Wilhelmsen partners with AD Ports Group and Inveco LLC to enhance trade along Middle Corridor

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Wilhelmsen Port Services joins hands with AD Ports Group and Inveco LLC in a strategic partnership, as AD Ports Group takes over 60% ownership of the Tbilisi Dry Port in Georgia. This marks a significant step towards bolstering connectivity between Asia and Europe. Together, we aim to enhance logistics infrastructure along the route from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea by leveraging the state-of-the-art facilities of the Tbilisi Dry Port.

Set to become operational in Q4 2024, the Tbilisi Dry Port will emerge as a pivotal logistics hub within Georgia. It is located along the Middle Corridor – an emerging trade lane linking manufacturing hubs in Western Asia to consumer markets in Eastern Europe.

The Tbilisi Dry Port is designed to facilitate efficient entry, exit, and regional transit of containers, vehicles, and assorted goods. It features integrated facilities, including a container freight station, expansive warehouses, and a car storage park, coupled with direct railway links extending westward to Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi, and eastward to Azerbaijan, enhancing connectivity with European Black Sea ports and ports along the Caspian Sea.

Noatum Logistics, a division of the AD Ports Group, will oversee the operations and management of the facilities, using the strengths provided by the Group’s portfolio and tapping into the expertise and resources of Inveco LLC and Wilhelmsen. Within Wilhelmsen Port Services, the focus will be on managing operations and commercial aspects, with our dedicated team in Georgia.

Present at the signing ceremony, His Excellency Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the UAE, mentioned: “Guided by the vision of our wise leadership, the UAE Government is focused on fostering international cooperation with strategic and global partners that share our vision for mutual benefit and sustainable prosperity. Consequently, in October 2023, the UAE and Georgia signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which aims to increase the bilateral non-oil trade between our two nations to AED 5.5 billion (USD $1.5 billion) in five years, while accelerating economic recovery and securing vital supply chains. AD Ports Group’s investment in the Tbilisi Dry Port delivers on this objective, which is set to deepen trade and investment ties, develop global trade lanes, and generate market access opportunities for UAE and Georgian businesses alike.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, also added: “AD Ports Group is committed to strategic international investments that advances economic growth, job creation and mutual benefit in line with our wise leaders’ vision. By investing in, and operating, new strategic infrastructure and logistics hubs along the Caspian Sea – Black Sea Corridor, AD Ports Group is delivering on our strategy to strengthen global supply chains. As a country situated at the centre of the Caucasus and located along the Black Sea, Georgia is a key destination linking us with our growing maritime and logistics assets in Central Asia and Türkiye, thereby enabling us to serve our customers with cost-effective, streamlined cargo flows and capture significant future trade volumes.

Jemal Inaishvili, Founder of Inveco LLC, Georgia, said: “I am delighted that negotiations with AD Ports Group ended successfully. AD Ports Group’s participation as a significant facilitator of global trade and logistics will play a key role in the development and success of the Tbilisi Dry Port. AD Ports Group’s vast expertise in ports operations and logistics facilities will bring a new level of management in the Georgia’s logistics sector. I am also very glad that by this partnership we are contributing to growing economic co-operation between United Arab Emirates and Georgia.”

Neal de Roche, President of Wilhelmsen Port Services, emphasised: “Georgia has been an important market to us for a long time already. The development of the Tbilisi Dry Port has been a cornerstone project to support the development of the trade corridor between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. We are excited to have AD Ports Group come in as majority shareholder with their wealth of experience in port and terminal operations.”

With the Middle Corridor being regarded as the shortest trade route between Asia and Europe, and expecting to serve considerable growth in container volumes, the Tbilisi Dry Port’s development aligns perfectly with this strategic corridor. Wilhelmsen’s involvement in the Tbilisi Dry Port project not only reaffirms its commitment to regional development but also sets the stage for expanding Wilhelmsen Port Services into new markets, thereby providing substantial benefits to its customers.