IKEA considering using drones in Dubai South warehouse
IKEA is considering the use of drones for inventory management in its Dubai South distribution centre, Abdelaziz Kadri, managing director, IKEA Distribution Services DWC, tells LogisticsMiddleEast.com.
“The IKEA Distribution Centre is one of the largest of its kind in the region, with a capacity to handle 120,000 cubic metres in conventional racking on eight levels of storage,” says Kadri. “The 100,000sqm of storage space is split into two sections with 135 134 loading docks and 180 parking spaces in the yard for containers and trucks.”
The DC is currently using RFID scanning and an in-house WMS to keep track of the tens of thousands of SKUs that are stored and distributed from the facility to IKEA stores across the GCC, but according to Kadri, IKEA is looking at new ways of keep track of stock.
“We track inventory using RFID scanning, but we’re now in the process of examining the use of drone technology within the warehouse to provide constant updates on inventory,” Kadri says.
IKEA will reportedly run a pilot program in the coming months.
The use of drones to track inventory is nothing new, UPS has been testing drones inside warehouses in Louisville, Kentucky and Venlo in the United States, as is FedEx and Wal-Mart, but IKEA would be the first to do it in the Middle East logistics market.
See the video below for a tour of the IKEA Distribution Centre in Dubai South.