Golfing rise brings regional supply chain problems to the fore

A surge in the popularity of golf and leisure in the Middle East is piling pressure on supply chains that are struggling to keep up with demand.

The problems have been exacerbated as the sport, retail and leisure sectors continue to be affected by declining production levels. It has reached the point that one of the world’s biggest transport firms has pledged to enhance its logistics systems in an effort to ease the bottlenecks and speed the movement of goods.

In the Middle East, trade in golf apparel is expected to surpass $45m by 2026, but a fall in production levels, driven by supply shortages, is significantly impacting imports for 17% of companies surveyed by Economist Impact.

The same study, commissioned by DP World, also found that higher transport costs is limiting imports into the Middle East for 41% of companies.

Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & managing director DP World UAE & Jafza, said: “Golf is a global business, reliant on international trade that ships the graphite in clubs to the quartz in a bunker. We recognise that supply chain disruptions, triggered by the pandemic, continue to affect the import of sports and leisure equipment into the Middle East. But DP World is expanding its smart logistics solutions and investing in leading technology to make sure we can connect regional consumption with global production cycles.”

To highlight how the pandemic-induced supply chain challenges have impacted the availability of golf equipment, DP World is leveraging its title partnership with the DP World Tour to collect used golf balls throughout the 2022 season. These balls will then be redistributed to support growth of the game globally.

The container, which is made from a repurposed shipping container, can house up to 200,000 golf balls. It made its first stop in the Fan Zone of the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, part of the DP World Tour, which hosted by the Emirates Golf Club which finished at the weekend.

DP World has deployed real-time container tracking technology to the golf container, allowing fans of the sport to follow its journey between tournaments, whether it is travelling by rail, road, or sea.

Guy Kinnings, Deputy CEO of the European Tour, added: “Golf is becoming increasingly popular in the region with 388,966 rounds played annually across 124 courses, and in Dubai it’s an industry that creates an annual turnover of AED975 million. Supporting this demand with a seamless supply chain is imperative to the continual growth of the game, and we are fortunate that DP World has the network and infrastructure to alleviate the pressure.”

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