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Cargo Connect to focus on automation, e-commerce

DUBAI, October 21, 2019

Future advancements including next generation freight, automation, eCommerce and digital cargo, and also addressing how Expo2020 will impact the UAE industry will be highlighted at Cargo Connect to be held next month in Dubai, UAE.

The event will take place on November 18, at the DWC, Dubai Airshow Site. It will focus on technology innovations that are disrupting the cargo industry.

Cargo Connect is bringing together some of the biggest names in the industry with opening keynotes delivered by top decision makers from Dubai Airports, Emirates SkyCargo, FedEx and Etihad, said a statement from the organisers.

Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president, Cargo of Emirates, said: “There is no doubt that technological innovations can help the air cargo industry take the next big leap forward in terms of efficiency and service delivery.”

“Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and other disruptive technologies hold a vast potential to deliver a number of benefits,” Sultan added.

The Middle East is in a strategically advantageous position with trade and manufacturing moving eastward towards the growing middle classes of Asia and India. In addition, China is predicted to be a top three trade partner with the UAE between now and 2030.

In particular, eCommerce is a one of the sectors within air freight which is seeing substantial growth. In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region online transactions grew by 44 per cent with the greatest growth coming from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

There has been plenty of commercial investment in this space in the Middle East: in 2017, Amazon purchased local e-commerce platform,, investing in a 26,000 square metre fulfilment centre in Dubai ahead of its rebranding to Amazon in the UAE.

The eCommerce panel at Cargo Connect will aim to understand where services might need to adapt, or where to invest, to continue driving the air cargo industry forward. Speakers on this panel include Dr Khalfan Al-Shueili, CEO of Oman Aviation Services; Idriss Al Rifai, founder and CEO of Fetchr and co-founder and CEO of RSA National, Abhishek Shah.

Shah confirms: “E-commerce business within the GCC region is expected to grow to $24 billion by 2022, mainly driven by service optimisation of last mile delivery, fulfilment, returns and supply centres, as well as business blocks.”

He continued: “Dubai is already supporting the e-commerce sector on a big scale. Cargo Connect is a crucial industry event and gathering of the Middle East Region to learn about and get inspired by latest regional and international industry developments.”

Meanwhile, Aura Group of Companies (AGC) will be joining the conference to talk how UAVs can support the cargo sector, specifically their product AURA 100.  “While the UAE will continue leading drone technology developments in the region, the private sector will become more open towards integrating drones into their operations,” says Alexander Ostrovoy, managing partner of Aura Group of Companies (AGC).

Continuing the theme of unmanned cargo, the conference will also host a panel discussion on next generation freight, delving in to potential innovations and implications, including uberisation of cargo, AI, significant cost reductions and urban deliveries. Sharing their insight on this topic will be the likes of FedEx, Natilus and Fero.

The WTO’s 2019 trade predictions see global trade on par with GDP at 2.6 per cent returning to 3 per cent in 2020 and growing faster than GDP. The OECD’s long-term ITF Transport Outlook 2019 predicts global freight demands will treble between 2015 and 2050 with the largest growth coming from the airfreight sector with a CAGR of 4.5 per cent.

Rachel Sturgess, portfolio director at show organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, said: “As one of the fastest growing air cargo hubs in the world, Dubai will be the leader in pushing the industry forward to adopt technologies and processes which increase profitability and efficiency.  Cargo Connect is the focal point for that leadership.” – TradeArabia News Service


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