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Aramex Turns to AWS to Enable the Company’s Digital Transformation

  • Aramex has built a big data platform on AWS leveraging machine-learning capabilities, which increased accuracy in shipping-date predictions by 74 percent
  • The disruptive leader in the global logistics and transportation industry moving all technology infrastructure to AWS

Dubai, UAE – Tuesday, 3 September 2019:
Aramex (DFM: ARMX), a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, has announced that it will migrate all of its technology infrastructure from the company’s on-premises data centers to Amazon Web Services (AWS), in order to increase agility, speed of innovation, and security. In its first phase of cloud adoption, Aramex has built a data lake, which is hosting a big data infrastructure that leverages machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to further enhance the customer experience by transforming the last mile delivery.

Taking advantage of Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed machine learning service for building, training, and deploying machine learning models, Aramex’s in-house data science team built a data analytics and machine-learning platform on AWS.  Utilizing this platform, Aramex is improving delivery accuracy and solving for the lack of proper physical addresses in the region by developing intelligent address prediction models that convert descriptive addresses into geo locations. The ML-based platform is also providing the company the ability to have accurate and instant delivery time predictions, using calculations based on seasonality and capacity constraints. As a result of this adoption, Aramex has increased accuracy in shipping-date predictions by 74 percent, and lowered its average processing time for a prediction from 2.5 seconds to under 200 milliseconds.

Commenting on the move to AWS, Mohammed Sleeq, Chief Digital Officer at Aramex, said:
“Adopting AWS is pivotal to driving further innovation within our business and provides a platform for growth within Aramex. We are focused on enhancing the customer experience and solving industry challenges primarily around address management, volatility in volumes and last mile capacity. Today, we are able to look at our customers’ delivery experience and expectations from origination to last mile delivery and work backwards to identify technologies and processes that can help us to deliver faster, more efficiently, and operate with elasticity. We are now starting the full migration of our IT infrastructure to AWS and are excited to realize the full benefits of the cloud.”

Andy Isherwood, Managing Director of Amazon Web Services EMEA said of the news: 
“Aramex has a longstanding history of innovation, over many decades, and it is great to see how it is using cloud to solve unique industry challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. Combining this with our own experience of using ML technology for the transport and logistics of packages with, we look forward to helping Aramex leverage advanced and secure AWS technologies to further improve the customer service they deliver.”

The move to AWS is the latest milestone in Aramex’s digital transformation journey. In October 2018, Aramex became one of the first companies in the logistics and transport industry to roll out WhatsApp for Business to customers in the form of an AI-based Chatbot. In December 2018, Aramex launched ‘Aramex Fleet’, a crowd-based delivery platform that connects individuals to flexible last mile delivery work to support strong demand for Aramex services in the region.

Aramex’s new, 60,000-square meter fulfillment center in Dubai features new technologies including a ‘Pick to Light’ system, which uses light-directed picking technology to improve accuracy and efficiency, and an automated conveyer belt system.


Aramex Revenues Rise 4% in Q2 2019

E-commerce spurs volume growth while business transformation accelerates

  • Q2 2019 Revenues increased 4% to AED 1,279 million
  • Q2 2019 Net Profit rose 1% to AED 123 million
  • First Half 2019 Revenues grew 4% to AED 2,512 million
  • First Half 2019 Net Profit increased 2% to AED 231 million
  • Express volumes in Q2 2019 grew by 20% and Domestic E-commerce volumes jumped 42% in core markets

Dubai, UAE – Wednesday, 31 July 2019: Aramex (DFM: ARMX), a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, today announces its financial results for Second Quarter and First Half ended 30 June 2019.

Aramex’s Q2 2019 Revenues grew by 4% to AED 1,279 million, compared to AED 1,232 million in Q2 2018. Revenues would have grown by 7% excluding the impact from currency fluctuations, mainly in the South African Rand and Australian Dollar, as well as the company’s strategic restructuring of its operations in India through exiting the Domestic Express market. Aramex’s Revenues in the First Half of 2019 grew by 4% to AED 2,512 million, compared to AED 2,422 million for the same period of 2018. Excluding the impact from currency fluctuations and the strategic restructuring of its operations in India, First Half 2019 Revenues would have grown by 7%.

