Transport sector challenges, solutions on IRU World Congress agenda

Energy Tuesday 06/November/2018 22:19 PM
By: Times News Service
Transport sector challenges, solutions on IRU World Congress agenda

Muscat: More than 1,000 participants from 77 countries will arrive in Muscat for the upcoming International Road Union (IRU) World Congress, the event’s organisers confirmed.
Nabil Al Bimani, a member of the IRU World Congress Steering Committee, said, “We have exceeded 1,000 participants from across 77 countries and five continents. We will also welcome 25 ministerial delegations and 10 international organisations.”
His Highness Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty, will sponsor the opening of the IRU World Congress on Wednesday at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat.
Organised by IRU and hosted by ASYAD in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the three-day Congress will act as a unique platform for global decision-makers to exchange ideas, debate over solutions and map out the future of the road transport industry.
The future of road transport and Oman’s growing role as a logistics hub will take centre stage at the event, with a number of keynote speakers from around the world set to discuss an industry undergoing rapid change.
Situated at the centre of some of the most dynamic transport and trade corridors in the world, Oman is working on becoming one of the leading logistics players in the coming years. The nation’s focus on logistics, transportation and infrastructural development helped the Sultanate win the right to host the event.
According to a survey conducted by the IRU, 57 per cent of all transport operators surveyed globally cited geopolitical uncertainty as the biggest threat facing road transport. The risk of a global recession and the challenge of keeping up with changing customer demands came a close joint second at 52 per cent.
At the regional level, the survey discovered that the concerns of GCC transport operators mirrored those of their counterparts globally. Of all the operators surveyed, geopolitical uncertainty and changing customer demand were both cited as the biggest concerns facing the industry at 57 per cent.
Looking at the changes facing operators globally, Boris Blanche, Managing Director for the IRU, stated, “In today’s turbulent political and economic climate, it is no surprise that there is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety in the global road transport industry.”
“Trade wars, Brexit, and the looming spectre of global economic downturn mean that transport operators today are facing an unprecedented challenge. At IRU, we believe fervently in the flow of free trade between countries, facilitated by the secure and seamless movement of goods, vehicles, and drivers. It is the key to unlocking global prosperity, peace and growth,” Blanche said.
Automation will be another major topic to be discussed among the attendees.
Blanche added, “When will autonomous tech come? In the GCC, more than 82 per cent think in the next 10 years. Think about innovation as a means to support drivers.”
International experts in Muscat will discuss all that and more when the IRU World Congress opens on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.