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Aramex and AD Ports Group form JV to develop new NVOCC Enterprise

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ABU DHABI : Aramex, the Middle East’s biggest listed courier company, has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports Group to set up a joint venture to serve the freight forwarding industry.

The new non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) enterprise will be 51 per cent owned by AD Ports Group, while Aramex will have the remaining stake, Aramex said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

The NVOCC company will provide “tailored solutions to all freight forwarding industry players” and will serve their ocean-bound container cargo.

It will be vital in “enhancing and developing shipping connectivity across the GCC, Indian, and East and West African markets with a target of 10,000 containers in the short-term”, Aramex said.

In the medium to long term, the JV partners plan to further increase the number of containers.

“The partnership is a perfect illustration of AD Ports Group’s efforts to leverage its synergistic capabilities by building supply chain density along key trade routes and better [use] its assets in its capital-intensive businesses,” AD Ports said, in a separate bourse filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where it is listed.

“It also builds on recent efforts to provide key maritime services to leading companies globally by reinforcing its network effect”.

Established in 2006, AD Ports, the owner and operator of industrial cities and free zones and 10 ports in the UAE, has been expanding its operations globally and has signed multiple partnership agreements with companies across the transport and logistics value chain in recent months.

In December, the group signed a shareholders agreement with KazMorTransFlot (KMTF), a subsidiary of Kazakh National Oil Company (KazMunayGas) to set up a joint venture to offer services, including offshore support and crude oil transport vessels in the Caspian and Black seas.

In January, AD Ports also announced a partnership agreement with KazMunayGas and a preliminary accord with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development for the development of a national marine fleet and coastal infrastructure.

AD Ports and KazMunayGas are exploring partnerships across a broad range of projects, including the development of a new fleet of shallow-water vessels, as well as a tanker fleet to support the export of crude oil.

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