Innovative expansion in logisticsJune 14, 2023
Ravi Varrier, CEO of Al Rashed International Shipping, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s pillars of success and Kuwait’s potential to become a regional and international shipping and logistics hub. Al Rashed International Shipping offers comprehensive services that include shipping and handling, project intelligence and follow-up, and local procurement and logistics.
What have been the key recent developments for Al Rashed International Shipping?
Al Rashed International Shipping is always involved in keeping up with the best industry practices and offering value-added services to our clients. Our focus has always been on innovative expansion and diversification in the logistics space and slowly evolving into an organisation with 4PL capabilities. Kuwait has a plethora of opportunities to offer the service industry, and it is up to the organisation’s calibre to capitalise on them.
Our focus on a fully fledged supply chain solution has earned us accolades from many leading companies. My team has been focusing on 3PL and 4PL services, where we have an edge over the competition due to our global outreach and established local presence. This is also the reason why Al Rashed is heavily investing in all facets of the supply chain (warehousing, transportation and more) to evolve as a total supply chain solution.
For the oil and gas space, we have set up a new, exclusive team focused on analytical studies in order to regularly strengthen the technical support for all offshore activities.
What main projects has the company been involved in, particularly in the energy industry?
We are Kuwait’s premier shipping and logistics service provider, having handled numerous key projects. We strive to constantly improve ourselves, as every project presents itself with a new set of challenges. We are constantly evaluating our processes, working on bettering every idea and going back to the drawing board when we need to make changes. The end result is always bigger and better delivery of each of the projects we undertake.
We have performed a lot of logistics and marine agency support for offshore drilling rigs. We have also supported the Shuwaikh port in their berth rehabilitation and provided marine agency support in the dredging and cleaning of the Shuwaikh and Shuaiba ports.
The key projects for this year are the offshore drilling service project and the Jurassic Production Facilities (Phases 4 and 5) for KOC, the Al Zour Refinery project (Packages 1, 2 and 4) for KIPIC, and many more that are under various stages of discussion.
Tell us about Al Rashed International Shipping’s strategic plans for 2023.
Our priority for the year is strengthening our local presence in the region. With an impetus to drive various projects from our bases, we believe that we will see rapid strides of growth thanks to the number of projects we can supply with marine and logistics services.
One particular event that I am keeping an eye on is the rail services project, which is expected to drive growth in the region, especially in the logistics industry. With a whopping KWD 300-million [USD 978-million] price tag, this, along with the proposed 168-kilometre metro project, will change the face of Kuwait as well as the GCC. Al Rashed will be working extensively with the Kuwaiti government and its allied bodies to see the projects through.
What is the potential for growth for Al Rashed International Shipping in the Kuwaiti oil and gas sector?
Vision 2035 is going to bring a shift in the demand to lower carbon emissions and drive the use of renewable energy. We are still yet to get into the full swing of the intended projects, but expect 2024 to be a good year in terms of downstream and related projects. Al Rashed has always shown effective participation in the applicable K-company tenders, being among the top recognised and registered vendors.
Reducing emissions, keeping a check on climate change and increasing renewable energy usage is the future. With its strategic global position, setting up wind and solar energy projects is going to do wonders in Kuwait.
What have been the pillars of success for Al Rashed International Shipping throughout its 70-year history?
Al Rashed International Shipping is a legacy brand in Kuwait. With the highest quality, reliability, transparency, proactive customer service and consistency, along with a global presence, we have been able to maintain the name for the last seven decades. Every person that is brought into the Al Rashed system is instilled with the values we uphold, and this will continue for years to come. As we are a service company, being able to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes is an important thing, and the team excels at this. We follow stringent financial measures and all this has helped Al Rashed reach where it is now.
What are the opportunities and challenges for Kuwait to become a shipping and logistics hub for the region and the world?
With its strategic geographic position at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait can become a gateway to the Middle East and Asia. With the strongest global currency, and being a nation with strong diplomacy, Kuwait can transform into a logistics superpower with the right vision and the proper investments. With enough of a vision for the economy, infrastructure and other facilities, Kuwait can become a leading player in the space. Considering the neighbours with already established logistics hubs (Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), Kuwait can also sketch out a strategic roadmap to align with Vision 2035.
What role can Al Rashed International Shipping play in the development of Kuwait’s Vision 2035 logistics goals?
As Kuwait’s premier logistics player, we are a one-stop solution in the shipping industry. I believe getting to the top is easier than consistently remaining at the top. It requires regular perseverance and hard work from the whole team. I am proud to say that we have a very dedicated and experienced team who will play a pivotal role in all the forthcoming projects which are being planned for 2035. Our close working relations with governmental bodies will surely make us a preferred company for solution-driven turnkey projects. I see a bright future around the corner.