Materials Handling Middle East to push the role of automation in logistics

MMERealising the growth potential of the regional market, more than 130 exhibitors from 21 countries have signed up for the upcoming ninth edition of Materials Handling Middle East that will run from 11-13 September at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Despite the overall slowdown in economic growth trends worldwide, the materials handling and logistics industries continue to enjoy a relatively healthy growth rate in the region. According to research by analysts Frost & Sullivan, the market revenue for materials handling equipment in the GCC, which was worth US$3.78bn in 2014, is set to maintain a CAGR of over four per cent while reaching an estimated US$4.8-5bn in revenues by 2020. Saudi Arabia, with about 46 per cent and the UAE with 35 per cent, make up the largest markets in the region.

Key drivers for the continued expansion in demand for materials handling equipment, continues to be the ongoing focus of the GCC countries in large-scale infrastructural and logistics development including that of key transport and shipping hubs, export processing and freezones as well as the high dependence of many countries on imports of goods and services that calls for increased reliance on materials handling and logistics facilities.

“Materials Handling Middle East has through the years served as an invaluable networking and interactive platform for industry stakeholders, suppliers, traders and buyers to conduct business and scope out the latest developments in the industry,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organisers Messe Frankfurt Middle East.

Among the global heavy hitters who will be showcasing their latest offerings on the regional stage at Materials Handling Middle East 2017 include the likes of Swisslog, Daifuku and Kardex. Local leading lights such as GENAVCO, SPAN Motors and United Motors and Heavy Equipment will also be out in force, while debutants such as Feralco from France, MPM from Italy and Saudi manufacturer, Power Rack Factory are looking to make a favourable impact.

Touting the vital role of automation and the merging of digital and intelligent processes and systems as the road to the future of materials handling, Frederic Zielinski, general manager of Swisslog Middle East, sees immense potential in the region. “By implementing fully integrated, effective, future-proof automation solutions and keeping their facilities up-to-date with modernisation, companies can not only speed up their processes and satisfy changing customers’ needs but also stay profitable by adding greater productivity into their supply chain and reducing errors.

“Industry 4.0 has the potential to reshuffle the cards in how businesses operate. The focus in the future will no longer be on the manufacturing process of purely mass-produced goods, but on the customised product manufactured to industrial. This evolutionary step can only succeed, however, if we finally break down the barriers between the digital and real worlds,” Zielinski stated.

Neeraj Mahajan, director of GENAVCO, said, “The rising need for global production companies to automate operations and foster flow of goods in an efficient manner is the key force driving growth in the materials handling equipment market. The main challenge for customers in this region is to get a complete solution from a single source. Here we play a vital role with our warehouse solution engineering to overcome this challenge by offering end-to-end solutions. We design and develop custom-made concepts and so projects are delivered from one source and in the timeliest manner.”

Materials Handling Middle East 2017, will also feature the Supply Chain and Logistics Forum, a key interactive forum to discuss and examine the strategies, policies, trends that are of relevance to the industry today, as well as shining the light on new and existing opportunities in the field. The event will additionally showcase the Forklift Operator of the Year Challenge, a competition to decide the most talented and skilled forklift jockeys in the region.

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