The Covid 19 pandemic has been a defining factor in transforming the ecommerce landscape and bringing about its enhanced growth in 2020. This has in turn had considerable influences on the logistics business sector which forms the backbone of the eCommerce industry. As in other parts of the world, the global logistics providers in Oman have seen its businesses grow and face new challenges while operating in the restrictive and demanding conditions imposed by the pandemic.
The interplay of eCommerce and logistics is even more specific and demanding in the pharma sector. The increased demand for pharmaceutical products brought about by the pandemic has had a positive impact on the market and is expected to drive the market while the pandemic continues.
The main hurdles faced by logistics providers during the pandemic
The increased growth of ecommerce sector has had a significant impact on the logistics and transportation industry. While this sector has seen considerable growth in the last year, it has come with significant challenges and transformations in traditional transportation process. The logistics industry was the first to be affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. However it has rapidly evolved to adapt to the challenging situations brought on by the pandemic. Some of hurdles included
- With air, road and ocean freight compromised due to the pandemic, the movement of freight was seriously affected.
- Covid 19 imposed restrictions brought about a consumer shift to online buying. It therefore resulted in the growth of Ecommerce. However, this demanded rapid fulfilment and delivery of products in a cost effective way which under the current situation was a challenging one.
- Contactless last mile deliveries were another major hurdle for the logistics providers as they had to make deliveries safer for employees as well as for customers.
With the world adjusting to the new normal, logistics providers in Oman are adapting to the changes and rethinking the traditional approach to find solutions that can assist them to overcome the hurdles posed by the pandemic and enable them to conduct their operations safely and efficiently.
How is ecommerce influencing Oman’s economy in the logistics sector?
Oman’s sophisticated network of sea and airports, freeways and highways, telecom infrastructure and logistics facilities have positioned it as an important trade hub and driver of world trade. Even before the advent of Covid 19, the ecommerce industry in Oman has been witnessing a rapid growth with utilization of the facilities available in the country and aligning with the futuristic policies of its government.
The ecommerce sector has grown multi-fold in 2020. Increasing internet penetration and proliferation of social media users, engaging shopping apps and a consumer shift to online shopping brought about by the Covid 19 imposed restrictions have all played a major role in its growth. The trend brought about by the dramatic transformation in people’s shopping habits and lifestyles that is fuelling ecommerce growth is reported to continue in the current and coming years.
The Sultanate’s Oman Logistics Strategy (SOLS) has laid out objectives to enhance the GDP of the country through its logistics sector. These objectives will ensure that the logistics sector in Oman will have all the facilities and infrastructure to be a global logistics hub thus enabling ecommerce growth which in turn can positively impact the country’s economy.
Some of the salient features that can promote ecommerce activities include:
- Omani ports are connected with 86 ports in 40 countries thus offering better connectivity.
- Port Duqm has four terminals for containers, general cargo, bulk goods, and liquids
- Sohar, one of Oman’s established ports, has been in the forefront for growth of the manufacturing sector. The industrial zone is seeking to attract additional manufacturing companies to establish facilities or distribution centres.
- Salalah, also an established port, boasts the fastest transit times between Europe and Asia. The port has a container terminal having seven berths and a general cargo terminal having 12 berths as well as facilities to accommodate the world’s largest container vessels, as well as bulk cargo, bunkering and warehousing.
With the right services, infrastructures and technologies, the logistics sector can keep up with the evolving logistics landscape and in turn assist in enhancing the country’s economy even through these challenging times.
ALSI for Marine Services LLC is a reputed and reliable global logistics service provider in Oman that can cater to the specific requirements of the ecommerce sector and ensure a smooth and cost efficient logistics process to meet the ever-evolving customer needs efficiently.
To know more on how we can help you, contact us today.