WAM ABU DHABI, 20th October, 2013 (WAM) — Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the U.A.E.’s national railway network, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with JBC EXPRESS FREIGHT LLC, JBC, a freight-forwarding, warehousing and value-added logistics services company.
The MoU paves the way for a long-term partnership that facilitates the delivery of containers and other cargo throughout the U.A.E. and across the border into other GCC countries, via Etihad Rail’s connection to the wider GCC railway network. The integration of JBC’s existing transport options with rail will enhance the company’s supply chain capabilities, allowing it to better meet the requirements of regional and global customers.
Dr. Nasser Al Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail, said, "Etihad Rail is an integral part of U.A.E. Vision 2021 – strengthening the U.A.E.’s position as a logistics hub in the region and beyond – while JBC has also established itself as a contributor to the growing regional logistics sector. As such, the MoU with JBC is in line with Etihad Rail’s strategy to build relationships with key industry players as part of its commitment towards the economic growth and development of the U.A.E.. This will not only allow JBC to experience the benefits of a modern, efficient and integrated mode of transport, but also facilitate their expansion plans in the GCC." P.K. Ayyappan, Managing Director of JBC, said, "JBC has been operating in the region for decades, and rail is an ideal means for us to meet customer requirements in line with our major expansion plans for the future. The MoU with Etihad Rail allows us to appropriately allocate our needs for other modes of transport in the long-run, and we are confident that integrating rail into our existing logistics network will helps us to take our company to the next level." The MoU comes as Etihad Rail prepares to launch its first rail service on the Habshan-Ruwais route as part of Stage One by year-end, and gears up for Stage Two, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali, as well as the Saudi and Omani borders. Preliminary engineering is also well underway for Stage Three, which will connect the rest of the Northern Emirates.
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network, which will cater for both freight and passenger traffic, will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the Emirates. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC railway network, linking the U.A.E. to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.