Cargo Connect returns to DWC, Dubai Airshow Site during the Dubai Airshow in November to focus on technology innovations that are disrupting the cargo industry. Taking place on the 18 November, 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.
The one day conference will look at future advancements including next generation freight, automation, eCommerce and digital cargo, while also addressing how Expo2020 will impact the UAE industry.
“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” said Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo of Emirates.
“Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and other disruptive technologies hold a vast potential to deliver a number of benefits.”
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 MENA region online transactions grew by 44% 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, Souq.com, 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 US$ 24 billion by 2022, mainly driven by service optimization of last mile delivery, fulfilment, returns and supply centres, as well as business blocks.”
He continues, “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% returning to 3% 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%.
“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,” says Rachel Sturgess, Portfolio Director at show organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East.