Enhancing Sustainability and Operational Efficiency: Strategies for Abu Dhabi Port

Topic: Trading
Words: 1848 Pages: 6


The vision of the port in Abu Dhabi is expanding trade across the country: the enterprise is the sea gate not only of one city, but also of all the Arab Emirates. This is due to the fact that ports have a key role to play in the development of international trade and the globalization of the world economy. Ports are the starting and ending points of sea transportation, within which more than 70% of the volume of international trade is carried out (Alsuwaidi et al., 2021). This seaport is a major transport hub connecting rail, river and road routes with sea routes. The loading and unloading operations carried out on it and the performance of auxiliary operations for the maintenance and supply of ships are important for the whole country. This port provides an important part of the production process in maritime transport.


Abu Dhabi port’s mission is to contribute to the development of the country’s economy through international trade cooperation. It should promote the integration of the Arab Emirates into the global economic space, acting both in the interests of the company’s employees and residents of Abu Dhabi, and in the interests of the entire population of the country. In addition, the mission of the port is to create competitive advantages for partners and contribute to the sustainable development of local and global trade. Moreover, the port of Abu Dhabi aims to provide high-quality port services that meet the requirements of international standards.


The goal of the Abu Dhabi port is stable and long-term business growth in the interests of the company and the workforce. Another company’s long-term goal is increasing the efficiency of loading and unloading and auxiliary works and services. Centralized provision of stevedoring activities, optimization of management and marketing policy in the field of cargo transshipment also plays an important role. In addition, the company strives to increase cargo turnover and the quality of port service and the use of new technologies in the management of the port complex.

Strategies of the Company

The main goal of the Abu Dhabi port strategy is infrastructure development. It implies meeting the needs of the UAE economy, foreign trade and the population in cargo transshipment. The strategy is also aimed at ensuring the safety of navigation in ports. The strategy is multi-component, and it includes increasing port capacity and ensuring the effective development of port infrastructure. The strategy also consists in ensuring the safe functioning of the port infrastructure and maritime transport. In addition, it is oriented on creating conditions that increase the competitiveness of ports in the UAE.

External Environment

Among the possibilities of the external environment for the port in Abu Dhabi, an advantageous geographical location can be distinguished. It is located at the intersection of international transport corridors, therefore, it has a great transit potential. Moreover, the factors of the external environment that should be taken into account are competitive tariffs and the development of transport corridors. The external environment is also characterized by the possibility of reducing transport costs and delivery times of goods compared to alternative routes. However, certain threats are associated with the external environment. In particular, this is a low percentage of the use of transit potential and the presence of competition from ports.

Internal Environment

The strengths of the port in Abu Dhabi related to the internal environment are quite numerous. These are natural depths and year-round navigation and the ability to interact with all types of transport (rail, road, and inland waterway). Moreover, the advantages of the internal environment include modern infrastructure, the proximity of the centers of consumption and production of bulk cargo to the port and the growth of dry cargo turnover. Qualified workforce and management personnel, as well as long-term experience and stable financial condition are also important factors of the internal environment. Among the negative factors of the internal environment, the high costs of energy supply to ports and the difficult environmental situation can be singled out.

Business Operation of Interest

To support the corporate mission and strategic goals selected, the main business operation and area of concern is the sustainability of the seaport. As can be seen in the graph devoted to the analysis of scientific publications on ports, five papers on sustainability have been written over the past ten years (Khaslavskaya & Roso, 2020). These data allow concluding the importance and relevance of this problem, including for the port in Abu Dhabi. Sustainability lies in the ability of business-related functions in the port to remain unchanged by environmental influences. First of all, this is relevant for transportation, which is the basis of the port’s activities in Abu Dhabi. As Table 2 shows, the main business operations of interest are the economic and environmental aspects of the port work (Khaslavskaya & Roso, 2020).

Table 1: Number of Publications on Ports

Number of Publications on Ports

Table 2: Thematic Areas Covered by Year

 Thematic Areas Covered by Year

Problem Formulation

The main problem for the port in Abu Dhabi is the impact of the external environment on the transportation process. Globalization in transport contains common international factors of development. The movement of goods and the internationalization of economic activity in the port depend precisely on environmental factors. Geographical mobility and the scope of international communication of the port directly depend on the external environment. Maintaining sustainability in the conditions of globalization is a problem for the port. This is due to the close mutual influence of the countries, in which changes in one of the states may negatively affect the operation of the port in Abu Dhabi.

Maintaining sustainability is important for the port in Abu Dhabi due to the fact that economic relations between the countries are increasingly going beyond bilateral. They acquire the character of multilateral relations linking the UAE with other countries and having a significant impact on the world trade system. Thus, sustainability can be considered as a process of maintaining the operability of the system in the conditions of global shocks in the global economic space. In conditions of increasing interdependence of national economies, it is important to maintain a certain stability in order to reduce the impact of global crises on the port.


