SHOW REPORT: Day One: Materials Handling Middle East
The seventh edition of Materials Handling Middle East got underway at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.
The exhibition was inaugurated by H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA. He was accompanied by senior representatives from the government, public and private sector as well as senior management from organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
“The show is much larger than the previous one with exhibitors from 20 different countries. The UAE currently has a lot of large projects underway such as the extension of Dubai international Airport, the Al Maktoum airport as well as ports and other projects. So do other countries in the GCC and the wider Middle East. Exhibitions like Materials Handling Middle East support the growth of the vital warehousing and transportation industries and are crucial to supporting that growth,” said H.E. Al Tayer.
Materials Handling Middle East 2013, which runs until Thursday (Sept 12th) at the Middle East’s leading exhibition and conference venue, showcases as many as 152 brands from 18 countries including all of the world’s best known names within the materials handling and supply chain sectors. This year’s show is 42% larger in floor space sold, than the previous edition in 2011.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, attributed the exhibition’s remarkable growth to the increasing attractiveness of the region as a trade and investment destination. “The resurgent economies of the region are fuelling a growing demand for top class materials handling and supply chain facilities. Governments are also in the process of transforming the transport and logistics infrastructure in their countries, driving further demand for materials handling equipment, warehousing, supply chain management systems and expertise,” he said.
Underpinning the region’s growing attractiveness to the materials handling, supply chain and warehousing industries is the fact that some of the leading GCC economies, KSA, UAE, Qatar and Oman rank in the top 5 for ‘market compatibility’ and in the top 10 for ‘connectedness’ in the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2012. Qatar and Oman are also ranked amongst the fastest growing trade lanes in the same report.
A variety of new trends and developments were on show as the exhibition got underway. Competing for the attention of the regional industry’s largest gathering of trade buyers, professionals, senior representatives from the public & private sectors and wholesalers & retailers, exhibitors are pulling out all the stops to display their latest technologies and innovations.
Improved warehouse management systems to better track inventory & improve materials handling, labour management tools to increase efficiency & streamline personnel management and integrated supply chains were among the most popular exhibits on the show floor.
FAMCO (Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Co. LLC) is traditionally a big draw at Materials Handling Middle East. This year FAMCO is offering the opportunity for visitors to meet and discuss their specific requirements while simultaneously viewing the wide range of “Intralogistic” solutions, including the brand new Linde Reach Truck Series which FAMCO is launching at the exhibition. “Materials Handling Middle East is an important event for us to network and interact with a large number of our regular customers as well as attract prospective new business leads. Senior Management from Linde, Dexion and Bott are travelling from Europe to visit the exhibition as this really is the only platform for the industry of its kind in this region,” said David Dronfield, general manager, Storage & Material Handling Solutions Division of FAMCO.
Sentry Protection Products with their Collision Sentry warehouse traffic management system were also among the popular draws for trade visitors on the first day. Jim Ryan, president of Sentry Protection Products, said: “Anyone working in a high traffic facility will understand Collision Sentry. If there is a blind corner where it is impossible to see traffic, Collision Sentry sees it for you. This device is designed to install quickly and work instantly, especially on pallet rack systems, and as it is a battery-driven device it can be mounted anywhere without worry about an electrical source.”
While Shakil Merchant from Kanoo Machinery, said: “Dubai has always been a trading hub in the Middle East due to its excellent connection by air & sea. Supported by its excellent infrastructure, there has been ongoing demand for logistics facilities which needs to be supported by materials handling and related product suppliers.”
Chris Mendonca, vice president, cargo at AirLink, leading suppliers of warehousing and transport machinery and equipment spoke of the company’s expansion plans in the region. AirLink will be investing US$1m in warehousing equipment including electronic and diesel forklifts and warehouse racking systems to name a few. Mendonca said they hope to source much of this equipment during this year’s Materials Handling Middle East.
Other popular exhibits on the first day, which are also new for the region were: Milford IBC’s new folding intermediate bulk containers, featuring an industry-first screw-less panel insertion system, Seegrid’s state of the art robotic industrial trucks, SSI Schaefer’s Picking Technology and introduced by GENAVCO, the STOW Atlas Pallet Shuttle System which optimises storage capacity and facilitates the loading and unloading of pallets.
Asif Khan, head of Equipment Business Unit, GENAVCO, said: “Our participation in Materials Handling Middle East 2013 reinforces our aggressive business strategy for future growth by putting us into direct contact with consumers and decision makers to drive immediate sales of the products.”
The two-day Warehousing and Materials Handling Conference running parallel to the exhibition gets underway today. It provides regional industry professionals the unique opportunity to exchange ideas and insights into improving the way the world looks at logistics and materials handling. The conference is designed to promote networking and interaction among organisations and provides a platform to collaborate with world leaders in the logistics and materials handling industry.
Organised in cooperation with Supply Chain and Logistics Group (SCLG), the conference includes panel discussions on key industry trends, providing tips on a variety of topics currently shaping the industry today.