APL Domestic 53 Foot containers at Port of Chiwan ChinaIntegrated supply chain services provider APL Logistics has signed a deal with Arab Global Logistics in Oman to form a new joint venture, APL Logistics Oman. The company said the joint venture would “spearhead efforts to develop Oman as a regional logistics hub to serve local and international customers in the Middle East and East Africa”.

Automotive is one of the main sectors for which APL Logistics provides end-to-end supply chain and logistics services. A third of APL Logistics’ business is dedicated to the automotive industry and it counts some of the world’s biggest carmakers and tier ones among its customers including Ford, GM, Renault Nissan, Toyota, American Axle and Lear.

"We are obviously interested in providing our global logistics expertise and region-relevant solutions to the domestic Oman market," a spokesperson for the company told Automotive Logistics. "In addition, Oman’s strategic location and developed transport infrastructure presents a compelling opportunity to develop it into a logistics hub to access the Middle East and East Africa regions."

The company said the new joint venture would provide both inbound production logistics services and the handling of finished vehicles. APL Logistics Oman’s scope will include multimodal transport, consolidation, order management, customs brokerage and packaging.

"We maintain good relationships with almost all automotive OEMs," said the spokesperson. "We are eager to strengthen or establish new relationships with customers that are growing, that are looking to enter the Middle East or East Africa regions, or are seeking to evolve their supply chains to flex or cope with shifting market conditions."

A number of carmakers are targeting the Middle East and Africa regions for their sales growth potential. The demand for cars is on the increase, driven by increased urbanisation and growing infrastructural and industrial developments. According to figures from analyst Frost & Sullivan sales in the Middle East are estimated to reach 4.4m by 2020 3.2m last year.

Last year, Kintetsu World Express bought APL Logistics from its parent company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) for $1.2 billion.