Process Load Balancing

The issue of load planning should be decided at an early stage of the departure of any cargo. An unexpected server breakdown due to malfunctions on the part of the recipient of the transported can have serious negative consequences. To avoid losing financially and morally with partners, it is necessary to maintain sustainability. Initially, the problems of insufficient server performance due to potential breakdowns of the other side can be solved by increasing the server capacity. Moreover, the port in Abu Dhabi can resort to optimizing the algorithms and program codes used. In order to determine the choice of the most suitable processes, it is necessary to evaluate the current port operations according to the scheme presented in Table 3 (Sakhuja, 2019).

Table 3: Different Dry Port Taxonomies

Classification criteria Types of dry ports References
Location and functions Close, midrange, distant Roso et al. (2009)
Seaport-based, city-based, border Beresford et al. (2012)
Development direction Outside-in, inside-out Wilmsmeier et al. (2011)
Bidirectional Added by Bask et al. (2014)
Land-driven, sea-driven Monios (2011)
Maturity level Pre-, start-up, growth phase Bask et al. (2014)
Dedication Shared (or public), dedicated to particular enterprises or cargoes Ng and Cetin (2012) and Feng et al. (2012)
Geography of operations Domestic, international Do et al. (2011)
Transportation mode Rail-based, barge-based Rodrigue and Notteboom (2012)

Project Management

Project management of the Abu Dhabi is necessary for coordination and management, ensuring that the right measures are taken at the right time with a full understanding of the consequences. The most effective for these purposes will be project management, based on the structural decomposition of work. This is a tool used to obtain estimates, assist subordinates, track the dynamics and perform the overall scale of project work. The main idea is to divide a complex type of activity in the work of the port into small tasks.

Lean Operation

The concept of lean operation is to optimize processes by identifying and eliminating hidden losses. It is also associated with the provision of management infrastructure, changing the way of thinking of employees, which in turn increases the sustainability of the seaport. When applying this concept, the logistics of the Abu Dhabi port will be based on finding and eliminating losses, thereby saving time and resources. Lean operation will help to find optimal routes for people, raw materials, products and information, even in conditions of global crises.

Quality Control

Quality control is the verification of compliance of quality indicators with the established requirements. The requirements for quality indicators are defined in the relevant regulatory documents and technical specifications. When performing operations in the port, these documents are equated with the terms of the contract in the basic and special terms of delivery sections. Quality control is carried out at the stage of shipment and acceptance of goods, as well as preparation for the implementation of these processes. In the chart, the rating of the quality of ports can be seen, and the fact that the port in Abu Dhabi ranks 10th indicates the need to introduce improvements (Sakhuja, 2019).

Table 4: Port Ranks

Port Ranks

To raise sustainability, it is necessary to strengthen the already existing quality control.

Inventory Control

The head of the organization must create conditions that ensure a complete and accurate verification of the actual availability of the property within the established time frame. In the port of Abu Dhabi, the provision of labor for the outweighing and moving of goods, technically sound weighing facilities, measuring and control devices, measuring containers should be carried out. Checking and processing documents related to inventory allows to be aware of the availability of resources, and thus increases sustainability.

Competitive Benefits and Risks

The proposed solutions are aimed at improving the sustainability of the port in Abu Dhabi, which is associated with the implementation of the start strategy and compliance with missions and goals. The implementation of this goal will allow achieving a safe level of functioning of the port infrastructure. The proposed solutions comply with international and national requirements. The provision of all transportation services in compliance with the requirements with the use of various complexes should reach a qualitatively new level. Concepts such as quality control and inventory, project management and lean operation correspond to the port’s missions to improve the quality of operations in general.

The competitive risks that the port in Abu Dhabi needs to account for when adopting the proposed solution are related to financing. Most of the innovations proposed within the framework of these concepts require financial resources. When choosing a source of financing for innovative activities, enterprises have three possible financing options. The port can choose between self-financing activities, reliance on external sources of financing, or a combination of the above financing options. If there is a shortage of material resources, the organization will lose one of the main advantages – financial stability. Thus, the competitive risks are associated with the possibility of capital loss.


Alsuwaidi, A. R., Hosani, F. I., ElGhazali, G., & al-Ramadi, B. K. (2021). The COVID-19 response in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and opportunities. Nature Immunology, 22(5), 1066-1067.

Khaslavskaya, A., & Roso, V. (2020). Dry ports: Research outcomes, trends, and future implications. Maritime Economics & Logistics, 22(17), 265-292.

Sakhuja, V. (2019). The Indian Ocean and smart ports. Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, 14(3), 207-221.

Impact of Information Technology on International Trade
Saudi Arabia: The Effects of International Trade Policies and Agreements