State-owned Oman Shipping Company and its ship management and chartering subsidiaries has been brought under the ownership of Oman Global Logistics Group, the holding company set up by the government to deliver on the Sultanateâ€™s ambitious logistics strategy.
Oman Shipping Company is one of a number of public sector transportation entities incorporated into the holding company, including National Ferries Company, which owns and operates the nationâ€™s high-speed ferry-based coastal transportation service, and Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat), the newly revamped public transportation services operator of the Sultanate.
The distribution of wholly or partly owned government transport and logistics entities, across four main verticals within the holding companyâ€™s corporate structure, was outlined by a key official at last weekâ€™s Invest in Omanâ€™ forum.
Ahmed Said Tabook (pictured), programme director, market segmentation at Oman Logistics Group, said the holding company will own the governmentâ€™s stake in companies currently owning and operating seaports, free zones, and transportation, logistics and related support services providers.
â€œThe objective of this exercise is to streamline (their corporate structure), as well as make these companies more business-driven, so they do not have to rely on government subsidies for their operations,â€ Tabook said.
All of the entities placed under the purview of Oman Global Logistics have been categorised into four distinct verticals, according to the official.
Grouped under â€˜Portsâ€™ are the nationâ€™s three commercial seaports at Sohar, Duqm and Salalah, as well as Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), which operates a container terminal at Sohar Port. Also included in this vertical is Muscatâ€™s Port Sultan Qaboos, which is being transformed into a maritime heritage and tourism destination.
Classified under â€˜Economic Zonesâ€™ are Freezone Sohar and Salalah Freezone, as well as the wholly government-owned Oman Logistics Company (Khazaen), which is developing a major logistics destination in South Al Batinah Governorate.
Clustered under the â€˜Transportationâ€™ subgroup are a large number of entities led by Oman Rail Company, which has been tasked with developing and implementing a national rail-based passenger and freight system integrated with the GCC rail network. Also included in this vertical are Mwasalat, National Ferries Company, and Oman Shipping Company, along with subsidiaries Oman Charter Company SAOC and Oman Ship Management Company SAOC.
In the final subgroup, labeled â€˜Logistics Support Servicesâ€™, are three entities: Oman Drydock Company, which owns and operates a world-scale ship repair yard at Duqm; Oman Post Company; and the Sohar based International Maritime College Oman (IMCO), which is 70 per cent owned by the government.
OGL was established around mid-year to align the nationsâ€™ port, free zone, railway, maritime and land transport infrastructure with the governmentâ€™s broader strategy for developing a logistics-centric economy in the Sultanate.
As the governmentâ€™s logistics development arm, OGL will play a key role in creating major growth opportunities to significantly raise the contribution of logistics sector to the gross domestic product.