Raman Kumar, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Logistics, looks back on 2015’s milestones and discusses what 2016 has in store for the company.
How has 2015 been for Al-Futtaim Logistics?
The year 2015 has been a record year for Al-Futtaim Logistics. Our overall volume increased in comparison to last year.
We expanded our client base in fashion and extended services to food and performance footwear sectors. As a result of operational excellence, the customer lead time has also been further improved and today, it is one of the best in the industry.
This year has also seen the entry of Al-Futtaim Logistics into new markets. The company ventured into green logistics, by using trucks with very low CO2 emissions in 2015.
This year Al-Futtaim Logistics won a host of accolades, including the ‘Overall Compliance and Business Support” award by Dubai Trade and the” Supply Chain of the year 2015” award at the SCATA which is considered an industry benchmark.
What were the key milestones during 2015?
Al-Futtaim Logistics ventured into E-Commerce as well as Value Added delivery and assembly services by partnering with retailers who require deliveries to businesses and consumers.
The company also started providing logistics solutions such as international trade documentation assistance, customs clearance, storage, value added activities, and distribution to the customers in the retail food segment. The supply chain model offered by Al-Futtaim Logistics enables both the principal and its franchiser to enter Middle East & Africa market faster added with cost effective solutions.
In 2015, Al-Futtaim Logistics introduced a new concept in its delivery fleet by creating double container road trains which aim to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, while optimizing productivity and truck utilization.
What changes or developments have you seen taking place in the logistics industry this year?
Logistics companies are racing to innovate through technology to offer competitive customer delivery lead time. This involves the implementation of highly efficient technology that can automate the end to end operational processes starting from unloading to replenishment, minimizing the double handling of stock movements.
This industry is more conscious about Corporate Social Responsibility. Today, it is essential to incorporate eco-friendly methods to help in the reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.
What Kind of impact do you foresee the oil price having on logistics in the region throughout 2016?
As a result of the reduction in the price of oil globally, customers will expect a revision in the logistics cost, but in reality fuel is one of the contributors to logistics costs.
Customers will most likely re-think their operating model. At Al-Futtaim Logistics, we enable this decision by providing customers multiple service options. We work with our customers closely based on market situation.
What are you going to be focusing on in driving your business next year?
We are looking to grow the business both vertically and horizontally. Next year will see our company venturing into chemical logistics.
In the Fashion Logistics sector, we aim to attract high and low end categories of fashion apparel as we are currently dealing with the mid-range fashion. With regards to footwear category, we handle performance footwear and we want to expand the offering to casual and official footwear.
In the retail food logistics segment, we will focus on expanding the cold storage facilities for up to -30 degree C during 2016 and beyond.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Al-Futtaim Logistics has come a long way from servicing Al-Futtaim brands to extending its offerings to many clients outside Al-Futtaim.
Our mission is to be the partner of choice, developing intelligent Supply Chain solutions and delivering the highest level of Service, Quality and Efficiency. We are very proud to be servicing more clients in the fashion, food, footwear, industrial, chemical, engineering, hi-tech, humanitarian and PMV sectors.
We are providing logistics and supply chain solutions for new businesses who want to enter the UAE and Middle East & Africa markets by offering them fully integrated logistics solutions.
source : ITP Logistics Middle- East, December 2015.