Net Profit for the second quarter 2019 rose by 1% to reach AED 123 million, compared to AED 122 million in Q2 2018. Net profit was negatively impacted by the amount of AED 8.4 million due to the implementation of IFRS16 related to accounting for leases. Excluding that impact, Q2 2019 Net Profit would have grown by 8%. Aramex’s Net Profit in the First Half of 2019 grew by 2% to AED 231 million, compared to AED 226 million for the same period of 2018. Excluding IFRS16 impact of AED 14.3 million, First Half 2019 Net Profit would have grown by 9%.

Commenting on the results, Bashar Obeid, Chief Executive Officer of Aramex, said:

“Strong demand from e-commerce continues to spur growth in volumes we handled over the second quarter. Our Domestic Express registered outstanding performance and International Express also enjoyed double digit growth. This is a testament to our strong brand, efficient services and increasingly competitive positioning. However, lower yields, mainly on the cross-border International Express business and changes in fulfillment models, moderated our top line figures and profitability. Freight-Forwarding business performance came below expectations as it was affected by the regional economic uncertainty, however, today our efforts continue to be focused on commercial restructuring, which will enable us to grow that business line over the long term. Our Integrated Logistics and Supply Chain Management business had another great quarter, as a result of our efforts to capitalize on the growing demand for those services, especially from regional retailers wanting to tap omni-channel sales.

We remain firmly committed to our strategic business transformation, which includes digital, commercial and operational upgrades to cater to the shifting operating environment and to retain and grow market share across different business lines. While such major changes pushed operating expenses for the period, over the long term, we are very positive that our transformation will help us improve our margins and help us further diversify our revenue mix.”

Iyad Kamal, Chief Operating Officer at Aramex, added:

“Volumes growth was very encouraging in the second quarter, with Domestic Express volumes surging 42% in core markets, especially in the GCC and Levant region. The solid growth was owed to higher demand from e-commerce, the upgrade of our services and expansion of operations in some of our core markets, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt. Overall, Express volumes expanded by 20%, thanks to winning new international e-tailers and receiving increased orders from existing ones. Also, in Q2 2019, we accelerated our digital transformation efforts. Today Aramex is leaner and more operationally efficient than ever before. We are implementing technologies that will help reduce transit times and improve delivery accuracy, which will ultimately help us win more new business and enhance operating efficiencies.”

Q2 2019 Performance:

Aramex's cross-border International Express business grew by 11% to AED 586 million. Express volumes grew by 20% in Q2 2019, yet lower yields impacted margins.

The Domestic Express business decreased by 2% to AED 257 million, mostly impacted by the strategic restructuring in India and fluctuations in foreign currency. Excluding those factors, the Domestic Express would have grown by 7%, whereas Aramex’s core markets recorded strong double-digit growth.

Freight-Forwarding decreased by 6% to AED 277 million, as it continues to be affected by the regional economic uncertainty.

The Integrated Logistics & Supply Chain Solutions business enjoyed robust growth of 17% to AED 85 million, owed in large part to Aramex’s efforts to service the major regional retailers’ strong appetite to tap online sales. This led to strong demand for warehousing, sorting, and last mile delivery solutions.

Commenting on Aramex’s outlook for the remainder of 2019, Bashar Obeid said:

“For the rest of the year, we forecast global e-commerce volumes to continue to positively contribute to top line growth, while lower yields will constrain margins and profitability. However, we will carry on boosting our investments in last-mile delivery solutions and enhancing our service levels on the ground to ensure Aramex maintains and grows its market share in the Express business. The strategic initiatives to transform our business into a technology-driven enterprise and uplift operational efficiencies will also support our growth. As for the B2B business, we are strategically committed to expanding our commercial capabilities and operations, both in Freight-Forwarding and Integrated Logistics and Supply Chain Management; businesses we believe will contribute favorably to our revenue mix.”