Tag: Middle East Furniture

June 5, 2017   Posted by: Indy

Middle East air freight disruption looms as Qatar is blacklisted over ‘terror links’


Air freight transhipped via the Middle East could be disrupted after several countries decided to cut air, sea, land and diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Saudia Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Libya have all announced a break-off in ties with Qatar over its continued support of Muslim Brotherhood and its relationship with Iran.

All three major Gulf airlines will be affected – the most serious impact will be felt by Qatar Airways, which will be unable to fly to these countries, which have shut their airspace to it. The move is likely to result in longer flight times for Qatar Airways, as well as higher fuel bills.

Qatar Airways has published a short note on its website, but did not comment further. It said: “Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until 23:59 UTC on 5 June (2.59am, 6 June, Doha time).”

It advised customers with an existing cargo booking to call the nearest QR office.

While it only notes the suspension to Saudia Arabia, the UAE and other countries are expected to be added to the list.

Emirates, Etihad, Saudia, Gulf Airways, flyDubai and Air Arabia announced they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from 6 June, “as instructed by the UAE government”, noted Emirates. Etihad will upgrade its aircraft on the route to a 777 for the last few flights.

Etihad Cargo said in a statement: “All customers who have cargo booked on Etihad flights to and from Doha are being provided with alternative options and will be contacted directly regarding their specific requirements. Should you have any concerns about specific shipments, please contact your local Etihad Cargo office or alternatively our dedicated customer service team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“All other Etihad Cargo flights, including to the rest of the Middle East, are operating as normal. Any further changes to the status of flight schedules to Doha will be communicated through the appropriate channels. Etihad Cargo regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension.”

Qatar is fairly reliant on both the UAE and Saudi Arabia for its imports. About half of its food is sourced in the Middle East, primarily from the UAE, which also accounts for most of its fruit and vegetables. The UAE accounts for some $2.76bn of its imports, and is Qatar’s fifth biggest import country. Much of the country’s poultry and dairy products come from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar’s only land border crossing with Saudi Arabia, at Abu Samra, sees about 800 lorries cross the border each day.


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September 5, 2016   Posted by: Indy

The implications for shippers and importers of Hanjin’s bankruptcy

Until very recently, Hanjin Shipping was South Korea’s largest and one of the world’s top ten container carriers.

Hanjin is filing for court bankruptcy protection in about 10 countries, including Canada, Germany and the U.K. this week and later expand that to 43 jurisdictions to protect its ships and other assets from being seized by creditors, and the company is taking further legal action in countries beyond the U.S. for protection of its assets as it works to get a frozen supply chain moving again, with more than half its vessels stranded in ports world-wide and at sea.

Hanjin ships have been seized by creditors or turned away from ports, with terminals refusing to work with the company’s cargo for fear they won’t get paid. Analysts say Hanjin should seek to file for bankruptcy protection as quickly as possible in the jurisdictions it operates in to get ships back to port and containers unloaded.

Chinese ports and terminals that accepted Hanjin ships before the company announced bankruptcy proceedings are charging container-handling deposits of up to $1,800, say freight agents. Seven Hanjin ships remain stranded outside Chinese ports.

Hanjin is the largest shipping company in Korea, operating about 60 regular lines world-wide and transporting over 100 million tons of cargo a year, according to court papers. Its failure would be the largest in the history of the container-shipping industry, dwarfing all previous carrier bankruptcies.

Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing has sent spot shipping rates soaring by as much as 40% on routes from Asia to the Americas, according to analysts.

A tangle of costs and authorizations stands between shippers and Hanjin Shipping cargo – as below a brief summary of  how much US ports and marine terminals are charging shippers to release stranded Hanjin Shipping containers.

On the West Coast, terminal operators in Los Angeles and Long Beach are unloading all of the containers from the vessels. Containers that do not belong to Hanjin are processed according to normal procedures and terminals are holding onto import loads in Hanjin containers and will deliver the containers to truckers only if the beneficial cargo owners pay the terminal cargo-handling charges upfront. The terminals are not accepting Hanjin export loads and empty containers.

