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 $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 $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 optimise 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 Group, a leading provider of logistics, materials handling, and supply chain solutions.
Walid Daniel, Managing Director of SPAN Group, 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.
Source: The Gulf