Dubai, UAE: The global materials handling sector has its eyes firmly focused on Dubai this week as professionals from the local, regional and international industry gather to explore and advance the segment into the new digital supply chain era.
Supply and end-user experts, including some of the biggest names in the business, are to examine options for a new industry framework in the Middle East at the Supply Chain + Logistics Forum (Scalex), which runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre today (September 3) until tomorrow evening.
They will delve into the impact and opportunities arising from the increasing digitisation of the industry and the advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain and robotics that are disrupting the sector to improve business efficiencies.
“Discussions will centre around the Middle East’s preparedness to embrace the technologies and subsequent disruption,” explained Jasmeet Bakshi, Group Director of Other Services at Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Materials Handling Middle East. “Speakers and delegates will drill down into the four current issues demanding urgent industry attention – innovation, cold chain management, the complexities of e-commerce fulfilment and the future of e-tail.
“This is a pivotal forum which asides from identifying opportunities, will explore the roadblocks to the seamless implementation of digital and IoT solutions in the Middle East for a transparent, intelligent and predictive supply chain. What emerges could well dictate the shape of the regional industry to come.”
A powerful speaker platform has been collated from end-users representing the pharmaceutical, F&B, electronics and furniture retailing segments to technology, shipping and logistics suppliers. They will be joined by a high-level audience representing the entire industry remit.
Scalex is a highlight of Materials Handling Middle East, the region’s dedicated trade show for warehousing, intralogistics and supply chain solutions, which runs at DWTC from today (September 3) until Monday evening.
The show and forum take place against a transformational industry background with E-tail, a mix of domestic and cross-border purchases, now comprising 65-75 percent of the overall e-commerce market the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and logistics revenues for transport, warehousing and freight forwarding, accounting for 20-25 percent of overall e-tailing.
A whitepaper issued on the side-lines of Materials Handling Middle East by Aranca, a global research and advisory firm, suggests that with ironed-out roadblocks and increasing technology take up, the MENA’s e-tail segment could register a compound annual growth of around 25 percent to 2023 to reach US$34 billion in value.
The growth forecast will have an expansionary impact on materials handling, logistics and warehousing in the region according to 6WResearch, another analyst, which says these segments will attain a compound annual growth of 5.4 percent to 2025 reaching a value of US$69.2 billion.
“There is much at stake,” added Bakshi. “The Aranca white paper on e-commerce logistics in the MENA region shows that 40 percent of regional customers turn to offline retail only because they feel that deliveries in e-tail shopping take too long. This makes logistics one of the most critical segment in the e-commerce industry. Put the challenges and roadblocks to right and the growth potential is highly significant.”
The huge market potential, aided by increasing regional government focus on industrialisation and exporting and take up of digital technology, has attracted the event’s most international profile to date, including a dedicated Chinese national pavilion levering the momentum of recent UAE-China trade accords.
“These exhibitors are at the sharp end of transformation and given the massive evolution that is taking place, we anticipate one of the largest, and certainly most engaged, visitor bases we’ve seen.” The previous Materials Handling Middle East edition welcomed 3,448 trade visitors from 57 countries.
Messe Frankfurt Middle East has co-located SPS Automation Middle East, the exhibition and conference for innovative automation solutions alongside Materials Handling Middle East, which runs at DWTC from September 3-5.
“The co-location gives all professionals in the logistics sector to understand not just the automated solutions of today, but those that will drive business tomorrow,” added Bakshi.
Materials Handling Middle East, which has attracted several national pavilions and more than 100 exhibiting companies from 20-plus countries, runs from 3-5 September at DWTC. Aranca’s whitepaper, titled, E-Commerce Logistics in MENA is available to download here.
For more information, visit: www.materialshandlingme.com.