At the Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle and Tacoma there were no Hanjin vessels in port on Friday, according to spokesperson Tara Mattina. The Hanjin Scarlet is due to arrive at Terminal 46 in Seattle on Saturday, although the schedule may not hold up. As of Friday, the was anchored outside Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where its entry was refused, she said.

Terminal 46 is now accepting import containers, but is not accepting export loads and empties. Olympic Container Terminal in Tacoma is not accepting any Hanjin deliveries for now and the Husky Terminal is not accepting exports or empties, but is unloading imports and is encouraging truckers to bring their own chassis, Mattina said.

In Vancouver, Global Container Terminal said it will no longer receive Hanjin ships. One Hanjin ship is at the port waiting to be moved on.

On the East Coast, the largest terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey, Maher Terminals, has made no statement on if, or how much, shippers must pay to get Hanjin containers. However, the terminal has told customers that Hanjin import deliveries must be pre-paid and that Hanjin exports won’t be accepted. One motor carrier advised he was required to pay $395.20 per container to cover stevedoring charges before he could remove a Hanjin box from the terminal.

Maher is the only New York-New Jersey terminal that receives Hanjin ships, and APM Terminals, Port Newark Container Terminal, and Global Container Terminals didn’t disclose how they are handling Hanjin containers.

Down the coast in Baltimore, Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Terminal in Baltimore didn’t disclose how it’s handling already received Hanjin containers. The terminal did say it will not accept any inbound Hanjin cargo, and they will continue receiving but not delivering Hanjin empty containers. The Maryland Port Administration said a barge loaded with Hanjin containers is sitting in the port.

At the Port of Virginia, Hanjin export containers may be picked-up at the terminals by the original shipper only with authorization from Hanjin. In these occurrences, all terminal service charges shall be waived and the shipper will be responsible for all associated chassis charges and fees. All import containers on terminal by Tuesday with the appropriate documentation will be available per normal policy. Starting Wednesday the charge to release Hanjin import containers will be $325, but all demurrage charges will be waived and shippers must have authorization from Hanjin.

At the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina, a Hanjin ship, Seaspan Efficiency, left late Tuesday and cargo from the vessel is being stored at the port. “North Carolina Ports will deliver all import loads and receive back all empties (originally discharged and currently at the Port of Wilmington), including Hanjin Shipping containers,” said a spokesperson.

Further south, the South Carolina Ports Authority has waived the non-vessel delivery fee for export loads out-gated and all import loads discharged on or after September 1 will be placed on hold until such time as all SCPA charges are settled. The South Carolina Ports Authority will collect all port and throughput charges totaling $350 per container from the BCO/responsible party with authorization required from Hanjin. This process will be further refined, but payment is required prior to manual release of hold and outgate.

The Georgia Ports Authority, which oversees the second-largest port on the East Coast, Savannah, wasn’t available to comment, nor was Port Miami. The Port of Jacksonville said it does not have any calls from Hanjin or other CKYHE Alliance members.

Along the Gulf Coast, Houston is holding containers until they receive $100 to cover the Port of Houston Authority’s terminal throughput charges, which are separate from stevedoring costs. The port authority is considering whether to also require guarantees or payment for stevedoring bills for Hanjin boxes that will be discharged from a China Cosco Shipping vessel expected in next week.

Mobile only had three Hanjin containers at the terminal so the operator there, APMT, is checking with the individual customers to see how they would like to proceed. New Orleans, like Jacksonville, has no Hanjin or other CKYHE calls.

Hanjin’s unprecedented bankruptcy will have a significant impact on the cost and effectiveness of all container shipping routes worldwide, so please contact your forwarder to confirm how this may affect you !

Courtesy : WSJ, JOC, CBS, BBC, Reuters

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May 30, 2014   Posted by: Indy

Campus exhibitors win big at Product Design Awards at INDEX Dubai 2014

Independent OMS was once again pleased to bring the Campus area to the workspace at INDEX show in Dubai 2014, bringing best in class North American manufacturers to the buoyant Middle East market.

