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Fast-tracked freight: Dubai pilots ‘virtual corridor’ to streamline customs clearance

May 12, 2015

More than 12,000 transfers of cargo weighting 64,000 tonnes have been made since the start of the pilot project. (Pixabay)


Dubai Customs and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai have unveiled a ‘Virtual Corridor’ to enhance the overall trade sector and facilitate goods movements.

This corridor is a virtual freight and logistic passage to connect seaports, airports and free zones in Dubai on a single platform, enabling hassle-free customs clearance and making the entire process more streamlined, time saving and cost efficient without any financial burden, said Ahmad Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs.

The virtual corridor will enable the movement of goods among handling authorities and shipment companies using faster, easier and cheaper custom procedures, Musabih said.

Cargo will be moved in under four hours without the need for a client to submit a cash bond or bank guarantee, as it is the minimal procedures. Dubai Customs will grant clients virtual financial guarantee for each consignment to be transfer among customs centres in Dubai.

Since the implementation of the pilot phase of this initiative in September 2014, more than 12,000 transfers of cargo weighting 64,000 tonnes have been made while more than Dh120 million saved by reducing the burden of deposit related financial issues, according to Dubai customs.

Usually the movement of goods between Dubai’ customs Centre can take up to several days and after submitting paperwork and extra fees. The new changes eliminate the previous bureaucracy.

Dubai Express, Aramex, Gulf Agency Co, Weiss-Rohlig UAE LLC, DB Schenker and others are among the shipment companies who participated in the pilot phase.

Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said: “Dubai’s success is primarily built on its ability to seamlessly connect people and trade. This initiative will create the most favourable framework conditions for trade and logistic companies to grow locally as well as regionally as well as it will expand to emerging markets.”

For Al Qamzi, Dubai’s multimodal transportation and logistics cluster has highly competitive air, sea and road components.

Air freight loaded at Dubai International Airport grew by 26 per cent and air freight discharged increased 31 per cent between 2009 and 2014. Meanwhile, the total number of vessels calling at Dubai Ports grew by 48 per cent compared to five years ago. Jebel Ali Port witnessed 45 per cent rise in containers loaded and 41 per cent in containers discharged during the same period,” he said.

The road network provided by Dubai, makes it a great land transport hub for the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab region. The number of trucks’ movement from Dubai to regional markets have increased from 14,000 trucks in 2012 to 21,000 trucks in 2013 alone, Al Qamzi said.

By Zaher Bitar



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