Logistics company Aramex said on Sunday its Saudi Arabian unit signed a partnership deal with the kingdom's Al Dawaa Medical Services to distribute pharmaceutical products and related services to customers.
Al Dawaa Medical Services is the exclusive owner of Al Dawaa Pharmacies, one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the kingdom.
"The Saudi market is a vital arena for Aramex," said Hussam Baraqouni, the company's chief executive for the GCC, Levant, Turkey, Central Asia and Indian subcontinent.
“Over the past few years, we have successfully ingrained ourselves within the community… and today’s agreement is positioned to strengthen these efforts and develop the domestic e-commerce sector in line with the Saudi government’s plans.”
The GCC e-commerce market is projected to reach $20 billion by 2020 from $5.3bn in 2015, according to consultancy AT Kearney and countries including the UAE and Saudi Arabia are seeking to grow their own contribution to the forecast growth by strengthening logistics networks.
Under the first phase of the partnership, Aramex will launch service centres within 20 branches of Al Dawaa Pharmacies across the Saudi Arabia for customers to send and collect shipments, Aramex said.
Under the second phase, Aramex will expand to hundreds of branches within Al Dawaa’s pharmaceutical network. Customers will also be able to to return e-commerce shipments by delivering them to service centres across the pharmacy’s network.
By leveraging its network of pharmacies through the partnership with Aramex, Al Dawaa hopes to spur and capitalise on this growth, said Mohammad Faraj, executive manager at Al Dawaa Medical Services.
“Our vision is to be the first destination for our customers’ diverse cosmetic, medical, personal care and healthy nutrition needs,” he said. “The kingdom is witnessing tremendous growth in the e-commerce sphere and our collaboration with Aramex will empower its development.”
Aramex has approximately 67,000 square metres spread of facilities in Saudi Arabia and provides the full spectrum of delivery, shipping, logistics, supply chain management, e-commerce and information management services.
The Dubai-listed company reported a 26 per cent increase in second-quarter net profit to Dh122m, as e-commerce and the energy sector fuelled demand for its services, it said this month.