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HP plans Jebel Ali logistics hub

HP plans to develop an HP-operated regional warehouse at Jebel Ali Free Zone in the UAE. Serving vast swathes of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and even parts of Europe, the new logistics hub will transform the way HP interacts with distribution partners across the region.

HP plans to develop an HP-operated regional warehouse at Jebel Ali Free Zone in the UAE. The new logistics hub will transform the way HP interacts with distribution partners across the region.

“We signed an internal document last week within HP that paves the way for Jebel Ali to become a logistics hub for HP,” said Christoph Schell, SPO manager International Sales Europe (ISE) at HP. “The warehouse is going to be operated by HP.”

The provisional plan is for the HP warehouse at Jebel Ali to stock product manufactured in Asia and serve as a logistics hub not just for the Middle East region, but also for large parts of Africa, CIS states and possibly even countries such as Turkey and Greece.

“If HP puts its warehousing and logistics in Jebel Ali, it makes sense that large distribution partners from across the entire territory are based there in one way or another as well,” continued Schell. “We are already talking to a couple of large African partners about this.”

The HP warehouse is expected to be up and running within 18 months and Schell plans to spend the time finalising exactly how regional distributors will be catered for out of the proposed new facility.

“If the warehouse is used to stock low-end DeskJets then it will need to be huge,” said Schell. “We’re looking into stocking those products as well as commercial IPG products, PCs, notebooks, iPAQs and industry standard servers so it will be a massive operation — especially if it is used to cover 50% of the ISE region."

“The final details are not yet in place but I want to share the news because I believe it is a very good thing happening for Dubai. This is not just a hub for the Middle East for HP. It is a hub that will serve beyond the Middle East,” added Schell.

While HP expects to rent the physical warehouse space from a third party, HP will own the goods contained in the facility. At present HP goods landing in Dubai are stocked in warehouses operated by regional distributors. Many of these then sell on to national distributors or sub-distributors through transfer of ownership transactions occurring in Jebel Ali.

By having its own facility, HP will be better placed to serve these customers direct, evolve its strategy of drop-shipping product to partners across the region and even reduce some of the inefficiencies that exist in the current distribution model by removing some steps from the channel chain.

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