Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and chairman of the Emirates Group (2nd R) launching RSA National Air Cargo Terminal located at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) on Wednesday with Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder and Group CEO of RSA Global (L), Jacob Mathew, President Middle East and Asia, National Air Cargo (2nd L) and Ajay I. Shah, Co-Founder and Chairman, RSA Global. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: RSA National, a UAE-based logistics services provider, on Wednesday opened an air cargo terminal at Dubai World Central, the emirate’s second airport, as it seeks to capitalise on growth within the logistics sector.

The inauguration was for the 13,000-square-kilometre first phase of the terminal that came at an investment of Dh50 million. The company said it will focus on the key segments of e-commerce, perishables, government and defence, humanitarian, and fashion and retail where it sees strong growth potential.

RSA National Air Cargo Terminal located at the Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

The cargo terminal marks the first project by RSA National, a joint venture launched in November 2017 between UAE-based RSA Global and National Air Cargo, a US-based carrier.

Abhishek Ajay Shah, chief executive officer and co-founder of RSA Global, said the company is also in talks with parties in China, the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia about providing its services to them.

He said that RSA National is especially targeting emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia where it sees stronger economic growth. Shah said that an increase in disposable income in emerging markets is leading to stronger demand for logistics services.

But Shah also realises the macro-economic challenges with the UAE’s own operating environment.

“The UAE market has been quite challenging for the last two years. We see that across other businesses as well,” he said. “I think the biggest challenge is that now we seem to have reached a mature level, the market is well-settled, the supply chains are there, the hyper growth of new influx is not necessarily present today, so it’s all about efficiency, and it’s all about technology.”

From a global perspective, there’s also the rise in trade tensions, especially as the US piles on tariffs against China and renegotiates some of its trade deals.

Shah said this is “definitely going to have an impact” on RSA National and the overall logistics industry.

“How much [impact] and when are unknown at this stage. We always invest for the long term, so that’s the view we take. In the short term, it’s a benefit because everyone wants to get products before the tariffs [are implemented], but in the medium to long term, the impact is unknown,” he said.