Fresh investments in UAE’s industrial sector injects renewed impetus in regional materials handling industry

Air cargo logistics and manufacturing among top sectors targeted by global players at Materials Handling Middle East

Dubai, UAE: A spate of investments in the UAE’s industrial sector is injecting renewed impetus in the materials handling industry, as global logistics and warehouse suppliers turn their backs on sluggish domestic markets and look to the Middle East for growth.

Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port’s Industrial Zone (KIZAD), and the newly named Dubai South have seen several multi-million dollar investments in various manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics operations in the first eight months of 2015.

Al Gharbia Pipe Company’s US$300 million manufacturing plant in KIZAD has added to the US$322 million in investments in the UAE Capital’s industrial zone for the first half of the year, while in June 2015, global supply chain company Mohebi Logistics broke ground on its new US$150 million 260,000sqm facility at Dubai South.

Such large scale investments underline the positive sentiment currently pervading the regional industrial sector, and will ramp up demand for intralogistics providers and suppliers of heavy lifting equipment, pallets, racking, and picking and storage solutions.

The good news is, more than 150 brands from 21 countries will be lay the red carpet and showcase their latest wares at the upcoming Materials Handling Middle East exhibition, the region’s only dedicated trade and networking event for intralogistics, warehousing, supply chain management, freight and cargo.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the three-day event is now in its 8th edition, and will take place from 14-16 September 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

More than a dozen international companies are debut exhibitors, including Bulmor Industries, the Austrian manufacturer of multidirectional sideloaders, which is targeting Middle East steel, aluminium, plastics, and automotive manufacturers.

“The Middle East’s construction and major steel structural project market has recovered significantly from the global financial crisis, and we’re seeing a marked increase in activity and orders from regional manufacturers,” said Russell George, Managing Director at Bulmor.

“With a broad product range, Bulmor industries is, as a solution-orientated specialist for handling of long, heavy and large material, the perfect partner for Trucks and Earth Moving equipment dealers or for companies involved in materials handling across various industrial sectors.”

Materials Handing Middle East 2015 will also spotlight the latest developments and turnkey solutions for the air cargo intralogistics sector – increasingly relevant as Dubai continues to rise the ranks as one of the world’s busiest air cargo and logistics hubs.

At the forefront of the latest air cargo solutions will be Germany’s Unitechnik Systems.  The leading supplier of automated warehouses and IT systems will showcase its intralogistics solutions specifically targeting the airport sector, from high-bay storage systems, stacker cranes, roller conveyors, and workstations, to automation and inventory control systems.

Wolfgang Cieplik, Managing Director at Unitechnik Systems, said Dubai will soon overtake major Asian centres as the world’s largest air cargo and logistics hub: “With 2.4 million tonnes of cargo per year, the Dubai International Airport is ranked 6th in the world for air cargo handled,” said Cieplik.  “Add to that Al Maktoum International’s 0.76 million tonnes, and Dubai shares 3rd position with Shanghai.

“With the new facilities at Al Maktoum International, it’s only a question of time before Dubai displaces Hong Kong from the leading position.  This makes it an extremely exciting market for our products and services.”

In addition to six of the world’s top 20 materials handling suppliers, Materials Handling Middle East 2015 will also feature regular UAE-based heavyweights Kanoo Group, Al Futtaim Motors, General Navigation and Commerce Company (GENAVCO), SPAN Trading, and Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Company (FAMCO).

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “As the UAE and surrounding Middle East countries make investments in large industrial and infrastructure projects, demand for world class materials handling and logistics solutions continues to grow.”

“This is drastically changing the demand dynamics for intralogistics, warehouse, and supply chain solutions, and the focal point at Materials Handling Middle East 2015 will be on the tailor-made products and services available for thousands of regional buyers looking to upscale their operations.”

A new feature at Materials Handling Middle East 2015 is the Forklift Operator of the Year – the Middle East’s only competition where operators will be judged on their ability to safely and efficiently manoeuver up three tonnes of electric forklift machinery in narrow spaces replicating a warehouse environment.

Elsewhere, the Warehousing and Materials Handling Conference on 15-16 September will analyse key growth drivers and restraints in the regional materials handling industry, emerging trends and their impact on the market today.