Etihad Rail – the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network – today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sharaf Logistics, one of the flagship companies of the Dubai-founded and headquartered Sharaf Group. The agreement will see Sharaf Logistics, a world-class services provider for supply chain solutions with a strong history in maritime and container shipping, using the Etihad Rail network to transport its customers’ goods.
With offices throughout the UAE – in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Jebel Ali, Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA) and Rashidiya– as well as a presence in Asia and Africa (namely in Pakistan, India, China, Egypt and Nigeria)Sharaf Logistics is a logistics and supply chain provider for a number of carriers operating in the UAE. The company’s services include sea freight, air freight, sea-air cargo and supply chain management.
Stage Two of the Etihad Rail network, which will connect Mussafah, the Gulf ports and the Saudi and Omani borders, will bring significant benefits tothe logistics company in the UAEand also in support ofits GCC business. The rail network will present the freight and logistics providerwith a faster, more reliable and more sustainable mode of transport in a major area of its customer network.
The agreement comes at a time of rapid progress for Etihad Rail, with construction on Stage One underway and tendering for Stage Two in progress. Commenting on the MoU, ShadiMalak, Executive Director-Commercial, Etihad Rail said: “At Etihad Rail, we aim to offer transport solutions to the UAE’s businesses, which in turn benefit the UAE economy as a whole. We are delighted to be working withSharaf Logistics – one of the nation’s leading freight and logistics companies – to provide them with a safer, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly way of transporting their customers’ goods. It is an honour to partner with another UAE company that contributes to the country’s growth and economic development, and we are confident this agreement will bring positive impacts to their customers, further contributing to the UAE’s development as a regional hub for freight transport.”
Managing Director of Sharaf Logistics, Johan Bergwerffadded: “We believe the rail network will be the most effective means of transportation for freight and that it will create a great value-add to our customers. We are very proud to be associated with the Etihad Rail project and eager to continue being engaged as it further develops, and we look forward to experiencing the newer and more efficient transport avenues that we anticipatewill change the way we do business.”
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network – which will cater to both freight and passengers – will span a total of 1,200 km across the Emirates.It will connect urban and remote communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network – linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.
The signing of the MOU with Sharaf Logistics further expands Etihad Rail’s already impressive list of partners and customers. HOYER Global Transport and DHL have also signed MoUs with Etihad Rail, with HOYER planning to use the railway for the transport of liquid bulk, and DHL using the railway network to meet its customers’ growing logistical needs. Etihad Rail has also signed agreements with other customers across a range of industries including Al Dahra, Emirates Steel, Arkan, Etisalat and du.