GAC VOICES / 14 Jan 2024

Eye on the future: The changing face of contract logistics

“January is a time for reflection, both on what has happened in the past twelve months and one what is to come. And the buzzwords that will define contract logistics in 2024 are data, diversity, collaboration and transparency.

“Technology will continue to play a major role, including the integration of real-time tracking systems and so-called ‘Internet of Things’ systems to facilitate better traceability and real-time decision making. And we can expect to growing adoption of Blockchain technology to boost security and trust in logistics processes, particularly for supply chain management and verifying product authenticity.

“If the pandemic period showed us anything, it is the importance of supply chain resilience. Businesses can secure that by diversifying suppliers, developing contingency plans and strengthening their relationships with key partners. Accurate demand forecasting helps optimise operations and ensure that supply chains are ready for anything.

“The right relationships are the strongest way for businesses to build their resilience. And it’s vital to regularly assess and monitor their performance, financial stability and ethical practices to mitigate any potential risks.

There is no room for complacency – the minute we start to feel comfortable, it’s important to examine what we do.

“Collaboration and transparency between partners go a long way to promoting a more interconnected and complex supply chain landscape by sharing data and information, building trust and improving end-to-end supply chain coordination.

“As demand for contact logistics ramp up and land costs rise, warehouses are now looking to expand upwards rather than sideways. Increasingly, vertical spaces including multi-tiered racking systems, mezzanine levels, and high-bay automated storage and retrieval systems, are being used to maximise storage density.

"And by ensuring their layouts are flexible and modular, warehouses can now reconfigure spaces quickly and seamlessly adjust to accommodate diverse products and requirements.

GAC Contract Logistics MEA22

“Customers now expect fast and accurate order fulfillment, while e-commerce has led to a rise of individual item picking, segmented order processing and shorter turnaround times. And then there’s returns and reverse logistics which require careful coordination, effective inventory management, and close collaboration with suppliers. End-to-end operations are becoming much more complex.

Warehouses must adapt their workflows and processes accordingly or risk becoming irrelevant and losing out to their more forward-thinking competitors.

“Streaming warehouse operations provides real-time monitoring and visualisation of warehouse processes. Collecting real-time data from multiple sources such as RFID tags, barcode scanners, temperature sensors, cameras can enable warehouse operators to respond immediately to changing dynamics and gain insights to make data-driven decisions. Real-time analytics can help to identify patterns, anomalies and trends to improve warehousing operations.”

As GAC Dubai’s General Manager – Contract Logistics, Trevor Stamp oversees the Group’s largest warehousing, stock management and delivery operation, serving Dubai, the wider United Arab Emirates and beyond.

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