Recently appointed as Managing Director of Momentum Logistics, a third-party logistics (3PL) subsidiary of Gulftainer, Daniel Caton tells us what attracted him to the United Arab Emirates and the region’s leading fully integrated 3PL provider.
FIRST-CLASS THIRD-PARTY PROVIDER
It’s well documented that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the perfect logistics hub, strategically located in the Middle East between Europe, Asia, and Africa, backed by excellent infrastructure and a very friendly business environment.”
The logistics industry in UAE is thriving, according to the recently appointed Managing Director of Momentum Logistics, Daniel Caton, who has observed massive growth in the sector during his time in the country.
Having grown up in the Heathrow area of West London, an equally important logistics hub that plays a big part in the local community, Caton originally moved to UAE in 2010, pursuing the opportunity to further his career in the industry outside the UK.
“Since I got here, the number of warehousing and logistics developments alone is astonishing,” he reflects.
“My first role was with Kuehne + Nagel in Dubai Logistics City, and there was maybe a handful of warehouses and just a load of desert. Now, there’s hundreds of supersized warehouses and every company you can think of.”
Momentum Logistics was formed just a couple of years before Caton relocated to UAE as a subsidiary of Gulftainer, a leading operator of regional ports and terminals and provider of customised supply chain and logistics solutions.
Launched in 2008 to enhance Gulftainer’s service offering, the company has since evolved and built a strong reputation of its own in the region as a leading fully integrated 3PL provider.
In his short spell at Momentum Logistics, having only joined in September 2023, Caton has already witnessed the company’s association with Gulftainer in the ports and geographies that the latter operates in.
“Gulftainer operates ports in the UAE’s Northern Emirates, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and southern areas of Iraq; we specialise in those strategically located trade gateway areas,” he states.
“As Momentum Logistics, we’ve invested heavily in warehousing and transportation, adding value to our clients’ supply chains via operational efficiencies, cost savings, and so on.”
With operations spanning the Middle East, Momentum Logistics offers a complete suite of customised supply chain management solutions, including transportation, freight forwarding, warehousing, logistics cities, and container services.
The company has hundreds of dedicated and experienced employees across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the US (it is the first and only operator from the Middle East to manage ports in the US), providing logistics solutions to a loyal band of clients.
“They’re complemented by our team of customs clearance and freight solutions experts who take care of our clients’ precious cargo, and supported by one of the youngest truck fleets in the region,” informs Caton.
Indeed, Momentum Logistics has carried out a fleet replacement programme over the last few years, introducing modern, fuel-efficient vehicles.
The fleet now comprises 200 commercial vehicles and 240 multi-purpose trailers, deployed at multiple depots to optimise utilisation.
“We have invested heavily in rejuvenating our fleet with all new Scania trucks and trailers, ensuring we have the most up-to-date, future-proof, and compliant vehicles,” outlines Caton.
Scania was the obvious choice to initiate Momentum Logistics’ fleet replacement programme, as a world-leading provider of transport solutions that offers an extensive range of purpose-built trucks and buses for heavy transport applications.
The company’s fleet was recently recognised at the 2023 Truck and Fleet Awards, which celebrate those who play a key role in the operations, logistics, and projects at the heart of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economy, as the company received the Heavy Fleet of the Year award.
“The Truck and Fleet Awards were a great platform for us that showcased our achievements, as well as our improvements in safety,” acclaims Caton.
SAJA’A INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT PARK
In 2024, the flagship project that Momentum Logistics is embarking on is the development of the Saja’a Industrial Investment Park (SIIP), in a continued effort to develop logistics cities throughout the Middle East.
This 750,000 square metre (sqm) site, strategically located on the outskirts of Sharjah, will be home to warehouses, distribution centres, a transportation park, a container freight station and repair workshop, offices, personnel accommodation blocks, a mosque, and a food court.
Ideally positioned to connect all three of the city’s seaports and Sharjah International Airport, SIIP is expected to become the focal point to unite modes of transport linking with Gulftainer’s terminal operations, creating a truly integrated multimodal logistics facility.
“SIIP is in a prime location to be a warehousing and distribution hub in the Northern Emirates,” states Caton.
“Due to the success of our existing bonded Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Sharjah, we are delighted to expand our logistics footprint in the Northern Emirates to Saja’a, the manufacturing and industrial heart of the UAE.
“We plan to break ground on our first warehouse construction this year,” he reveals.
INVESTING IN EMPLOYEES
Another of Caton’s personal priorities for 2024, in his first full calendar year at the company, is to invest in the training and development of Momentum Logistics’ employees.
“Ultimately, our staff are the backbone of our business, and from what I’ve seen in my first few months here, we’re blessed that Gulftainer invests significant time and money in empowering our staff through individual and team development programmes.
“A lot of our employees have been here for a long time, which is a good thing and means they enjoy the company culture,” he notes.
Along with having skilled and motivated staff members, Momentum Logistics’ partners and suppliers are critical to its success.
“Collaborating with the right partners and maintaining strong supplier relationships drives our growth and ensures long-term stability,” concludes Caton.
“I believe it’s really important to build relationships, gain customer loyalty, attract new business, and then strengthen those partnerships with regular communication, making sure we understand the needs of our clients and partners, and identify opportunities for collaboration and improvement.”