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Five keys trends to look out for in Middle East retail logistics

by ASC Staff on Jul 3, 2017


With the perpetual advancement of technology, retail logistics is undergoing rapid change.
With the perpetual advancement of technology, retail logistics is undergoing rapid change.

With the perpetual advancement of technology, retail logistics is undergoing rapid change. What used to be complex is now being blended with technology to create more efficient, self-orchestrated systems. The rapid change affecting the sector can be broken down into five key trends that will impact local retailers supply chains in the coming years.

3D Printing

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing shifts the value in manufacturing from the company that owns the inventory or equipment to the company that owns the intellectual property. Customers with 3D printing capabilities will simply download patterns and create their own parts on site.

Some industries have already adopted this paradigm. For example, the aerospace industry is using 3D printing technology to print spare parts at the point of need, rather than store and ship from a central warehouse. This not only saves money on inventory, but it keeps airplanes in the air instead of on the ground.

If you haven’t investigated 3D printing, it’s time to start. Distribution centres may become printer farms in the future rather than the warehouses of today. In the region, we already see early signs of this trend with the recent launch of Panalpina’s new DC in Dubai South, which is ‘future-ready’ and can be easily converted from primarily storage and distribution to 3D printing of a range of items.

“Panalpina’s Logistics Manufacturing Services is the company’s response to a swiftly changing global manufacturing and supply chain landscape, where speed to market, product customization and the influence of the end consumer are of paramount importance,” says Stefan Karlen, CEO, Panalpina Group.

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