Shipping company hires Saudi women


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1 Nov 2010

maersk_line.jpgSara Samargandi and Mona Al-Malki have made a little bit of Maersk Line history by becoming the first Saudi women to be employed by Mercantile Shipping Agencies Ltd., the shipping firm's agent in Saudi Arabia

"This is a milestone for the organization and a demonstration of its
diversity commitments. The company is keen to hire and develop local
talents and there is plenty of untapped potential since women in Saudi
Arabia are qualified, willing and able to work," a company spokesman
told Arab News over the weekend.

Mona graduated from King Abdulaziz University with a degree in European
languages and translation, while Sara is a psychology graduate. Both
are now part of the telemarketing team in Jeddah.

"Maersk Line has opened the door for my future," says Mona. "It is a
wonderful development to be here at Maersk Line because working in
Saudi Arabia can be a challenge, particularly for women."

Sara was motivated to work for a large global company and feels that
Saudi women have a big role to play in the workplace. "We are looking
to learn more skills and gain valuable experience from working
alongside specialists," she says.

Sunil Joseph, MD of Mercantile Shipping Agencies Ltd., considers these
appointments as a reflection of Maersk Line's commitment to providing
equal opportunities for women. "This achievement gains more importance
considering the relatively lower participation of women in the
workplace in Saudi Arabia," he added.

Joseph, who was one of the speakers at the recent Saudi-Transtec
conference in Dammam, mentioned that the shipping and logistics
industry play a pivotal role in economic development by supporting
trade and commerce.

"At a time when the Saudi economy is set to make a mark on the global
economic map, the shipping industry can create further value by
facilitating growth management."

He shared the global container demand and supply outlook for 2011 and
illustrated how demand is expected to be lower than supply. The demand
will grow faster in the event matured economies exit recession and
improve their gross domestic product. As supply is expected to remain
the same, he also shared the view that slow-steaming concepts in
shipping will continue in 2011 and beyond, as it gives cost advantage
to carriers while meeting global supply chain requirements.

The slow steaming was further illustrated by sharing the concept of
running a ship at slower speed so as to minimize bunker consumption,
while the transit time is maintained by adding more vessels to the
rotation. This effectively makes fuel consumption more efficient and
also takes away the excess supply of vessel from the market.

Joseph highlighted that the Kingdom's total container volume has risen
by about 13 percent annually from 1998. The rising demand due to
massive developments planned (up to $1 trillion worth of new projects
over the next five to six years in the pipeline currently) will
accelerate economic growth and develop Saudi ports at a par with some
of the key regional players.

Joseph mentioned operational excellence, transportation capacity,
equipment availability to move the export flows, development of the
land bridge infrastructure and skill development in the young energetic
Saudi population as the high focus areas.

Saudi Arabia has moved up fairly quickly from 62nd position to 13th
globally in creating a good business environment as per the World Bank
survey. Likewise, Saudi ports should soon become world-class entities
with high reputation.

Maersk vessels called at Saudi ports 350 times in 2009. There are at
least 450 calls scheduled for 2010, clearly illustrating the strategic
value that Maersk has for the Saudi market and its economic development.

Source: Arab News


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