One of the most popular trading destinations in recent times is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia boasts many big cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. Furthermore, Riyadh, the capital and the most-populous city, is also a financial, economic and cultural powerhouse. Therefore, it attracts many new residents each year. Furthermore, favorable business climate, taxation policies and friendly locals attract people here. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has a developed international trade network, and many great partners like the United States, Russia, and China among many others. Henceforth, Sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia is thriving, and many big companies signed lucrative import/export deals. But what are the items people usually ship to KSA? What are the most profitable and in-demand products here? Stay with us to learn more.
Construction materials are some of the items people usually ship to KSA
Saudi Arabia is a developing country. As of 2018 Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy in the Middle East, and 18th largest in the world. This is largely due to exports of mineral fuels including oil that accounts to 78% of total exports. In other words, US$231 billion annually. This ,in turn, leads to rapid development of cities, roads, and other related infrastructure.
- Iron and steel articles. These imports account to 2.5% of total imports, or $2.6 billion. Steel is a necessary material for large stat-of-the-art buildings like King Abdullah Financial Center located in Riyadh.
- Workforce. Not exactly construction material, but skilled contractors are in high demand in Saudi Arabia. About 80% workers in private sector are non-Saudi residents. All these people who are relocating here are in need of long-distance relocation services.
Machinery including computers
All this rapid development must be supported somehow. Advanced computer systems and machines are therefore necessary. Machine imports account for 11.8% of total imports with a value of US$12 billion. Oil industries follow the latest technological trends. Furthermore, the same could be said for the real estate market and tourism. Most of the in-demand machinery is oil-industry oriented but the list doesn’t end there:
- Taps, valves and similar appliances. These products are necessary for oil refinery pipelines and account for 3% of total machine imports.
- Air conditioners – 3% of total machine imports. Saudi Arabia is known for its high daily temperatures all year-round. The country mostly has a desert climate, with the exception of the southwest, which features a semi-arid climate. This means that the demand for cooling machinery is always high.
- Liquid pumps. About 50% of drinking water in Saudi Arabia comes from desalination. As a matter of fact, the capital city of Riyadh is supplied form the Persian Gulf, which is over 400km away. Therefore, pumps and other machinery parts are always necessary.
- Computers – 9% of total machine imports. Saudi Arabia is recording rapid IT development and computer imports are worth $857 million.
Saudi Arabia imports a lot of vehicles
On of the indicators of wealth and prosperity is the quality of public transport, public service vehicles, as well as the overall quality of private cars. And one thing is certain when it comes to cars in Saudi Arabia: It’s quite a common occurrence to spot a Lamborghini or Ferrari on the streets of Riyadh. Aside from luxury sports cars, Saudi Arabia imports a lot of other vehicles as well:
- Armored Vehicles including tanks $1.1 billion
- Trucks $743 million
- Public Transport vehicles $428.9 million
- Special purpose vehicles $277.1 million
- Motorcycles $42.2 million
Just how much Saudis love their cars shows the total value of imports of cars in Saudi Arabia, which is well over $7 billion. Additionally, the value of automobile parts shipping to Saudi Arabia and other car-related accessories is around $622 million.
Food-products and cereals are some of the items people usually ship to KSA
Saudi Arabia is a county that is mostly covered by desert. This means that there is plenty of fossil fuels, but when it comes to agriculture, Saudi Arabia doesn’t have much to offer. Therefore, Saudis import a lot of food-related products, and cereals make up most of these imports:
- Barley: US$1.7 billion
- Rice: $1.2 billion
- Wheat: $720.4 million
- Corn: $713.8 million
- Buckwheat, millet, canary seed: $4.9 million
- Sorghum grain: $3.5 million
- Oats: $206,000
If you are into a food-related business, you should know that having a reliable logistics partner is a paramount ingredient for success. Just like pharmaceuticals, food requires climate-controlled warehouses and vehicles to reach its destination undamaged.
How to choose a quality warehouse facility
All companies that are into international trade are in need of warehouse facilities, especially if they are importing products that have an expiry date. As has been noted, the climate-controlled warehouse should be a priority, but there are also some other important factors that you should be aware of when choosing your partner:
- Security rating. Is the storage facility equipped with modern security features like monitoring systems and quality locks? Do they have night guards?
- Accessibility. Is the storage unit easily accessible by truck or van? Do they work on weekends? What about holidays? You must know the answers to these questions before you pick your partner.
Choose a reliable shipping partner that is familiar with Saudi customs rules
All international shipments must pass through customs. Be it air, land or sea, customs clearance procedure is the integral part of delivering goods to your customers. For this reason, it is important to choose a reliable partner. A partner that boasts all necessary licenses and certificates, and that guarantees fast and safe clearance of goods. Furthermore, customs rules are very strict in Saudi Arabia.
In conclusion, these were some of the most popular products and items people usually ship to KSA. Before you embark on doing business in Saudi Arabia, make sure you are familiar with the laws and that you have reliable partners. Good luck.