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March 2013

GWC plans greenfield logistics village to meet rising demand

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Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC) is planning to set up a new greenfield logistics village (LVQ2) in another location in Qatar while considering the Phase 4 expansion of its first project (LVQ) in view of the increasing demand resulting from the vast opportunities brought about by the country’s economic growth.

“As we near 100% utilisation of the LVQ in the next couple of years, we are already exploring the opportunity of setting up another such village in another part of Qatar,” the company’s board informed the shareholders yesterday at the annual general assembly. “With both our capacity and geography expansions expected to further push business volumes and revenues, the future looks bright,” GWC chairman Mohamed Ismail al-Emadi said at the meeting, which approved the 20% stock dividend for 2012.

Through the creation of yet another logistics village, GWC hopes to continue to promote Qatar as the “indispensable hub” of logistics and trade within the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) area.

The first phase of 305,200sq m LVQ, which is located 20km away from all the key transportation hubs and businesses and industrial centres, matured into a fully functional and revenue generating asset of the company during 2012.

In 2012, the construction of LVQ Phase 2, comprising of 60,560 sq m of additional warehousing space, was completed and made operational.

“By the end of 2012, the areas under Phase 2 achieved 100% occupancy levels” as there has been robust demand for the space,” GWC said. As part of the overall master plan of the LVQ, the company started the construction of Phase 3 comprising 85,000 sq m, which is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2013. This phase also includes the hypermarket and the recreational club meant for the community living within the LVQ.

Once Phase 3 is completed, LVQ will be home to a total logistics centre of more than 1mn sq m, it said. The LVQ project includes 250,000 sq m of warehouses, 100,000 sq m of truck parking and maintenance workshop, 65,000 sq m of container depot, 250,000 sq m of laydown area and auction yard and 39,400 sq m of residential and recreational facilities.

“Going forward, the company foresees strong demand for its services and spaces within the LVQ. To capitalise on this ever-growing demand, GWC is re-evaluating the master plan of LVQ to allow for additional future development to be potentially possible under Phase 4,” it said. For the better utilisation of the LVQ and thus higher revenue yields, the company is also considering the conversion of the car storage areas into leasable warehousing space.

“Our main competitive advantage of the business lies in our incumbent status, which allows for scale and market share leadership over the next decade at least and a cost advantage in LVQ, which allows gross margins in the warehouse segment to improve further to 10%,” GWC managing director Abdulaziz Zeid al-Taleb said.

On its transportation business, GWC said as new large-scale projects start taking shape in Qatar from 2013 onwards, it expects the transportation sector to be well-positioned to take advantage of any future upsurge in demand.

The company is also expecting robust growth for its freight forwarding business within Qatar and the wider GCC region.

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