Muscat: The market revenue for materials handling equipment in the GCC, which was worth $3.78 billion in 2014, is set to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 4 per cent while reaching an estimated $4.8-5 billion in revenues by 2020, according to research by analysts Frost & Sullivan.
Saudi Arabia, with about 46 per cent and the UAE with 35 per cent, make up the largest markets in the region and are expected to continue to spearhead market expansion going forward, the report said.
Key drivers for the continued expansion in demand for materials handling equipment, continues to be the ongoing focus of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in large-scale infrastructural and logistics development, including that of key transport and shipping hubs, export processing and free zones as well as the high dependence of many of these countries on imports of goods and services that calls for increased reliance on materials handling and logistics facilities.
Realising the potent growth potential of the regional market, the Top 20 of the world's leading materials handling systems suppliers have already signed up for Materials Handling Middle East 2017, which will run from September 11 to 13, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With over 130 exhibitors from as many as 21 different countries, representing 250 brands, having already signed up for the upcoming 9th edition of Materials Handling Middle East, the region continues to be a key focus of leading names in the intra-logistics, warehousing, freight and cargo industries.
"As the only dedicated trade and business development event for the materials handling, logistics, warehousing and freight handling industries, 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.
"This year we not only have participation from the top global brands and service providers but also a considerable increase in interest from trade buyers from across with wider region," he added.
Materials Handling Middle East, is the only dedicated trade and networking event for the logistics, supply chain management and warehousing industries serving the wider Middle East. Additionally, despite the overall slowdown in economic growth trends worldwide, the materials handling and logistics industries have continued to enjoy a relatively healthy growth rate in the region.
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 will look to make more than just an initial 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 Middle East.
"The changing customer demands require forward-thinking innovative and flexible solutions from businesses. By implementing fully integrated, effective, future-proof automation solutions and keeping their facilities up-to-date with modernization 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 the amount of errors.
"Industry 4.0 has the potential to reshuffle the cards in how businesses operate. With networked intelligence in manufacturing and self- organising production processes, the 'factory of the future' will perform a quantum leap-in productivity, flexibility, and efficiency. The focus in the future will no longer be on the manufacturing process of purely mass-produced goods, but on the customized 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.
Genavco, one of the UAE’s leading suppliers of warehouse storage and material handling solutions, is another exhibitor launching its end-to-end warehouse solution engineering capabilities during Materials Handling Middle East 2017.
Neeraj Mahajan, the Director of Genavco, said material handling equipment represents an integral part of the supply chain of diverse industries for storage, control and movement of items – from the raw material stage to the distribution of finished products.
“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,” said Mahajan.
“The main challenge for customers in this region is to get a complete solution from a single source. They have to approach two or three companies for a complete warehouse solution. This process itself is time consuming and most of the time they are facing great difficulty to get an optimised solution meeting their needs. “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 as per customer requirements, so projects are delivered from one source and in the timeliest manner," Mahajan stated.
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 skillful forklift jockeys in the region.