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Panalpina expands circular economy center

DUBAI: March 15, 2017. Panalpina has officially opened its 40,000 square meter logistics manufacturing center in Dubai Logistics City, part of the bonded corridor that links Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port.

The new facility supports circular supply chains with most of the operational space used for inbound-to-manufacturing (I2M), vendor-managed-inventory to support Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS), and for outbound distribution.

"We first set foot in the United Arab Emirates 25 years ago," said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen. "Today's official inauguration opens a new exciting chapter for our logistics and freight forwarding activities in the region. It is the biggest facility of this type that we currently operate," he declared.

Panalpina HH Sheik Ahmed and Mike WilsonAlso attending the opening ceremony was Emirates Group chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who commented: "We share [Panalpina's] vision of how supply chains in a circular economy are shaping the future. The new logistics center will further strengthen the relationship between Panalpina and Dubai South and help attract additional industries to the region such as high fashion, automotive, and aerospace, as well as research organizations and think tanks."

Panalpina global head of Logistics and Manufacturing Mike Wilson (pictured rght with HH Sheikh Ahmed), said that as part of a growing circular economy, the company was seeing increased demand for reverse logistics, including diagnostics and ultimately repairs for their customers' products.

"With the trend of distributed manufacturing close to point of consumption, the emphasis on sustainability, the Internet of Things and the makerspace movement, as well as technological advances such as additive manufacturing, we will see more logistics facilities like this one in the future, where we can add value to our customers' supply chains," he explained.

Responding to a growing number of companies wanting to configure, customize and deliver their products as close to the customer as possible, the Panalpina center includes a separate repair room where specialists evaluate used mobile phones, tablets and laptops before they are reintroduced into the supply chain, recycled or discarded.

Specialists also refurbish game consoles after diagnostics, repair and testing, while in the LMS area engineers and technicians pick semi-knocked down units and then configure, assemble and test them with the latest software uploaded prior to distribution.

"Our hub here in Dubai is designed to take advantage of the changing dynamics of supply chains," Wilson noted.

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