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What can we learn from emerging economies? The automation strategies that pay off

Rami Younes 15 de noviembre de 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutos
The world of logistics is undergoing a transformative revolution, with emerging economies at the forefront of change. In this era of rapid change, automation has emerged as a game-changer in streamlining warehouse operations, enhancing efficiency, and meeting the ever-evolving demands of customers worldwide. The success stories of regions like the Middle East in deploying data-driven and robotic solutions offer valuable insights.
OX Press

Government-led technological advancements

In emerging economies, like Saudi Arabia, government initiatives such as Saudi Vision 2030 and Saudi Vision 2040, serve as driving forces behind technological advancements. Saudi Vision 2030 - from which Oxagon industrial city (pictured above) is a major initiative - focuses on economic diversification, social development, and attracting investments, while Saudi Vision 2040 outlines the Kingdom's long-term economic blueprint. Governments in the region have taken an active stance in promoting automation, data-driven solutions, and cutting-edge technologies.

Smaller local companies typically begin with modest automation projects or modular automatic storage and retrieval systems as a starting point. Government-affiliated companies are instrumental in pioneering innovations within the country and facilitating the adoption of technologies from other nations. As time progresses, smaller businesses find it easier to access these technologies, contributing to the widespread adoption of warehouse automation and fostering economic growth.

Join the robotic revolution

Recent reports suggest that by 2025, autonomous robots may be responsible for processing up to 50% of e-commerce orders, highlighting the growing inclination among forward-thinking companies to leverage automation for process optimization and efficiency improvements.

In the Middle East, the deployment of automation technologies, such as robotic storage systems and autonomous mobile robots, has brought about remarkable advancements in warehouse operations. These innovations empower businesses to enhance their capabilities in order fulfilment, reduce errors, and meet the ever-evolving demands of customers.

AutoStore redline robots on a grid

Anticipate and adapt

Staying ahead of industry trends is central to a successful strategy. Businesses must be agile and forward-thinking, continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of their clients and industry.

Market research indicates that the GCC is experiencing a significant surge in e-commerce sales, projected to hit a noteworthy $52 billion by 2025. A major driving force behind this upward trajectory is the digitally proficient millennial group, spanning ages 27 to 42, constituting roughly 45% of the population, with 60% actively engaging in online buying. This underscores that in order to maintain competitiveness in the market, investing in automation technology has become a strategic imperative for businesses.

Bring sustainability to the fore

Sustainability tends to be a core principle within emerging economies. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Middle East achieved its largest-ever surge in renewable energy capacity in 2022, with the installation of 3.2 gigawatts of new capacity, indicating a notable 12.8% increase.  

As the Middle East embraces clean energy technologies, automation plays a vital role in reducing energy consumption. For instance, high bay warehouse pallet stacker cranes harness regenerative power and braking modules, resulting in energy efficiency and reduced reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

Foster a forward-thinking approach

The success stories of regions like the Middle East offer valuable lessons for emerging economies and logistics players worldwide. Strategies focusing on robotic technologies, data-driven insights, customer-centric approaches, and sustainability not only enhance operational efficiency but also ensure long-term competitiveness

The future of data-driven and robotic logistics automation holds exciting possibilities. Advancements in AI and machine learning are set to enhance the intelligence of systems, shaping the future of warehouse automation. As automation adoption continues to rise globally, these advancements will prove instrumental in navigating the evolving logistics landscape and meeting the demands of the modern customer.

Rami Younes
General Manager/Head of Sales, Swisslog Middle East
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