An integrated approach

From its humble beginnings as Qatar’s first shipping agent in 1957, public shareholding company Milaha has grown to become one of the largest and most diverse maritime and logistics companies within the Middle East. With a single-minded approach to meeting its customers’ logistics and supply chain requirements, the Qatar Exchange-listed Milaha Group today ensures the smooth flow of trade across an increasingly demanding world through its diverse business areas – Milaha Maritime & Logistics (MM&L), Milaha Gas & Petrochem, Milaha Offshore, Milaha Trading, and Milaha Capital.

Within the group is Milaha Maritime & Logistics (MM&L), which, much like its parent company, delivers a comprehensive range of integrated services to ensure turnkey solutions to blue chip customers in the oil, gas and petrochem sectors, in addition to well-known importers, exporters and shipping organisations. Discussing the operational activities of MM&L further is Milaha’s Executive Vice President – Maritime, Michel Deleuran: “Milaha Maritime & Logistics has evolved out of the legacy Qatar Navigation operations which began in 1957, and now offers a wide array of services across the supply chain, from container shipping and port management to logistics and shipyard operations. As is the case with the Milaha group as a whole, the individual business units within Milaha Maritime & Logistics operate synergistically to deliver tailored supply chain solutions to our clients.

“For example, as part of MM&L, our Container Shipping unit operates seven owned fully cellular containerised vessels and a tug and barge combination as well as several chartered container vessels. Milaha’s feeder services have a dominant position in the UAE-Doha-UAE container trade, and a noticeable position among ports in general within the UAE. Another unit of MM&L is Port Services, which manages Doha Port, the main commercial port in Qatar, on behalf of Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani). Additionally, our Port Services business unit manages Container Terminal Seven at Mesaieed Deleuran: “Milaha Maritime & Logistics has evolved out of the legacy Qatar Navigation operations which began in 1957, and now offers a wide array of services across the supply chain, from container shipping and port management to logistics and shipyard operations. As is the case with the Milaha group as a whole, the individual business units within Milaha Maritime & Logistics operate synergistically to deliver tailored supply chain solutions to our clients.

“For example, as part of MM&L, our Container Shipping unit operates seven owned fully cellular containerised vessels and a tug and barge combination as well as several chartered container vessels. Milaha’s feeder services have a dominant position in the UAE-Doha-UAE container trade, and a noticeable position among ports in general within the UAE. Another unit of MM&L is Port Services, which manages Doha Port, the main commercial port in Qatar, on behalf of Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani). Additionally, our Port Services business unit manages Container Terminal Seven at Mesaieed support vessels, self-elevating barges and rigs, and general cargo vessels.”

Focused on finding ways to further expand its business and diversify its portfolio for the benefit of stakeholders and clients, MM&L broke new ground with the launch of the first direct container service between Qatar and India on 20th March 2015. The non-stop service connects Qatar’s Doha port with Nhava Sheva, India’s largest port. The new weekly service eliminates the need for transshipment in locations such as Jebel Ali, which increases reliability and lowers transit time and costs.

On May 26th, Milaha welcomed the arrival of the first vessel on the direct Qatar to India route. Received by high-level official dignitaries, the MV Convent’s launch is viewed as a continuation of the group’s ongoing commitment to providing tailor-made, integrated solutions to its customers. “In addition to this project, MM&L is currently part of a tender to operate the new Hamad port in Qatar, which will replace the existing Doha Port as the main commercial port in the country,” says Michel.

Alongside business expansion, MM&L has also focused on investing significantly in its facilities to streamline operations and throughput capacity, as Michel highlights: “Some examples of this include our investment of approximately three million Qatari riyals on plant and heavy lifting equipment to increase operational and reefer storage capacity, including reefer generators, leads and plugs. We also made substantial investments in hardware and software related to operational systems and the TOS, the latest initiative being the replacement of the existing VMT’s (vehicle mounted terminals) with Windows based tablets. Milaha has also made significant investments in equipment in both Doha and Mesaieed ports in the past year. In service of our recently-awarded product handling/ stevedoring contracts at Mesaieed with Qatar Steel, Qatalum and QVC,we invested approximately six million Qatari riyals, the bulk of which was for bulldozers, heavy forklifts and Bobcats.”

By maintaining a strong commitment to the vision of its parent company and finding new ways to diversify its portfolio and expand business, MM&L is certain to become a globally recognised player in the shipping and maritime sector, as Michel concludes: “We have plans to grow organically and inorganically through the acquisition of new vessels, construction of new warehouses, launching new direct shipping services, and partnering with other companies in joint ventures to increase our footprint and help us better serve our clients. This external growth wouldn’t be possible, however, without an internal optimisation of our operations to include cost management and investment in new technology.”

Milaha Maritime & Logistics

Part of Milaha Group

Launched first ever direct container service between Qatar and India

Strong performance in first six months of 2015