Free Trade Zones

Arab container flow to Brazil is underutilized

After Brazilian exports were shipped to Arab countries, the reverse flow of containers was not put to good use, said Jean Stoll (pictured above), global director of protein and dairy at AP Moller-Maersk. The executive participated in the webinar “Logistics and transport between Brazil and the Arab countries: opportunities, challenges and role of the Suez Canal sea route” on Tuesday (6). The event was organized by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).

For Stoll, particularly with regard to refrigerated containers, also known as “reefers”, the logistics of returning to Brazil give way to imports at reduced costs. reefer containers on foot per week, carrying poultry and beef, ”he detailed. In the case of AP Moller-Maersk alone, the manager states that shipments average 90 containers per week, and of that total, only 7% return full. Among the products that come back, there are, for example, sardines from Oman and Morocco.

Maartje Driessens spoke about the port of Açu

To increase the flow of foreign products, domestic terminals are essential. “We operate as a port authority, and all partners have many types of exports. We are a gateway to states such as Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, ”said Maartje Driessens, Director General of Strategic Partnerships at the Port of Açu.

By improving this Brazilian infrastructure, which is modernizing to receive more imported products, there are opportunities for the Arabs themselves. Observe Cornelis Hulst, Vice President of Operations of the Port of Pecém, who receives government and private investments. “Obviously, the goal is to attract big industries to produce with us, but that requires fast services, maintenance, information technology, and these are all opportunities for Arab countries who already have the experience. invest in companies that do. We’re not just talking about trade and commodities, but about expertise trading, ”Hulst said.

“I see an absolute possibility of transforming these two ports into hubs for Arab and affiliated products”, underlined the secretary general of the ABCC, Tamer Mansour, who moderated the technological session.

Fabian Lavaselli, Supply Chain Director and Sales Director of Norsul Shipping Company, agrees with the great opportunities in Brazil. “We noticed that in the North region, there was a development. Any grain [that we think of], Brazil is in the top 5 [in production], and we now have better logistical conditions, connecting the northern exit to the Brazilian coast, ”he said.

Still regarding logistics issues, Medhat Elkady, president of the Egyptian International Freight Forwarding Association (EIFFA), reminds that technological investment will be essential.

Integration of value chains

During the webinar session on Integrating Global Value Chains with Arab Countries, one of the speakers was Marcus Vinícius Pillon, Head of Business Intelligence at ABCC. He pointed out that one of the main logistical problems is the time that ships spend between Brazil and Arab countries, which is on average 49 days. “Shipping ends up being a problem for industries that have products with a shorter shelf life, like fruit,” he reflected.

Some concepts discussed by Orlando Cattini Junior, coordinator of the Center of Excellence in Supply Chain and Logistics of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo (FGVcelog), help to overcome the high cost of transport. One of them is the value chain. “In the value chain, companies have realized that there are advantages to splitting operations, from raw material to consumption, in many regions or countries. This cuts costs and takes advantage of the technical expertise of several parties, ”he explained.

Making the regional organization more efficient is also a determining factor for Sara Hassan Kamal Elgazzar, Dean of the College of International Transport and Logistics (CITLC) of the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). Elgazzar noted that trade between Brazil and the Arabs is not yet at its peak. “There is potential for growth, but how can we accelerate it? Improve integration between the two parties? Technology transfer could help with this and build confidence in the relationship, ”she said, noting that operations that take advantage of free trade zones such as the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) may reduce time and cost.

Moderator of the debate, Qaisar Hijazin, secretary general of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC), reinforced the importance of the Canal. Suez Canal, ”he concluded.

The event was also attended by the Vice-President of the Lebanese Investment Development Authority (IDAL), Alaa Hamieh, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Infrastructure, Felipe Fernandes Queiroz, and the Port Advisor of the General Authority of the SCZone, Mohamed Abdelaziz.

The opening of the seminar was made by Ambassador Osmar Chohfi, President of the ABCC; Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC); and Adel Abou Rejeili, President of the Brazil-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce (CCBL) in Rio de Janeiro. ABCC Vice-President of Foreign Trade Ruy Cury closed the event.
Source: Brazilian-Arab News Agency (ANBA)