Complex Made Simple

Dubai logistics group expands into East Africa

Indu Maritime & Logistics (IML), the freight forwarding and distribution arm of the Indu Group, has made the first move in its aggressive growth strategy by expanding operations into East Africa, as the company moves to increase its presence in rapidly growing African markets.

The company has established a new regional head office in Djibouti and has contracts into five more East African nations, building Indu Logistics into one of the best connected trade and supply chain providers in the region.

Indu Maritime and Logistics Chairman, Kishore Lakhani, said: “Africa’s markets are being driven by higher trade volumes as local economies diversify and expand. Domestic consumer demand continues to grow and global demand for natural resources escalates. These drivers, as well as improvements to infrastructure, are boosting international and intra-African trade, creating a growing need for logistical support and expertise.

“Djibouti is the key to successful expansion into the East African markets as many countries and regions are landlocked, with very limited access for delivery of supplies and goods. With our regional head office on the ground in Africa and the network we’ve established through the region we have reliable access that’s able to reach markets that haven’t previously been readily open to distributors, trading companies and organisations wanting to enter or trade.

“We’re looking to open up these new markets to business. From our head office in Dubai we’re able to coordinate logistical challenges originating from anywhere in the world and our goal is to now serve as a ‘highway’ into East Africa, offering business and organisations easy access to both new and established markets in the region.”

In Ernst and Young’s Africa Attractiveness Survey for 2014, five of the six emerging hotspots (Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia) for investment are in East Africa.

Lakhani referred to a 2013 report by British researchers, Analytiqa, that projects logistics spending in Africa by manufacturers and retailers will increase by almost $28.8 billion, or 5.19 per cent to $157.3 billion in 2016. The size of the outsourced logistics market alone will increase by 38.4 per cent in a four-year period. The report also predicts food commodities and agri-business will be key drivers as countries move to higher levels of food processing and trade in food products. Facilitating this trade “will require vast improvements in cold-chain services, including both transport and temperature controlled storage facilities,” the report says.

The report adds, “by 2060, there will be 1.1 billion Africans in the middle class, creating a significant rising consumer base and demand for contract logistics services. Indeed, by 2011, Africa already had more households in the middle class than India.”

Established in 2006, IML provides complete supply chain solutions including freight forwarding, transport, warehousing and distribution. IML operates close to 45,000 square meters of warehousing space around UAE and offers various kinds of storage facilities on long term and short basis.