Amazon's Saudi unit has doubled its storage capacity with the launch of a new fulfillment centre in capital Riyadh, spanning 390,000 sq ft across five floors - approximately the size of five football fields.
The centre will have a storage capacity of 2.7 million cubic feet, and will be able to store over 9 million products, enabling Amazon to delight customers with a wider selection of products across electronics, appliances, groceries, fashion, books, and more.
This expansion will support more Saudi entrepreneurs and sellers to scale their businesses online, said a statement from Amazon.
The opening ceremony was held in the presence of National Industrial Development and Logistics Program CEO Engineer Suliman Almazroua as well as delegations from the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Transport General Authority, and Monsha’at – Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Following the ceremony, Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, along with Prashant Saran, Director of Operations, Amazon Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and Dr Hatem Samman, Public Policy Lead, Amazon Saudi Arabia, guided the dignitaries on a tour of the facility.
Speaking on the occasion, Almazroua said: "Saudi Arabia has made remarkable progress in developing world-class infrastructure and business-enabling policies that aim to place the kingdom at the forefront of investor attractiveness."
"Amazon’s expansion supports Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector - one of NIDLP’s four key sectors – bringing the latest innovations and technologies in ecommerce operations to the country. The new Fulfillment Center in Riyadh will further unlock the value of the Kingdom’s resources by empowering local startups and entrepreneurs with improved global connectivity and access to new markets," he stated.
As the Kingdom accelerates towards a digital economy with a growing ecommerce market, the new Fulfillment Center will double Amazon’s total storage capacity in Saudi Arabia, he added.
Engineer Saud bin Rashid Al Askar, the Deputy Governor of Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), said: "As Saudi Arabia progresses towards sustainable development in tandem with regional and international markets, we affirm the company’s keenness, in cooperation with other sectors, to ensure consumer safety by conforming its products received through e-commerce."
"We are happy to see Amazon’s expansion in the kingdom as the company continues its efforts to bring global standards and processes to the ecommerce sector in Saudi Arabia," he stated.
Chlala said Amazon's expansion and investment in its network underscores the group's commitment to delivering an enhanced shopping experience for customers, providing Saudi businesses with greater access to Amazon’s expertise in fulfillment, reliable countrywide delivery, and customer service, and unlocking opportunities for local talent.
"Led by a diverse cohort of talented Saudi nationals in managerial positions, we expect this Fulfillment Center to support the Kingdom’s digital economy goals," he added.
In support of Saudi Arabia’s rising entrepreneurship culture and rapid development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the enhanced capacity will empower independent sellers to scale their businesses online.
In order to reach a wider customer base faster and more efficiently, Saudi sellers can take advantage of the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) offering that allows them to store, pick, pack and ship customer orders through Amazon.
The company has been working closely with Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to empower this segment of the economy, with an aim to host 40,000 Saudi sellers by 2025 on Amazon.sa.
On the new facilty, Saran said: "Technology is at the heart of our operations, and with the opening of our most advanced Fulfillment Center in Saudi Arabia, we are all set to bring an enhanced fulfillment offering to Saudi sellers."
"At Amazon, we relentlessly innovate on behalf of our customers and continue to strengthen our operations with state-of-the-art technology and global processes and programs in order to ensure a fast, convenient and reliable shopping experience," he noted.
According to him, the new Fulfillment Center is Amazon’s most advanced in Saudi Arabia and brings 25+ years of global logistics technology and innovation in line with the Vision 2030 goal of establishing the Kingdom as the go-to logistics hub for the region.
The new facility incorporates innovative solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in its operations and more than two and a half kilometers of conveyance equipment to ensure seamless fulfillment operations, he added.
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