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Logistics industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council - statistics & facts

The total size of the global logistics industry was valued at around 5.5 trillion euros. The segment of sea freight within the global industry accounted for just 135 billion euros of the global industry. For the same period, the global ocean sea freight market volume was around 67 million TEU and forecast to grow to 79 million TEU by 2022. As for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the sea freight segment is a very significant part of the transportation and logistics industry. It has been under constant development to close the technological and infrastructure gap to other global seaport hubs.

Leading logistics segments

Sea freight is the main logistics and transportation delivery method for the GCC countries. This is mainly used for exporting the regions’ oil and gas products. The leading seaport hubs of the region are off the coast of Saudi Arabia, the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait.

The third-party logistics segment is a major contributor to the industry in the Middle East region with a revenue of around 42 billion U.S. dollars. To manage and grow this business segment, the region is investing in its warehouse automation technology, whose market size is projected to grow to 1.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

 Logistics market size in the GCC region

The United Arab Emirates controls the largest share in the logistics market in the GCC region at 42 percent. The sector is expected to continue its growth, particularly in the country’s air and sea freight markets. After the UAE, Saudi Arabia holds a quarter of the total GCC logistics market. Saudi Arabia’s logistics market is one of the fastest-growing globally, with heavy state investment aiming to transform it into the go-to logistics hub in the region.

Before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, the logistics market in the GCC region was projected to grow to over 100 billion U.S. dollars. However, this estimate will have to be revised as the global pandemic has caused many industries in the region to decelerate in their growth.


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