10 September, 2017

Supply Chain and Logistics Forum to highlight key industry issues

Innovation, IoT and multi-modal transportation transforming industry globally

Dubai, UAE: Globally, the supply chain and logistics sector is in the process of transformational change, with huge shifts in the way its processes are managed and organised. The increasing use of automation, interconnected modes of communications and the growth of multimodal transportation have thrown up immense new opportunities for supply chain leaders.

The Middle East region is poised to be on the spearhead of this new growth with its promising rate of economic expansion even as the GCC continues to be one of the most lucrative and promising logistics hubs in the world. This is largely due to its favourable geo-location and thoughtfully laid plans for the development of key infrastructure in the form of ports, shipping, aviation, warehousing and free-zones.

The 2nd Supply Chain and Logistics Forum, being held alongside Materials Handling Middle East 2017, will throw light on key strategies, policies, trends and existing and potential growth opportunities for the sector in the Middle East.

“Given the success of the inaugural edition of the Supply Chain and Logistics Forum, we expect an even greater response from regional industry stakeholders and professionals to the second edition, which will address key issues affecting the industry and look ahead at future trends,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Materials Handling Middle East.

“The forum is a platform for regional and international thought leaders in the supply chain and logistics sector to discuss the future direction of the sector and what organisations must do in order to implement the right methodology to attain optimum supply chain solutions.”

Among the main topics of discussion at the two-day forum include: Maintaining sustainability while retaining efficiency in supply chain operations.

The development of multimodal transportation and its impact on the supply chain and logistics sector; The role of the Internet of Things in the supply chain sector; Supply Chain strategies for managing e-commerce businesses; Implementing a customer-focused supply chain to gain competitive advantage.

The Forum will be addressed by industry experts and thought leaders, one of whom will be Youssef A. Beydoun, Head of Cargo Business Relationships, Dubai Airports Commercial and Communications.

Beydoun stressed the transformational aspect of IoT and Multi-modal transportation in supply chain functions. “The Internet of Things will revolutionize the decision making for the entire logistics sector.  IoT will create incredible potential for businesses to improve the speed and accuracy of cargo movements throughout the logistics platform and communication with the whole supply chain will be more inclusive, visible and yet secured. The benefits of IoT will result in greater customer experience, robust processes, and total control of ensuring cargo is no track and integrity is not compromised.

“Multi-Modal Logistics are very important to the region.  As successful as the RFS is and the Sea Freight is at its peak, Air Cargo will continue to be required for time sensitive and temperature controlled freight movements.  Therefore, this leaves a very important requirement for the installation of Rail in the UAE to complete the Multi-Modal offering.  Multi-Modal has proven to be a very lucrative part of the logistics sector and especially in Dubai. The implementation of the first-ever Virtual Corridor and the Dubai Logistics Corridor that connects DWC and JAFZA made the first Multi-Modal in Dubai a success,” Beydoun added.

Sam Achampong, Regional Director of CIPS Middle East and North Africa, who will also speak at the Forum was of the opinion that companies who take advantage of new technology and innovative methods would be the ones who succeed.

“Companies who embrace the benefits that technology provide will prevail. Those who utilize big data to their advantage and use the new information available to them to create a competitive advantage.

For example, Blockbuster Video gave way to Netflix because they had a horrendous policy of charging customers ‘late fees’ when returning videos. iTunes was able to revolutionise the music industry because people were fed up of having to pay for an entire music album whether they liked all the songs or not. Sometimes it is not technology itself that forces change, but the lack of innovation and customer focus driven by existing practices,” Achampong said.

He also felt that Dubai is an innovative and forward-thinking logistics hub with the early adoption of technologies such as hyperloop, drones and driverless taxis. Logistics companies with innovative ideas and solutions will thrive in this environment.

“I think the industry is perfectly poised to exploit the opportunities that Expo 2020 brings as well as the scale and volume of activity. The sector has been gearing up now for a while and is very prepared,” he stated.

Materials Handling Middle East 2017, which runs from September 11-13, 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, will also feature the highly popular Forklift Operator of the Year, a unique competition where the UAE’s most skilled forklift jockeys go head to head to be crowned the country’s most skilled, safest, and efficient forklift operator.

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