Industry leaders offer glimpse into future of UAE logistics sector


Businesses in the UAE are adapting quickly to new trends and technologies that are accelerating change within global logistics, industry experts said during a recent virtual panel discussion hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The panel was organised as part of the 360 Dialogue Series and joined by Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer of DT World; Harj Dhaliwal Managing Director Middle East & India Virgin Hyperloop; and Yasir Jamal VP Supply Chain, North Africa & Middle East, Unilever, and attended by over 100 participants.

In his welcome remarks, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, explained that the virtual event comes at a time when companies from around the world are leveraging Dubai’s strategic geographic position and world-class logistics infrastructure to reposition their businesses as they prepare for a post-Covid recovery.

Despite the unprecedented challenges seen this year in the wake of Covid-19, Dubai has found itself in a strong position, given its strong focus on embracing digital transformation and investing in logistics infrastructure, Al Hashemi said. He also highlighted the important role played Dubai Chamber in ensuring business continuity and improving ease of doing business during Covid-19 through its wide range of e-services and policy advocacy efforts.

The panellists outlined a number of key trends seen within the UAE logistics sector, including the seamless shift to digital services, the transition from land to sea freight and the adoption of advanced technologies, which they said were crucial in helping industry players navigate new challenges.

The pandemic has proven that adaptive and agile supply chains are a competitive edge for successful businesses, the panellists noted, identifying last-mile delivery, increased integration between ports and free zones, closer collaboration among logistics and transportation players and a stronger prevalence of AI and robotics in production facilities as key trends that will reshape the future of the sector.

Having recently reached a milestone after successfully completing its first test drive with human passengers, Virgin Hyperloop’s new technology is expected to change the dynamics of passenger and cargo transportation in the future, the panellists added.

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