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Posted By Administration, Friday, November 11, 2016

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Essa Al-Saleh

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Evolving Supply Chains


I recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel that was titled  “50 Years of Chemical Logistics and Supply Chain Evolution: What Next?,” and I’d like to share some of the key thoughts from the panel and how they impact our business.

The panel  discussion followed a 30 minute presentation from a futurist and business thinker, Patrick Dixon, who talked about what he believes the industry will look like in the next 10 years and beyond.  

The most interesting points that he articulated and that I believe were relevant to us include:

  1. More agility – His first point was the logistics industry needs to have more agility and be reactive to changes

  2. Emerging markets –More growth and trade will happen between Emerging Markets and other Emerging markets

  3. Importance of Scale –Scale in our industry is very important

  4. Data, Data and Data - The essential aspects of data and how to use data

  5. “The 5 sec test” – How long will you wait for service before you move on.  Think of going to a website and how long will you wait for its pages to load before you drop it and move.  This is an important insight and mindset we need to have.

In this context I would like highlight the following belief that I think is important to recognize in our industry  “What has earned us money in the past 10 years  is not what will earn us money in the next 10 years”.  

The underlying forces that are driving  change and disruption in our industry include:

  1. Slowing global trade  - less globalization, maturing markets &  industries and shifting trade routes all have had an impact on longer term growth rates in global trade.  Before you could predict global trade as a multiple of GDP growth, whereas now it’s probably at or below global GDP growth.  

  1. Increased complexity and volatility – With increased regulations, shifting trade routes and growing environmental requirements and consideration we have to cope with increased demands, complexity and volatility

  1. Accelerating pace of everything – With increased customer expectations and the development of technology the speed of “everything” is accelerating and will have a dramatic impact on industry.  How companies rise to the challenge and look to meet or exceed expectations is essential to our growth and arguably our survival.

In the face of these developments, at Agility we are aiming to evolve by focusing on three key areas:

  1. People - Developing an Engaged and Empowered Workforce with shared values, purpose and aligned vision is at the core of our “Agility Way” where we seek to focus and link our strategy and goals to the actions of our people.

  1. Technology and Business Process – Our mindset is to become more of a Technology company that also does the physical logistics moves which enables our vision of developing  solutions, insight and continuous improvement within our customers supply chain.


Agility – Finally as our name invokes we aim to drive a fast, flexible, adaptable and agile organization aspiring to exceed our customer’s needs .



Essa Al-Saleh

CEO , Agility – Global Integrated Logistics
TIACA Board member

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