AD Ports Group acquires majority stake in Tbilisi Dry Port

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Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group has announced the signing of a purchase agreement with Inveco LLC to acquire 60% ownership in the Tbilisi Dry Port, a new custom-bonded and rail-connected intermodal logistics hub in Georgia.

The project, currently owned by Inveco LLC and Wilhelmsen, is expected to be operational by Q4 2024. It is a key logistics hub situated along the strategically important Middle Corridor – an emerging trade lane linking manufacturing hubs in Western Asia to consumer markets in Eastern Europe by leveraging a combination of sea and dry ports located in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Türkiye.

As a key logistics facility in Georgia connecting the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, which are at the heart of the Middle Corridor, the project consists of different integrated facilities such as a container freight station, warehouses and a car storage park. It will act as the point of entry and exit as well as a regional transit point for manufacturers, shippers and consignees moving containers, vehicles and other goods for distribution and storage. The project offers direct westward railway links to Türkiye and to Georgian Ports of Poti and Batumi, which further connect to European Black Sea ports in Bulgaria and Romania, while its eastern connectivity links with different ports located along the Caspian Sea via a railway corridor to Azerbaijan.

The development offers significant intermodal logistics capabilities given its location within the Tbilisi airport’s industrial zone which will be backed by state-of-the-art warehousing facilities as well as a cargo and vehicle logistics hub. The project consists of two land parcels and will be developed in phases. To future proof the project, an additional 88,000 sqm of land is available to cater for further volume growth.

The project will be completed in three phases. By the end of the initial phase, the handling capacity is expected to reach 96,500 TEUs, with 10,000 sqm of warehouse and a car storage yard. Upon the completion of phase three, the project will have a handling capacity of 286,000 TEU, 100,000 sqm of warehouse and a significantly expanded car storage yard. Further land plots have already been secured and can be developed as and when needed.

Noatum Logistics, part of the AD Ports Group, will operate and manage the facilities while leveraging capabilities offered by the Group’s cross-Cluster portfolio and drawing on expertise and capacities of Inveco LLC and Wilhelmsen.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “AD Ports Group is committed to strategic international investments that advances economic growth, job creation and mutual benefit in line with our wise leaders’ vision. By investing in, and operating, new strategic infrastructure and logistics hubs along the Caspian Sea – Black Sea Corridor, AD Ports Group is delivering on our strategy to strengthen global supply chains.

“As a country situated at the centre of the Caucasus and located along the Black Sea, Georgia is a key destination linking us with our growing maritime and logistics assets in Central Asia and Türkiye, thereby enabling us to serve our customers with cost-effective, streamlined cargo flows and capture significant future trade volumes.”

Neal de Roche, President, Wilhelmsen Port Services, said: “Georgia has been an important market to us for a long time already. The development of the Tiblisi Dry Port has been a cornerstone project to support the development of the trade corridor between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. We are excited to have AD Ports Group come in as majority shareholder with their wealth of experience in port and terminal operations.”

The Middle Corridor is regarded as the shortest trade route between Asia and Europe, covering approximately 7,000 km and requiring a journey of 10 to 15 days. The existing Northern Corridor covers about 10,000 km overland, requiring 15 to 20 days, while the Southern Ocean Route spans approximately 20,000 km, requiring a sea voyage of 45-60 days. The Middle Corridor is expected to serve considerable growth in container volumes, which has the potential to reach 1.9 million TEUs by 2040.

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