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Learnings from the pandemic and what lies ahead in 2022: DP World

Shahab Al Jassmi - Commercial Director Ports and Terminals - UAE Region for DP World - talks to Seatrade Maritime News about overcoming the challenges of the pandemic and what DP World sees ahead for maritime in 2022.

Shahab Al Jassmi - Commercial Director Ports and Terminals - UAE Region for DP WorldThis pandemic has given us great lessons, especially in our industry. When we talk about the maritime historically industry, maritime has lagged behind when it comes to automation and electronic services to the industry and the consumers. I think the pandemic has pushed and chased people to go forward, put in more investment and time and money as well to drive change for the industry to help the delivery of the cargo.

As you know, 90% of cargo is carried through maritime and this requires a lot of effort. And the simplification of processes has also taken place due to the challenges that people have faced during this tough time. That has really led to all the authorities, and relevant stakeholders to join hands together to help for better and smooth cargo delivery to all.

At this point of time, the industry needs to do better in terms of processes and formalities when it comes to dealing with authorities. And I think that all the stakeholders need to work together in terms of managing the documents and accepting the payments. And when I say all the stakeholders, I'm referring here to the shipping lines, the service providers, logistic companies, terminal operators, and the authorities and between different nations, the communication should always be improved. As things need to be more streamlined and more focused.

I think the industry has already learned the lesson that without communication and cooperation, the cargo movement will always be going through difficulties. The timeframe for cargo delivery is very important, and it will always need to be kept at the top priority, especially during the difficult times. As we have experienced during the pandemic, that delivery of perishable and for pharmaceutical cargo has been very critical for different nations. That's why they have always needed to communicate and exchange in a better and faster manner.

I believe the industry will go to a normal position starting from 2022, a lot of efforts have already been put in place to facilitate for difficult times, a lot of investment have been made in terms of technology development, to cater for different type of requirements. And we all believe that 2022 would be a fantastic year for the industry.

I believe the long lasting effects for the industry would be the increase in cost, as a lot of people have understood that cutting cost is not the solution for providing services. It's about being more focused on cargo delivery, efficiency and technology development.

The decarbonisation issue is a global issue. Today, the maritime industry represents 3% of this issue globally. I believe it will be a challenging part, it will be a long journey. Some of the stakeholders have already taken a step to correct their position and have already taken very encouraging initiatives to help with resolving and getting into a better position. It will take some time until others are ready to follow. But I strongly believe that all the relevant parties here in this industry are working and planning for the next decade to be more environmental friendly.

Well the cost for the industry for not following decarbonisation new policies would be very severe. It is going to impact humanity in general, as we today know that 90% of cargo is carried by maritime, by shipping. And if we don't adapt, that means we are having a huge impact on the supply chain. And of course, that everyone would understand that the position would be very critical, and we need to fix that issue with the most effort and it would require a high cost.

I'm really glad to be at this event today, the Seatrade Maritime is the platform and is the place and where we really meet all the friends and colleagues from different stakeholders. And we exchange a lot of experiences and the the difficulties that we have gone through.  And also we can predict what would be the shape of the industry for the coming year. And that is really the important part of this platform as the most important meeting or exchange that people would have for the industry.

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