Dubai, UAE: Sustained growth across key economic sectors such as FMCG, retail, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, automotive and logistics is fuelling demand for high quality materials handling products and services across the Middle East.
The UAE logistics market alone is expected to be worth US$27 billion in 2015, up 15 per cent from 2013, thanks to strong import and export figures as well as an uptick in local manufacturing, according to global analysts Frost & Sullivan.
This is reflected in the Gulf region’s retail sector; according to a report by Alpen Capital, retail space across the GCC stood at 10 million sqm in 2013, while regional retail sales are set to grow 7.3 per cent annually to reach US$ 284.5 billion by 2020.
A similar story can be observed in the automotive market in the Middle East and North Africa, where the number of cars on the region’s roads will reach 33.9 million, driving demand for auto parts, and creating big opportunities for materials handling providers.
Underlining the market potential is the robust interest from major players at Materials Handling Middle East 2015, the wider region’s only dedicated trade and networking event for intralogistics, warehousing, supply chain management, freight and cargo.
The biennial three-day event takes place from 14-16 September 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will feature more than 150 brands from 17 countries.
“FMCG, retail, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, automotive and logistics, are all sectors that rely on materials handling equipment to optimize productivity, from the storage, control, movement, and protection of products, through to their consumption and disposal,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Materials Handling Middle East.
“Continued development across these key sectors of the regional economy is increasing demand for high quality materials handling systems and solutions, all of which will share centre-stage this year at Materials Handling Middle East 2015.”
Now in its eighth edition, Materials Handling Middle East 2015 will include prominent market leaders in materials handling, warehousing and lifting equipment, logistics and postal service providers.
The dedicated trade show will bring into sharp focus the rapid progress of automation across all sectors of the materials handling industry, and shine the spotlight on a wide range of solutions and cutting-edge innovations being presented by participating exhibitors.
Headline names returning in 2015 include Japanese company Daifuku; Italian manufacturer of industrial floor cleaning machinery Fiorentini; Swisslog Middle East, a pioneer in automated intralogistics solutions; and UAE-based SPAN Trading, a leading provider of logistics, materials handling, and supply chain solutions.
Walid Daniel, Managing Director of SPAN Trading, said to remain competitive, the regional materials handling industry must embrace new technology: “There are increasing demands in supply chain solutions as businesses seek new ways to stay competitive, and be better and faster with one goal in mind: satisfying consumers’ requirements,” said Daniel.
“This is encouraging the supply chain sector to enter the digital and smart age. Utilisation of intelligent systems and IT solutions, along with warehouse automation are ways to meet these challenges.
“Materials Handling Middle East is a great platform to promote our solutions and services in the region and an opportunity to maintain our brand awareness,” added Daniel.
Frederic Zielinski, General Manager of Swisslog Middle East, also stressed the importance of automation in the industry: “Automation in warehouses and distribution centres is growing in importance and is increasingly being used in the Middle East,” said Zielinski.
“Market dynamics are changing at an ever increasing rate and complexity, and the trend toward automation has gathered pace, as investment in technology is viewed as a long-term benefit.”
Among the dozens of big companies making their debuts at Materials Handling Middle East are Bulmor Industries, the Austrian manufacturer of sideloaders and warehouse lifting equipment; and Spanish company Mecalux, one of Europe’s foremost providers of industrial shelving, racking and storage solutions.
They will be joined by Belgian-headquartered Alphaplan; Cabka from Germany, Dutch company Cascade, and Prestar Manufacturing and Storage Systems from Malaysia.
Materials Handling Middle East 2015 will feature the inaugural Warehousing and Materials Handling Conference, a two-day summit analysing key growth drivers and restraints, emerging trends and their impact on the regional materials handling industry.
Another new highlight is the 1st Materials Handling Middle East Awards, where the industry’s heavy weights will be recognised and celebrated among industry peers, while returning this year is the highly popular Demonstration Zone, where Fork Lift manufacturers will reveal the true capabilities of their machinery action.