A new whitepaper by consultants and research firm Frost & Sullivan says the GCC logistics market is rebounding following a Covid-induced downturn and predicts the region’s surging e-commerce trade will support warehousing courier, express and parcel growth in the coming year.
The 17-page whitepaper – ‘GCC Supply Chain & Logistics: What should your Digitization Priorities be?’ – reports a recent upsurge in Gulf container volumes, which rose more than 15% in the first half of this year with Saudi Arabia and the UAE accounting for 83% of the region’s 2021 logistics market.
Prepared exclusively for Materials Handling Middle East 2021, the region’s leading trade show for warehousing, intralogistics and supply chain solutions, the whitepaper identifies low technology adoption hurdles hampering the GCC sector performance against a backdrop of surging cross-border e-commerce demand and shifting national vision priorities towards logistics performance.
The whitepaper reveals a GCC logistics sector fragmented by a large number of small and medium service providers with inefficient processes, weak supply chain management practices, and legacy IT infrastructure and systems.
“As a result, transportation and warehouse management practices are inefficient due to poor fleet management and the underutilization of logistics assets,” the whitepaper notes.
“Historically high investment costs associated with digitalization have led to slower adoption of digital technologies. Freight transportation and last-mile delivery are major sources of inefficiencies in the GCC logistics market.
“With increasing competition from global service providers, logistics service providers need to focus on improving operational efficiency and optimize the performance of assets to stay ahead of competition.
“Constant evaluation and redesign of service offerings will become an essential part of strategy formulation to remain competitive and gain market share in the region. Digitalization opens up medium-term growth prospects. Warehousing automation, digital freight platforms, and innovations in last-mile delivery are expected to remain focus areas. Customs clearance, port infrastructure upgradation, and e-commerce hubs are some of the segments that will benefit from digitalization,” the whitepaper advises.
More than 50 exhibitors will be out in force at Materials Handling Middle East 2021 to unveil their latest technologies and innovations that are solving key challenges faced by warehouse and supply chain managers today.
These range from eco-friendly pallets, automated storage and picking solutions, and warehouse mapping using 3D virtual reality, to more traditional equipment such as warehouse trucks, telehandlers, tow tractors, cranes, and packaging.
The biennial three-day event, via its dedicated Scalex conference, will also unveil the latest essential technologies and investment which the sector needs to remain globally competitive and unlock the potential and ambitions of GCC national visions from AI to blockchain, drones and autonomous vehicles, to supply chain visibility solutions and warehouse capacity expansion.
“The industry will discover the intelligent solutions that will optimise the management of time, enhance productivity and facilitate the efficient use of space needed to meet the logistics requirements of the region’s industrialisation and manufacturing visions,” explained Josue Paulos, Show Director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Materials Handling Middle East.
“No sector is immune from the need for logistics enhancements. From FMCG to manufacturing and from oil & gas to retail, smart solutions for materials handling are closely interwoven with warehousing solutions to ensure time-sensitive delivery eco-systems which open up a whole new arena of business growth possibilities.”
Materials Handling Middle East will be co-located with Hypermotion Dubai from 2 – 4 November 2021 at the Expo 2020 Dubai Exhibition Centre.