Logistics Middle East
DHL’S E-COM WAREHOUSE
DHL has become the lrst express logistics provider in the region to launch a dedicated e-commerce warehouse, in EZDubai, the new addition to Dubai South’s Logistics District
DHL Express is expanding its UAE operations to include a Distribution Centre specifically for the e-commerce sector, located in the state-of-the-art EZDubai, the new addition to Dubai South’s Logistics District.
The expansion will allow DHL Express to serve its existing and new customers who will be based in the newly formed free zone as well as those located outside EZDubai and Dubai South, says Geoff Walsh, UAE country manager for DHL Express.
“With operations at EZone, we will be able to connect sellers and consumers around the world with even greater speed and efficiency,” he explains. “DHL Express has developed an ecosystem to provide efficient and effective services to e-commerce companies by adopting the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, digitalization, etc.”
This latest development is aligned with DHL Express’ efforts to build facilities with easy access to major ports and airports for faster delivery of its services. It is also crucial, according to industry experts, as e-commerce in the region becomes a greater part of the logistics industry.
The UAE’s e-commerce market is estimated to be worth $27.1 billion in 2022, according to research by Visa. E-commerce spending across the UAE in 2018 saw an almost 50% growth as opposed to 2017. In the United States, the most developed and largest e-commerce market in the world, Amazon.com has taken its warehouse operations inhouse, and is now doing the same with land and air logistics.
Express logistics providers will be the first to lose business if e-com platforms in the Middle East start doing the same.
“The warehouse is becoming the engine room of the supply chain and is, therefore, a focal point for investment from retailers, manufacturers, and logistics service providers,” says Nick Finill, principal Analyst at ABI Research. “As the warehouse technology ecosystem becomes increasingly complex, supply chain operators require more sophisticated management systems that can orchestrate the high volume and variety of intelligent, connected devices and systems within their facilities, as well as the flow of inventory.”
It is challenges such as this
that DHL Express’ new e-com warehouse will seek to mitigate, says Walsh.
“To support this growing demand, we have opened a dedicated e-commerce warehouse in EZone to provide innovative services that meet the specific needs of e-commerce retailers,” he says. “The expansion will allow e-retailers to connect to the GCC markets more effectively. The key benefit will be that e-retailers will be able to maintain a distribution centre in the UAE, which will allow them to increase their product offering not only in the GCC but globally through the DHL network.”
The growth in the Middle East logistics and ecommerce market is being driven by the UAE, which is why DHL is establishing the warehouse in EZDubai, Walsh added. In addition, EZDubai itself is wellgeared to the needs of this emergent sector.
“It aims to attract ecommerce industries, with the right regulatory framework, latest infrastructure and cost-effective warehousing capabilities. With operations at EZDubai, we will be able to connect sellers and consumers around the world with even greater speed and efficiency,” he added.
The 920,000 square-meter purpose-built Zone, offers a range of logistics facilities and business solutions to multinationals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Once fully completed and developed, the AED 2.1-billion project hub will offer six dedicated areas that will help bolster Dubai’s position as a strategic hub for e-commerce.
“Ezone is strategically intended to promote Dubai’s position as a leading platform for international e-commerce,” says Walsh. “It is the state-of-the-art e-commerce hub with modern infrastructure and key regulatory framework, which makes it a suitable environment for DHL Express and e
THE WAREHOUSE IS BECOMING THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN AND IS, THEREFORE, A FOCAL POINT FOR INVESTMENT FROM RETAILERS, MANUFACTURERS, AND LOGISTICS SERVICE PROVIDERS”
The Ezone will open fresh opportunities for DHL Express as we play a crucial role in supporting the sector. For the growing e-commerce market, we have launched a variety of innovative services which are being developed to meet needs of e-commerce start-ups, businesses, and customers, he added.
DHL’s warehouse will be a 3,200-sqm two-story facility handling rising B2C exports in Dubai South, with 13 pickup and delivery (PUD) routes to be relocated to EZDubai. It will also follow the standard material handling system layout, with conveyable automated throughput of 3,000pph.
Additionally, the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA)-approved facility meets the global service engineering framework (SEF) standards, including its air-conditioning and exhaust extraction systems. It also boasts improved stem time, resulting in earlier deliveries of goods and products.
“DHL Express remains globally competitive because of its constant efforts to boost it capabilities,” said Mohsen Ahmad, CEO, Dubai South’s Logistics District. “We wel
WITH ITS MODERN INFRASTRUCTURE AND KEY REGULATORY FRAMEWORK, EZONE BOASTS A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT CAPABLE OF BACKING DHL’S OPERATIONS AND FURTHER INCREASING ITS PROFITABILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY PROSPECTS.”
come the company’s decision to expand their operations to EZDubai in keeping with its goal of continuous improvement.”
“The move also reflects its confidence and trust in the state-of-the-art e-commerce hub’s ability to support its business expansion in the region,” he added.
“With its modern infrastructure and key regulatory framework, it boasts a suitable business environment capable of backing the company’s operations and further increasing its profitability and productivity prospects. We are delighted to be the company’s new home in the country,” said Ahmad.
The 920,000 square-meter purpose-built e-commerce zone EZDubai, which was recently launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, offers a range of logistics facilities and business solutions to multinationals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Once fully completed and developed, the AED 2.1-billion project hub will offer six dedicated areas that will help bolster Dubai’s position as a strategic hub for e-commerce.
DHL’s announcement of the development of a dedicated e-commerce warehouse comes just weeks after SOUQ was re-branded by parent company Amazon. The UAE’s largest ecommerce company is now Amazon.ae. According to Walsh, the closer alignment between the two entities can only be beneficial for companies like DHL.
“We don’t expect that the re-branding will impact ecommerce logistics in any major way, apart from offering consumers a wider selection of products that they previously did not have access to,” he says. “The surge in e-commerce is driving brands to explore new markets, but many find their operations hindered due to challenges within the cross border delivery journey which is where DHL can provide effective solutions.
“DHL has been a pioneer in the Middle East logistics industry for more than 40+ years and currently has 261 service centers and service points across 16 countries in the region and employs over 4,400 employees across the Middle East,” he adds.
DHL was also recently ranked No. 1 in the 2019 UAE Great Place to Work Survey for the 5th time, which supports its e-commerce operations, as a motivated workforce is more productive and efficient.
“DHL Express manages and maintains a strong employeeemployer relationship across an expansive network. This means that the company has to have a number of initiatives in place to recognize employees at all levels in the business,”
WE INVEST IN LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PEOPLE AND OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVE DEVELOPED WAYS OF REWARDING PEOPLE FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE BUSINESS THROUGH INITIATIVES LIKE ‘EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR’, ‘AS ONE’, ‘APPRECIATION WEEKS’ AND OTHER INCENTIVES”
“We invest in long-term development of our people and over the years, we have developed ways of rewarding people for their contribution to the business through initiatives like ‘Employee of the Year’, ‘As One’, ‘Appreciation Weeks’ and other incentives,” he adds.
DHL also focuses on ensuring that the right knowledge, talent and systems are in place to strategize the development of individuals that stand out as having the potential to become leaders.
According to the organizational expert and bestselling author Pa- rul Agrawal, these qualities are essential to success in the e-commerce space, which is defined by challenging operations and tight deadlines.
“Establishing a clear, strategic direction that’s truly motivating, communicating frequently and openly, and providing a supportive work environment that’s open, transparent, and fully meritocratic are some qualities that leadership should possess to keep employees motivated,” he recently told Forbes.
DHL Express’ new e-commerce warehouse is scheduled to launch operations in 2020 ahead of the EXPO.