Congratulations to OFS and Landscape Forms for their wins in the Best of Show Product Design Awards – out of the thousands of products being exhibited at INDEX and workspace at INDEX, only 7 received the prestigious Product Design Awards, and 2 of these were from the Campus !

OFS received the award for Best Seating for the Modello Chair

Seating: Modello - OFS Brands

Landscape Forms received the award for Best Outdoor Furniture and Furnishing for their Chipman Table and Chair

Furniture & Outdoor Furnishings: Chipman Table & Chairs - Landscape Forms

Taking into consideration a number of criteria including the choice of materials, the environmental impact, ergonomics and functionality, the judges selected these products as they represent the excellence in product design and are a perfect example of product innovation.

Further congratulations go to Campus Exhibitors HNI, Allseating, Artco Bell and OFS (again) for their shortlisted product awards :

Desks and Tables

HNI – Further             Desks & Tables: Further - HNI

OFS – Re                      Desks & Tables: Re - OFS Brands

Artcobell – Discover Desks & Tables: Discover Tables - Artcobell



Allseating – You Mesh Seating: You Mesh - Allseating


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August 23, 2013   Posted by: Indy

Office 2013 Post Show

The 2013 exhibition attracted 5,314 unique visitors from 56 countries, representing a 19% increase in footfall compared to the 2012 edition of the exhibition.
The value of the interior contracting and fit-out market in the GCC’s commercial sector is set to grow in 2013 from US$1.15bn to US$1.43bn
As GCC governments continue to invest in social infrastructure, over US$9bn of education construction projects are expected to complete in 2013
Co-locating with the INDEX International Design Exhibition proved a complete success with over 3,600 INDEX visitors also visiting the Office Exhibition.
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January 22, 2013   Posted by: Indy

51 Billion Reasons to Exhibit at the 2013 Office Exhibition Dubai

$ 51 billion is the forecasted value of GCC commercial building construction projects due for completion in 2013

Last year saw unprecedented growth across all sectors of the GCC contract fit-out and interiors market, with the region still bucking the global trends with regard to economic recovery and growth.

This continuing growth and prosperity clearly illustrates the importance of establishing strong business foundations across the region; and what better way to do that than by exhibiting at the region’s largest and longest established contract and commercial interiors fit-out and design show … the Office Exhibition!

Download Your Insight in to the GCC Commercial Interiors Market




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November 29, 2012   Posted by: Indy

UAE mulls 100% foreign ownership of companies

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies.

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies, Bloomberg reported, citing the undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

The Abu Dhabi government and others within the UAE are reviewing the draft legislation, which would allow some sectors to operate outside of free zones, said Mohamed Omar Abdulla.

“We recognise the importance of the foreign companies to have 100 percent ownership, but within specific rules and conditions,” he said.

Companies that are eligible would “have to be within the industries that have certain priorities within the economy, like petrochemicals, communications, logistics, aerospace, financial, and others,” he added.

Under UAE law, only nationals are allowed full ownership of companies operating outside of free zones. The law currently requires foreign citizens to have a UAE national as a partner or sponsor to conduct business.

The Gulf state has been trying to diversify and modernise its economy, developing areas including tourism and finance, in a bid to reduce its dependence on oil exports.

The UAE’s state news agency in December said the cabinet had approved a draft companies law that may allow foreign ownership above 49 percent.

The legislation lays down a framework for the governance of public companies, ensuring transparency and disclosure of financial data as well as the efficiency and integrity of the board of directors, WAM said

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November 29, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Dubai ruler announces new mega city project

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on Saturday plans to build a new multi-billion dollar project called Mohammad Bin Rashid City.

The new city project will be built by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties in what is being described as the biggest real estate joint venture in the region.

No value has been given for the project but plans include building the world’s biggest shopping mall, a Universal family theme park and a park that is a third bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The project will comprise four key components and will feature “world class leisure facilities and provide an integrated environment for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation”, a statement said. It is not clear how this project will impact the much-delayed Dubailand project.

