The Saudi Exhibition and Conference for Transport and Logistics, held in the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center under the patronage of the Minister of Transport, Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser. The conference constituted an interactive platform for decision makers in the transport sector, where new initiatives and strategies were put forward within plans to develop the efficiency of the sector. An elite group of investors, developers, government agencies, consultants, contractors and technology service providers from around the world took part in the conference, in the presence of local and international speakers.
Speaking for the occasion, the Director of Business Development at Riyadh Exhibitions Company Ltd Mohammed Bin Sulaiman Al Al-Sheikh celebrated the success of the conference and the accompanying exhibition. He noted that the organization of the exhibition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to provide and meet the needs of the market by inviting investors and experts in the transport sector to take advantage of the expansion in the Saudi market, and enhance the overall momentum of the sector.
Al Al-Sheikh also indicated that the transport and logistic services sector is one of the most important sectors in the Kingdom, which is an indication of its continuous growth and development. He added that the transport and logistics industry in the Kingdom is witnessing comprehensive developments and changes that are in line with the Vision 2030. He explained that the success of the conference was fueled by the growth of logistics services in the Kingdom, and the uniqueness of the Saudi market, which is of great importance to international companies.
The conference featured dialogue sessions during which an elite group of international transportation experts participated, and talked about their experiences. The first day included a presentation on safe transport in the Kingdom by Kamal Joharji, Chief of Operations Planning at the General Syndicate of Cars, in addition to another presentation on technology and the future of transportation and logistics services provided by Helmut Scholze, Partner at A.T. Kearney Middle East. An executive panel discussion was also held on the future of transportation and logistics services in the Kingdom, which included discussions about evaluating the new transport strategy and its impact on Vision 2030, opportunities and challenges in modernizing the Saudi transport infrastructure, and developing the Kingdom as a regional hub for investment in logistics and supply chain. Dr. Oualid Ali, President of the Future Cities Council, Hashim Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Head of Contract Logistics (Freight, Warehousing, Distribution) at Warehousing and Logistics Services Company, Amer Badarneh, Institute General Manager of the Middle East Logistics High Institute, and Helmut Scholze took part in this panel.
The second day featured a presentation by Abdullah Balhaddad, Railway operation and Maintenance Technical Advisor & former Saudi Railway President for O&M about mass transit and increasing the use of public transport with new rail networks, metro and buses. Mr. Balhaddad also reviewed the impact of improving and expanding public transport, and the advantages of linking the most important Saudi cities with new public transport networks. Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director of the Middle East and India for the “Hyperloop One” project also gave a presentation on “Virgin Hyperloop One” technology and how it helps the Kingdom to become a global transportation power, along with other topics such as sponsoring innovation and developing the knowledge workforce. For his part, Dr. Abdulatef Hanafi Halawani, Executive Director of Strategy – Growth and Market Analysis, reviewed the experiences of the Saudi Ground Services Company, smart infrastructure, the implementation of sensors and remote diagnosis, application planning techniques, and the use of data intelligence to make a better decision in the allocation and use of resources.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Farhan, Chair Professor and Director of ITS and Smart Mobility Research at Saudi Aramco and Imam Abdul Rahman Bin Faisal University, gave a presentation on urban mobility planning in which he discussed the frameworks of taking advantage of the latest innovations in the field of smart mobility to achieve improved traffic. He also reviewed the foundations of integrating the information system, technology and smart mobility in urban mobility strategies and traffic planning. For his part, Stephen Beatty Global Chairman for Infrastructure at KPMG, addressed the issue of driving the future of your infratec and transport agenda through public-private partnerships, while Osama Fathddin, Information Technology Department Head at the General Syndicate of Cars, gave a presentation on the embodiment of smart transportation. Nabeel Alzaka, Executive Director – Surface Mobility Consultants, participated in a presentation on the use of smart transportation systems and big data to develop a three-dimensional transport planning and operations system; this is in addition to a panel discussion on smart infrastructure and the possibility of city design and innovation and the use of data and intelligence to make better decisions. The debate was moderated by Mauricio Diaz-Brito, Nabeel Alzaka, Pof. Dr. Muhammad Farhan, Dr. Oualid Ali and Abdul Rahman Alruhimi, Head of Transportation Technology at Tatweer Educational Transportation Services Company.
The technical Director – Integrated Transport & Future Mobility Leader at Aurecon group, Nadeem Shakir, took part during the third day in a presentation about the future of smart and digital mobility. He discussed the impact of the Internet of Things, sensors and networks on infrastructure planning and delivery. He also gave his insights about the process of integration between information and communication systems and artificial intelligence to improve, manage and control roads and traffic. Professor Muhammad Farhan also presented the role of integrated smart car parking solutions in smart cities, while Nora Nezamuddin from the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center presented a model on understanding the implications of public policy measures in helping to develop the logistics services sector in the Kingdom. Chuks Umeh, Railways Safety and Regulations Manager at the Riyadh Metro project, SNC – Lavalin participated in a presentation on the importance of safety and regulation in achieving the vision of the Saudi National Transport Strategy.
The Ministry of Transport has also signed an agreement with Virgin Hyperloop to develop transport technology in the Kingdom. The agreement included conducting a preliminary study on the use of Hyperloop technology in the field of passenger and cargo transport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to conducting joint research in hyperloop science and technology, and exchanging technical visits to officials and specialists in the field of transport.
It is worth noting that the Ministry of Transport is the organizing partner of the exhibition, which is also sponsored by the General Automobile Association (Strategic Sponsor), Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Customs (Diamond Sponsors), Al-Ayed Transport (Platinum Sponsor) and Theeb Car Rental Company (Golden Sponsor) ), Saudi Ground Services Company, Global Integrated Company, and Najm Insurance Services (Silver Sponsors) and Riyadh Chamber as a main supporter of the exhibition.
Many leading companies operating in the transport and logistics sector participated in the conference, along with a group of specialized and interested visitors who came to know the contents of the exhibition and attend the conference activities.