Transformative Logistics through Innovation: Takeaways from LogiSYM and CeMAT 2024

Author photo: Fox Chen
ByFox Chen
Industry Trends

The LogiSYM 2024 event, held from May 15th to 17th, is quite different this year, with CeMAT Southeast Asia (SEA), globally renowned for showcasing the latest in intralogistics and materials handling, hosting its first event and co-located with LogiSYM at the Singapore Expo. The convergence of these two events attracted a diverse group of participants, including shippers, logistics professionals, warehouse operators, integrators, and service providers, eager to explore new opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

This year's theme was centered around AI in logistics, with a focus on sustainability and digitalization in intralogistics, warehousing, freight, and supply chain. This reflects the industry's goals of enhancing efficiency and reducing environmental impact. ARC is honored to be part of the event, with Bob Gill moderating the Intralogistics/ warehousing Track on the first day.

Transformative Logistics through Innovation

What also distinguishes this year’s event from previous ones is having a dedicated Cold Chain segment, highlighting its growing importance in ensuring supply chain resilience and sustainability for the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. With the lessons learnt from the supply chain disruption brought along by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the growing concern of the impact of climate change on food scarcity, cold chain resiliency seems to be increasing awareness in the region, leading to in-depth discussions on the unique needs of these sectors.

The CeMAT SEA exhibition floor featured a diverse mix of solution providers coming from different regions worldwide. Warehouse robotics automation companies - Dematic, Swisslog, Autostore, Geek+, Seer Robotics, Aiten, and more, occupied a large section of the exhibition space, showcasing what they could bring to accelerate warehouse automation to the region. Separate conversations with a few Chinese warehouse infrastructure suppliers and integrators also revealed a shared sense of optimism about the warehouse automation opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Transformative Logistics through Innovation

One observation from our recent research on the Mobile Warehouse Robotics study is the emergence of new robotic suppliers in the landscape. In Singapore, one such company is Xsquare, an automated forklift solution provider, which exhibited on a larger scale at CeMAT SEA this time around compared to its presence at ITAP 2023. This is not surprising, as the company has gained traction with some recent success. For instance, Xsquare recently secured a $10.5 million investment from Wave Partners, a Southeast Asia VC firm, and secured a partnership with Coca-Cola Singapore to automate its regional beverage concentrate plant.

At the Cold Chain Pavilion, engaging discussions with local industry players, including Aeris Dynamics, shed light on the challenges in serving both the pharmaceuticals and food & beverage sectors, as well as the critical role played by equipment, such as temperature data loggers for monitoring, quality control, and risk management during transportation. The focus on sustainability is evident, especially for the power-hungry cold warehousing needs. Innovations such as solar-powered cold warehouses, as well as leveraging cold heat transfer solutions like Superfreeze’s use of waste cold energy from LNG regasification, are some interesting considerations.

As LogiSYM 2024 and CeMAT Singapore 2024 concluded, it was clear that the logistics and supply chain industry is entering a next transformative era in Southeast Asia. The fusion of AI, sustainability, and cutting-edge technologies heralds a new chapter in logistics, promising a future of increased efficiency and resilience.

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