The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are in the process of transforming themselves into sustainable economies with diversified sources of income. The aim is to mitigate risks from increased dependency on oil revenues and to grow into knowledge-based economies that provide significant opportunities for citizens, residents, and investors.
The respective countries have identified their visions, strategies, and relevant initiatives to reach their goals for the next decades. A common theme among the countries is to diversify their economies by encouraging investments in non-oil sectors. Initiatives focus strongly on logistics due to the significant opportunities it can provide through job creation, trade facilitation and investor attraction. Logistics capability enhancement has also specifically caught the attention of governments due to the relatively low economic rankings of their countries in relation to port efficiency and logistics infrastructure.
At the same time, global trends in manufacturing and logistics have been and continue to be, towards digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT), consequently resulting in realizable concepts such as Logistics 4.0. This paper aims to bridge the gap between governmental initiatives in improving their logistics environment and the adoption of global trends, addressing the following questions:
- What does Logistics 4.0 refer to, and what does it exactly mean?
- What are the key elements and benefits of Logistics 4.0 and what challenges are associated with it?
- What are practical applications of Logistics 4.0 on a global and regional level?
- What do organizations in the GCC need to consider when adopting Logistics 4.0?