Today, dnata furthered its investment in freight forwarding by purchasing stake in two companies – a 50 percent stake in Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC and a 25.5 percent stake in France-based Bolloré Logistics LLC, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from UAE-based Kanoo Group LLC. As a result of the transaction, dnata is now the sole owner of Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC and holds a majority stake at 51 percent in Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE.
Both parties have agreed to not disclose details of the transaction and that current leadership teams at Dubai Express and Bolloré Logistics, UAE will continue to manage business and operations for the companies.
Dnata has been a major player in ground handling globally, and as part of the Emirates Group and sister company to Emirates Airlines, is responsible for providing ground handling to the airline community at Dubai. While the company has recently expanded its ground handling presence abroad through increased investments and partnerships, the company is still mindful to bolster its stronghold in the UAE and Middle East.
Dubai Express is an international freight forwarding company that supports its operations in Dubai through dedicated facilities at Al Ramoul, Dubai Airport Cargo Village, Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) near Dubai International Airport (DXB) and the new Dubai World Center Airport (DWC), while Bolloré Logistics, UAE operates its Middle East hub out of Dubai, as well as three locations inside DAFZA and JAFZA that are connected to both of the airports. By acquiring ownership and stake in these companies, dnata is continuing the expansion of its service offerings in the Dubai beyond ground handling into freight forwarding.
Since 2012, dnata has been developing its online booking site Calogi that connects freight forwarders, airlines and third-party logistics suppliers, along with itself as a ground handler, to create a streamlined logistics supply chain to customers. Airlines do not need to pay to join the system, but freight forwarders do. Calogi facilitates the secure and paperless transaction of cargo with tracking that customers can use to check the status of their shipment online in real-time at any time.
After receiving feedback from stakeholders using the system over the past few years, dnata is now working to further develop the system’s capabilities and usability by creating a more intuitive interface that is accessible via mobile devices. The move to further develop the Calogi system is important to dnata because as dnata divisional senior vice president Steve Allen told Air Cargo Airports, “there are a lot of new start up players in this space, and we are keen to ensure our place ahead of them.”
The Calogi system currently supports cargo shipments in Dubai, but the company is considering rolling out the system at other locations in the next three to four years.
Clearly, dnata proves with its projects and plans that it has grown to be more than a traditional ground handler and will continue to grow as a dominant player in global air cargo logistics across the supply chain that will be worth watching.