Sheikh Mohammad said in the statement: “The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city.

“Therefore we have to start work immediately on the third phase of development that is aligned to our Vision till 2030 and boost the UAE economy to enable it to enter a new era in which it will become the capital of entrepreneurship, arts, culture, and family tourism for over 2 billion people.”

He added: “Our development initiatives concerning infrastructure in all sectors should be aligned with this growth rate and we have the determination to reach our objectives and be the first in the region to achieve them.”

The new city will also include residential areas built on green building standards in terms of energy consumption, waste treatment and conservation of natural environment.

It will also feature a number of golf courses under well-known international names.

Courtesy of Arabian Business – full story here



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November 7, 2012   Posted by: Indy

MEDC announces second year of export assistance for small businesses

MEDC announces second year of export assistance for small businesses

LANSING – On the heels of Gov. Rick Snyder’s second trade mission to Asia in 12 months, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced a second year of financial assistance to Michigan small and medium businesses for export-related activities through the Pure Michigan export incentive program.

“My recent trip to China reaffirmed that foreign countries offer new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships to Michigan companies. The Pure Michigan export incentive program helps Michigan companies tap into those markets and diversify their customer bases,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “In today’s globally interconnected world, export sales offer extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow and create new jobs.”

The $2.1 million in funding is from a second year of allocations to the State of Michigan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. State project award amounts vary based on the proposed project plan and budget.

“Through the first year of the STEP program we were able to assist many Michigan businesses with increasing their sales in foreign markets – sales that help diversify companies’ customer bases, provide longer term stability and can support higher paying jobs,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This year’s STEP award, a $600,000 increase over last year, is the second largest award in the nation, reflecting the Small Business Administration’s strong confidence in Michigan’s successful execution of export promotion to increase international sales.”

The SBA STEP grant program provides direct reimbursements to qualified companies with 500 or fewer employees globally for export-related activities, ranging from foreign market research to international trade missions.

The program’s goal is to increase Michigan’s export sales, increase the number of new-to-export companies and introduce current exporters to new foreign markets and buyers.

MEDC launched the STEP pilot program in October 2011. More than 400 Michigan companies received assistance through the first year of the program, with 132 companies entering 62 new global markets. New export sales of more than $21.2 million were reported as a result of the program.

The MEDC’s export plan was developed through collaboration with strategic export service providers including U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan Small Business Administration, Michigan Small Business Technology & Development Center, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan State University’s Center for International Business Education and Research, along with Automation Alley, Van Andel Global Trade Center, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, and Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The MEDC coordinates a statewide export assistance delivery system with public and private resources to ensure company access regardless of geographic location.

In September, leaders from 21 Michigan companies, many of them STEP program participants, traveled to China to meet with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. The MEDC, which facilitated the mission, arranged more than 100 matchmaking meetings for the participating companies. Several of the companies also met with distributors who can sell their products throughout China, further increasing Michigan exports.

The trip occurred in tandem with Gov. Snyder’s 10-day China trade mission, where he focused on strengthening relationships and developing pathways for increasing Michigan exports to the country.

For complete details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit http://www.michiganadvantage.org/STEP/.

The MEDC markets the state with a focus on business, talent, jobs and helping to grow the economy. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganAdvantage.org.


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May 31, 2012   Posted by: Indy

11th Office Exhibition Confirms Strong Global Interest in Region’s Commercial Fit-out Market

Organisers Report 24 % Increase in Visitor Numbers

Stewart Brown welcomes H.E.Humaid Mohamed Obaid Al Qutami to the Campus at the Office Exhibition Dubai 2012

The Office Exhibition 2012, the Middle East’s premier trade show in office fit-outs and commercial interior design concluded its 11th edition with a 24 per cent increase in the number of visitors from last year. The three-day show was held from 15 – 17 May, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Participants at The Office Exhibition 2012 were positive about the outlook for commercial fit-out projects in the Middle East, with many citing an increase in the number of business enquiries received and contracts secured during the event.

