Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with the managing director of Universal Transport Egypt, Hisham El Dahshan, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity.
Are you keen on participating in Breakbulk Europe this year? If so, what do you aim to achieve from participating?
Universal Transport has been participating in the Breakbulk Europe exhibition and conference with great success for many years now. Being one of the biggest heavy haulage companies in Europe, it is important for us to be there at such an important event. We will be highlighting Universal Transport Egypt’s existing and upcoming projects. Furthermore, we will be showcasing our new fleet that has been introduced in the Egyptian market.
Are you planning any new partnerships and do you intend to purchase new equipment?
We have already purchased new equipment mainly for the heavy haulage and ODC transport. This year we will also be receiving our new equipment dedicated for the wind energy industry.
How do you perceive the Egyptian market during the upcoming five years? Is it attractive and does it offer opportunities? How does this affect your business and your future plans?
Universal Transport only entered the Egyptian market recently, around two years ago. We saw an opportunity in the Egyptian market because of the ambitious megaprojects in infrastructure, power generation, etc. These positive developments will continue for the upcoming years and offer great opportunities for the future. There is a lot of heavy lift (HL) movement and we were aware that there was not enough high-quality equipment in the Egyptian market. We invested in brand new equipment and have a team of Egyptians and Germans operating them according to the highest standards. Our operation has been a great success and we are very optimistic about the future.
What was your turnover for 2017 and what is your expected turnover for 2018?
Our group turnover was in excess of €200m in 2017. Universal Transport Egypt’s turnover was around €3m, which was a decent figure for such a young operation. We intend to break €5m turnover in 2018.
What is the value of your expected investments in 2018 and which sectors do you aim to tackle?
Our investments in new heavy haulage equipment in 2018 are approximately €4m. We have ordered new trucks, low-beds, extendable low-beds, and axle lines geared towards the wind energy industry.
How do you perceive the Egyptian government’s economic policies and how will they affect your business?
We strongly believe that the government of President Al-Sisi is doing an excellent job and moving in a good direction to rejuvenate the Egyptian economy. The government’s investment in infrastructure and power generation projects give us excellent opportunities to do business.
Does the Suez Canal Economic Zone development offer an opportunity for you? Do you plan any investments in that area?
The Suez Canal Economic Zone development surely offers a lot of opportunities for us, especially in the warehousing and distribution sectors. We have it in our mind to invest there, but not in the very near future.
Did you participate in energy and power generation projects during the past two years and how do you aim to compete in upcoming projects?
We participated in the biggest energy and power generation project in Egypt during the last two years: Siemens’ mega power plants in Beni Suef and the New Adminstrative Capital, where we made over 200 transports of turbines, transformers, stators, rotors, boilers, etc. We are in an excellent position to secure several new projects in 2018.