Q&A covers future of logistics and various sectors
Below is a Q&A between Transport & Logistics Middle East (TLME) and logistics and supply chain specialists Hellmann Logistics.
1. Given you specialize in several key areas of the supply chain, what are the themes that you see influencing each area collectively?
In this era of a supply chain network competition, Hellmann understands the important elements of logistics support and service to build and maintain competitive advantage in the market by concentrating on the core competencies. Such as our advanced IT systems, our experienced, well trained staff combined with our organization working as a team. This organizational culture belief that “It’s people who make all the difference”, not just globally but also within the Middle East, remains the underlying factor of our success.
The logistical challenges of the automotive industry require experience and expertise. From collecting parts, delivering finished vehicles, the industry involves specialized handling and carefully synchronized scheduling.
Our ability to handle all healthcare shipments with extreme care and most stringent standards, Hellmann Healthcare Logistics offers specialized and comprehensive solutions for your healthcare supply chain. We understand the sensitivity underlying the logistics segment of the healthcare industry. The need to handle delicate pharmaceutical products with stringent regulatory compliance and care drives us to provide our healthcare customers with a comprehensive service solution
Hellmann Fashion Logistics provides customers with tailor-made logistics concepts, helping to strengthen and develop their market position. We have specialized in transporting clothing for over 60 years, and are thus traditionally closely connected to the fashion and clothing industry. Fashion products are fast-moving and subject to a continuous process of change. The goods are generally time-critical and require sensitive handling, especially for hanging garments on long transportation routes. We have years of expertise in dealing with customer specific requirements from all relevant productions locations, e.g. Asia, and in organizing the corresponding equipment.
Recently Hellmann has successfully established an e-commerce division that has the ability to provide fully integrated solutions in the region. We have also grown in warehousing activities such as KSA and South Asia, where we specializes in fashion logistics, with Dubai being a strategic Sea/Air Hub. Furthermore Hellmann also expanded its chemical joint venture in the UAE with three chemical warehouses.
2. In which sector do you see the most potential for 2020?
From the perspective of a Logistics Service provider the Ecommerce sector is our the fastest growing market segment in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).
Comparing online vs offline sales between 2017 & 2022 in MEA region, there is a 19% increase in the online business resulting in a forecast of 26 billion USD turnover by 2022.
Hellmann’s partnership with Middle East's first dedicated free zone for e-commerce addresses the demand for logistics solutions dedicated to e-commerce in the region. It is vital to have the best logistic solution in place to ensure the whole operation runs seamlessly & we are excited to extend our eCommerce solution to MENASA region.
Identifying the eCommerce trend in the region, we are closely working with the government entity to have an optimal solution for eCommerce operation.
Our One-Stop-Solution makes it easy for the customers to go digital with minimal lead times. The in-house order management system supports our customers to integrate with any available eCommerce platform and support them with having different Omni channel selections.
3. You have a big focus on optimizing supply chains and this is a really popular demand from players across the chain right now, how do you do this? What is unique in what you offer?
Challenges in the supply chain vary between industries, for example, the automotive industry looks at optimizing the inventory within the region by centralizing all keeping stock closer to the market to reduce lead times.
Healthcare industry looks at validated cold chain to ensure integrity of the product until it reaches the patient.
Fashion industry looks at speed to market as for our chemical entity focuses on qualified health and safety process. Within Hellmann Logistics, we created niche specialized verticals by taking on board the above-mentioned challenges and created solutions by investing our expertise, process, system and state of the art infrastructure to support globally benched marked operations provided locally within the region.
4. What do you think of the potential of digital technology and AI in logistics, does it excite you or worry you?
Traditional forwarders need to learn the language of Digitalization, AI, IOT, Robotics, Blockchain etcetera to be more customer-centric. In the future, customer service will be replaced by Applications with real-time visibility, reports, interactive dashboards and door-to-door visibility.
The future will see online quotes, online bookings, paper will be e-paper, BL will be e-BL, an invoice will be an e-invoice, e-payment and e -data transfer will be standard requirements for all the customers.
All E-initiatives need a solid traditional supply chain foundation to succeed as these are all front end activities. Operations will have to be enhanced to ensure that the activities are standardized and data quality will be maintained.
These initiatives will provide investment opportunities and as we improve our productivity & efficiency, this will only improve our bottom line due to cost reduction. Venture capitalists are causing the industry to flourish with new innovative companies and this would result in shrinking margins and will put more pressure on traditional forwarders that have higher assets compared to platform forwarders.
Hellmann Logistics has a history in freight forwarding and have adapted to changing technology while still being close to the customer. Today we are embracing change to ensure more customer satisfaction and transparency. Our solutions are more focused on these parameters.