• January 13, 2016

Saudi warehousing solutions provider signs agreement with SOHAR Freezone.

• SOHAR pens deal with Saudi logistics and warehouse provider WPL
• Construction of 100,000sqm warehouse park in SOHAR Freezone to begin
• Good start for 2016 SOHAR ‘Year of Logistics’ to attract 2PL/3PL players
SOHAR Port and Freezone signed a new deal this week with Warehousing Solutions LLC, a newly established company belonging to Saudi Arabian logistics provider Warehousing Projects and Logistics LLC (WPL).
WPL started in 2010 with a land bank of around 500,000m2 situated in the industrial cities of Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Madinah, with the development of pre-built warehouses for logistics services providers and other clients.
WPL has expanded its portfolio into built-to-suit warehouses and warehousing design, through collaboration with an international consulting firm, complemented with third-party logistics (3PL) services. Warehousing Solutions LLC will develop and manage the new warehouse park at SOHAR Freezone — one of WPL’s first major ventures outside the Kingdom.
The signing took place at the annual SOHAR business reception, which was held in Muscat on Tuesday evening. His Excellency Sultan Al Habsi, Chairman of SOHAR Port and Freezone, as well as SOHAR CEOs Andre Toet and Jamal Aziz signed the agreement with WPL Chief Executive Abdulaziz Mansoor Al Subaie. VIPs and guest from the public and private sectors as well as representatives from key diplomatic missions in Oman attended the ceremony.
The signing marks the beginning of the construction of WPL’s planned 50,000sqm warehouse park in SOHAR Freezone; a further 50,000sqm has been reserved for phase II, taking the total size of the land lease agreement up to 100,000sqm. Warehousing Solutions will construct ready-built warehouses as well as bespoke warehousing for other SOHAR tenants on-site in the Freezone.
The new deal comes at just the right time. Throughput at SOHAR Port increased dramatically over 2015, with an average of close to one million tons of cargo throughput a week recorded last year. The new highway connecting SOHAR directly to Saudi Arabia is due to open in the first quarter of 2016; and this year the first 200km of the GCC rail network in Oman will start construction, linking SOHAR to the border of the Emirates in Buraimi, with onward rail links to Abu Dhabi.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, SOHAR Freezone CEO, Jamal Aziz, said: “We are delighted to have signed this lease agreement with WPL’s new Omani company, Warehousing Solutions LLC. The logistics sector in Oman is projected to grow beyond the US$12 billion mark by 2017, and we have set out to make 2016 our Year of Logistics, to attract more 2PL and 3PL providers to SOHAR. Long-term, thanks to our unique location, the logistics industry has the potential to surpass the hydrocarbons sector as the nation’s economic mainstay.”
WPL Chief Executive Abdulaziz Mansoor Al Subaie, summed up: “We’ve seen an active interest in warehousing and logistics development emerging in Oman, and our presence at SOHAR expands our reach across the region to meet these demands. With its strategic location as a logistics hub for the Gulf, SOHAR Freezone will add to the value proposition we can offer to clients and logistics service providers. We look forward to cooperating with Freezone’s One-Stop-Shop team to turn our latest expansion into reality.”