With the COVID-19 Pandemic shift paving perfect way for transitioning a perfect path for how the clients future shopping within the GCC territory under the E-Commerce arena will look like in near future, as well as with latest modernization pathway that is currently taking place for creation of a $1Billion Middle East warehousing arena.
There is absolutely no doubt that the current COVID-19 Pandemic has induced a never-ever unforgettable as well as huge issues within the global scenario, however, it has also aided in an upsurge within the E-Commerce arena that is presently undergone a complete shift in way which warehousing as well as logistics arena within the GCC territory works in a very unique way, paving way for a complete makeover from workforce-intensive methods and roomy shed-type structures within dusty outskirts to high-tech facilities that are quite close to city centres that are manned by robots.
The Founder-CEO of ACME Intralog, Navin Narayan, has stated that “All logistics giants or warehousing firms are in the lookout for shifting the age-old school workforce intensive as well as hugely roomy warehouse facilities that were found mostly in outskirts of city to a complete contemporary, tech equipped as well as swift, robust infrastructure catering to a huge demanding client base.”
Narayan has further added that “The warehouses that serves to the demands for FMCG as well as industrial manufacturing arena will witness a vertical class growth with the investment to be within an automated storage as well as retrieval system (AS/RS) backed solutions, and the E-Commerce, pharmaceutical distribution, grocery retail investing to rely heavily upon advanced automated technology for precision backed Order Picking, Sorting, as well as Robotic fulfilment. He also is optimistic that the operational warehouses within the GCC territory turning out to be hugely technology trusted and shifting towards complete technology efficient robust warehouse infrastructure.”
As per the experts from varied industrial background, this shift within the industry is all expected to witness an upsurge of hiring of tech as well as engineering talents like Electromechanical technicians to demand planners as well as data analysts-within numerous warehousing as well as tech solution providers within the forthcoming time frame.
Narayan further adds on that within grand markets in the territory like Saudi Arabia, he anticipated additional investments in micro-fulfilment resolutions that are planned to cater to the gigantic topographical demands of the market.
“With the better automation, one can also realize that warehouses are now constructed to high standards and brilliant manpower relishing the interaction with their robotic peers in a better human friendly environment,” he added.
As in accordance with a joint study by Dubai Economy and Visa, the overall E-Commerce expenses are projected to account for 28.2 percent of the entire UAE card payment transactions value.
For numerous establishments, the sudden surge within the E-Commerce during COVID-19 meant investing in automation because social distancing meant fewer workforce on the warehouse floor.
“With the E-Commerce demand powering robust retail sales, the attention in retail has shifted from client engagement to client fulfilments. The Middle East retail client demography is ever-changing towards a younger population which is mobility free and E-com friendly with a necessity for fast fulfilment and yet a diversity to be offered to them on the virtual retail shelf,” the HR head of leading retail chain in the Middle East, who did not want to be identified since of company policy.”
Industry analysts stated that trades have now begun to emphasis on intra-logistics and are today investing in best in class modernised warehouse infrastructure, while investments by the local government in logistics infrastructure has guaranteed that they have access to better-developed seaports, airports and road infrastructure.
An analyst with PwC India stated that the warehouse automation market in the Middle East is expected to hit over $1 billion by 2022 from about $600 million in 2019.
According to an industry forecasts, investment in E-Commerce fulfilments resolutions is estimated to jump to $370 million by 2022 from $130 million in 2019 in the GCC territory. Investments in modernisation of the back end of grocery retail is expected to reach over $160 million, the push for multichannel in fashion and beauty is estimated to lead to reserves of over $310 million by 2022.
On the anticipated change of an employee profile in the industry, Narayan stated that there would be augmented demand for skilled and tech manpower in distribution centres with the dawn of automation.
According to divisional experts, the modern move by brick and mortar retail chain majors in the Middle East to evolution to ‘multichannel’ players – allowing clients to procure from anywhere (in-store, online) and distributing the product where it is convenient for them – will add to momentous investment and progress of the warehousing as well as logistics/delivery trade in the territory.
“The growth of omnichannel will have impacts on the warehousing system, as there will be a necessity for multiple delivery options. Warehouse and distribution centres will need to capitalize in technologies and software to care omnichannel distribution,” Narayan said.
“There will be bigger demand for electromechanical technicians, order pickers, demand planners as well as professionals with skill in data analytics,” he said, adding that overseas markets such as the EU as well as India and South Asia have the talent pool with mandatory skill sets and will drive the manpower supply in the near term.