ABU DHABI - In an era marked by complex geopolitical challenges, ports operators that provide a broader, deeper, and more sophisticated range of services, moving beyond simply handling in-port cargo and containers, will thrive no matter how fraught those geopolitical stresses become.
That was a key finding from a new whitepaper unveiled by AD Ports Group (ADPORTS) on Navigating Geopolitical Shifts: Strategies for Ports in an Uncertain World.
The whitepaper was launched following the conclusion of the landmark International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Conference - Abu Dhabi 2023, hosted by AD Ports Group, the leading facilitator of global trade, logistics, and industry, held for the first time in the Middle East Region.
At a time when traditional maritime practices are being reevaluated and reinvented, AD Ports Group serves as a case study for the ports industry, thriving amid global uncertainty through strategic acquisitions, capital investment, and diversification.
The report highlights that fundamental to success is positioning businesses to capitalise on opportunities, such as new trade routes that develop in response to challenges. It also explains how diversification fosters robust relationships with international stakeholders and local economies supporting those ports. These pioneering strategies are not merely reactive measures but proactive steps in shaping a more interconnected and stable global trade landscape.
Ross Thompson, Group Chief Strategy and Growth Officer of AD Ports Group, said, "Geopolitical aspects have been part of the trade for many hundreds of years; it is part of the operating environment our sector regularly finds itself navigating. AD Ports Group's objective is to position our company and assets in the best way to deal with those fluctuations and changes.
"Our Group aims to have a diverse number of trade routes, trading partners and multiple product sectors. This diversity in operations often means that activities can be positively affected by geopolitical ructions, offsetting those negatively impacted by the same events."
The whitepaper presents a narrative of AD Ports Group's journey, showcasing how enhanced inter- and intra-regional trade, forging new agreements with frontier and emerging markets and collaborating with multilateral trade organisations can bring greater and more sustainable prosperity to a myriad of societies while delivering returns to its shareholders.
AD Ports Group has put these principles into practice, illustrating its success with multiple recently-inked agreements; one highlight includes a joint venture with Uzbekistan oil and gas company SEG to launch a logistics and freight businesses in the central Asian country and develop a food trading hub for the surrounding region.
Additionally, AD Ports Group has introduced new shipping routes to align with global trade dynamics and embrace adaptability. The company has partnered with French logistics company CMA CGM Group to launch a shipping service between Singapore; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Chennai, India.
Other new routes include a UAE-China service connecting Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Port with the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Qingdao, and Ningbo. Connecting strategic ports across Asia and the UAE demonstrates AD Ports Group's role as a catalyst in unearthing untapped trade flows.