Mr. Ahmed Mokbel Gamaleldin
First of all Ahmed, please tell our readers about your background in shipping leading up to your partnership and establishment of AGILE Shipping.
Almost 18 years of Experience in the Shipping & Logistics field, formerly Managing Director for Agility Egypt for Shipping & Freight.
Core competences: Industrial Projects / Oil & Gas Logistics / Supply Chain / Freight forwarding / Container Shipping Line.
What made you decide to open AGILE Shipping? How many partners are you, and which date did you formally start your company?
We are four partners and officially started in June 2022
What made us establish Agile Shipping & Logistics solution is the fact that the four of us come from typical freight forwarding companies which faced severe challenges during the past 3-4 years—especially when the major container shipping lines decided to enter the logistics market with a huge edge over the freight forwarders as well as the challenges during & post Covid-19.
We, as partners, reached a conclusion that in order to survive in such tough competition, we needed to be simply AGILE.
This can be reached by targeting the areas in which the solid know-how is the real edge & the real value that can position us ahead of our competition.
Egypt is a competitive market with many freight forwarders. What is your speciality, and do you have any particular focus or strength in Egyptian logistics that you would like to underline?
As far as Egypt being a competitive market, correct. This is why we decided to specialize in areas which are very exciting & have a lot of potential: Vessel Chartering / Logistical Solutions that we’re aiming to provide to our customers with a continuous improvement mindset, noting that these services can be provided not only in Egypt but throughout different regions.
How about customs clearance in Egypt? Is it difficult? Can you also arrange inland transportation in Egypt?
Honestly, Egypt was one of the most complicated countries in terms of clearing cargos from customs areas. However recently the government developed useful platforms to ease the process through connecting both shipper/consignee & customs in one platform which provides the needed visibility and shortens the clearing lead time.
Yes, we do provide transportation services across Egypt, yet we only specialize in the following areas:
1- Middle & last mile distribution
2- Trucks shuttling services between dry ports/workshops to customer facilities
3- Heavy lift transportation
4- Heavy equipment rentals
Egypt is developing big time. Lots of infrastructure projects. Generally, which countries would you say are the major trading partners of Egypt?
This is so. The government has invested billions of dollars over the last 6-8 years in huge infrastructure projects specially in energy, roads, water treatment, and developing new cities
The major trading countries can be listed as below:
5- Arabian Gulf Countries
Do you feel that the carriers/shipowners now are more service-minded than before? In other words, during Covid19, many were notoriously arrogant and not freight forwarder friendly. How about now?
Yes definitely. They might have had the advantage of space shortage versus demand during the COVID-19 period. Yet, as the space issue no longer exists, we see that shipping rates (especially in the container industry) are going down. All of them now are looking for cargo to fill in their ships/containers—noting that it’s not undisclosed that the whole world is headed for a global recession later in 2023.
Are you currently a member of any networks?
Only CLC for the time being.
How do you view the year of 2023, and looking into your crystal ball, what are your expectations for this year, having recently started your company?
We believe that 2023 & 2024 are and will be very challenging years both domestically and internationally.
In Egypt, we are facing frequent currency devaluations against the US dollar due to its shortage in the market. The same affects both importers & exporters as they need to import some of their manufacturing materials yet they are lacking the hard currency.
We at Agile are focusing currently on the export of the raw materials which is not facing the same challenges as the manufactured materials.
How would it be best for our readers to get in touch with you?
§ Ahmed Salah, Commercial & Chartering Director
§ Mohamed AbouElKheir, Business Development & Marine Services Director
§ Marwan Fawzy, Commercial Supervisor
§ Mohamed Abaza, Logistics Solutions Director
§ Rafeek Ragab, Operations & Chartering Assistant Manager
§ Ahmed Mokbel, Chief Executive Officer