Stewart Brown, President at Independent Freight International, U.S.A said, “We are very pleased to host eight new companies from the Americas at The Office Exhibition this year. These companies exhibited for the first time in the Middle East and their feedback has been extremely positive. They were able to meet a very dedicated and focused audience from across the MENA region and build key relationships that we hope will help to generate a lot of business over the next few months.”

With more than $300 billion worth of major projects expected to be awarded across the Middle East in 2012, this year’s Office Exhibition was the busiest the show since 2007. For participating exhibitors the UAE remained a top target market, citing the forthcoming office supply as a key demand driver.  According to a Jones Lang LaSalle approximately 75 million m² of office space in Dubai is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012, while in Abu Dhabi, an additional 1.2 million m² of office space is expected to come online in 2013.

Increased attendance at The Office Exhibition 2012 also reaffirmed the show’s regional and international appeal, attracting visitors from as far afield as USA, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and Ireland.

The exhibition floor proved a source of education, innovation and inspiration for the region’s architecture and design community. Recognising the importance of market intelligence for show visitors and participants, organisers of The Office Exhibition ran, for the first time, an extensive series of daily workshops and seminars. Topics ranged from ‘local perspectives in sustainable design’ to ‘how cultural diversities in the region are driving commercial interior design’.

Also returning to the show as knowledge partner for the second consecutive year was The International Interior Design Association (IIDA). In addition to chairing the invite-only Design Executive Roundtable event for local design professionals, IIDA presided over the show’s two design competitions.

Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA, commented: “Design in the workplace should essentially respond to the needs of the people within that space. We were truly impressed by the high level of precision, innovation and quality of the products on showcase at The Office Exhibition this year. They are fitting solutions to the requirements of modern workplaces and reflect a true understanding of the significance of design in commercial environments.”

Visitors to The Office Exhibition echoed Durst’s comments. Rebecca Davids, an Abu Dhabi based architect visited the show and said, “I have been attending The Office Exhibition for the last four years and am happy to see it improving every year. There was an excellent range of products on display, not only from the big global players but also from regional enterprises. The education seminars and workshops were a real value added offering of the show and helped me to gain important insights into current issues impacting office design in the Middle East.”

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February 5, 2012   Posted by: Indy

‘Middle East Market offers Amazing Opportunities to North American Manufacturers’

“So while the Middle East offers amazing opportunities for North American office furniture makers, it affords those same opportunities to companies around the world. Wait too long to join and the market will be full” – MMQB 5/23/11

GCC interior design spend forecasted at US$5.67 billion in 2011, with further regional growth in 2012 – Ventures Middle East.

The GCC’s healthcare sector is set to grow by an annual rate of 11 percent and will be worth nearly $44bn by 2015 – Alpen Capital.

Demand for hotel rooms in the Middle East grew by nine percent in 2011, the highest growth rate in the world – STR Global.

Abu Dhabi plans to build 100 new schools in the next decade to meet the increasing needs across the emirate.- ArabianBusiness.com

The outlook for the commercial fit-out segment in the Middle East Region remains vibrant in 2012 as contractors look to support new infrastructure projects. North American products continue to be sought after by the region’s specifiers and end users, with an unequalled reputation for sustainable, design-lead products, manufacturing quality and after sales support.

Co-located with the Hotel Show, The Office Exhibition 2012 is the Middle East’s industry platform for premium office, health, education sector design and fit-out solutions and is the gateway to the business opportunities across the region.  A must-attend event for the region’s architecture and design community, the show attracts visitors from across the wider Middle East and Africa.

As the North American agents for the Office Exhibition and Hotel Show, Independent provides a range of options including location within the North American Campus. Packages can be full turnkey, including premium space, stand build, show handling, international freight and an extensive marketing package in a very affordable package. Stand sizes are extremely flexible so as to best suit each exhibitor’s needs and budget.

We look forward to hearing from you and bringing your products to this rapidly growing market.

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