DUBAI — Dubai has the potential to become the world centroid of air cargo transportation following the launch of cargo operations at Al Maktoum International Airport in June, a leading expert and academician said.
“An independent, fully-functional second airport will go a long way in the integrated supply chain economics. The Al Maktoum International Airport is a landmark opportunity for Dubai,” Professor Bala Balachandran told Khaleej Times.
Professor Balachandran is the JL Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management, Northwestern University, Illinois. The academician, who was in the UAE on the invitation of his peers here, said: “The entire movement of cargo worldwide could be routed through Dubai given its strategic position on the Gulf Coast. Dubai could well be on its way to becoming another Hong Kong or Singapore whose seaports deal with huge amounts of cargo transiting to various locations.”
He added: “Some suggestions would be to attract companies like FedEx providing highest efficiency and affordable costs in supply chain dynamics making Dubai the world centroid of Air Cargo transportation. Given the current economic crisis, this would perhaps provide the necessary boost to the economy.”
Professor Balachandran is also the executive professor and strategy advisor to the Dean, Bauer College, University of Houstan, Texas and is the founder of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. He is a strategic advisor to many Fortune 100 companies.
Al Maktoum International Airport is the main component of Dubai World Central, the world’s first truly integrated logistics platform, with most transport modes, logistics and value added services, including manufacturing and assembly.
The $8.1 billion airport, when completed, will be the world’s biggest passenger and cargo hub. The airport has already began their cargo operations in June while its passenger terminal is expected to start operations in March next year.
“Private cargo companies currently have to go through the same commercial airports causing significant congestion and confusion, leading to loss of time, money and efforts.
With the new airport, all these hassles are non-existent and cargo can be moved smoothly, efficiently and with least damage. There is a great opportunity for cargo companies to prosper and also add on newer offices near the airport service area,” he said.
When completed, Al Maktoum International Airport will be able to handle 120-150 million passengers and more than 12 million tonnes of cargo, annually. The new airport will be ten times larger than Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined.