated mode of transport, but also facilitate their expansion plans in the GCC."

Photo: Courtesy Etihad Rail.