Middle East’s first Automated Pharmaceutical Distribution Center in Saudi Arabia

Nahdi Medical Company, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's largest pharmaceutical retail chain, in cooperation with SSI SCHAEFER, the world’s leading provider of modular warehousing and logistics solutions, announced the implementation of the country’s first world-class pharmaceutical system in March 2022. In the heart of Jeddah’s industrial zone, the new facility significantly increases the country's logistics capacity and preparedness for safe and reliable pharmaceutical distribution.

The Nahdi Distribution Center in Jeddah (IMDAD) is the Kingdom’s first-ever automated pharmaceutical facility and falls in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub and create a long-term investment environment in the industrial and logistics sector.

Covering an area of 250,000 m2, the facility features temperature-controlled logistics, and automated order fulfillment using cutting-edge technology and systems to support Nahdi to guarantee medical security in accordance with the latest international standards and the Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) best practice regulations. Powered by SSI SCHAEFER technology, the facility was developed in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones “MODON” as the first smart distribution center in the retail sector for Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

 IMDAD is designed to handle an annual 200 million units of medical products alone. This is an unprecedented feat and is made possible by SSI SCHAEFER’s state-of-the-art SSI Cuby shuttle technology in combination with conventional Pick by Light picking consolidated by an intelligent system infrastructure. With automation, IMDAD can move up to 600 shipping bins containing more than 10,000 order lines per hour of operation. The SSI SCHAEFER scope of supply comprises an impressive range of subsystems from receiving and product decanting, SSI Cuby supported goods-to-person picking, Pick by Light picking, conveyor technology, automatic bin closing, labelling, and strapping to sortation and presentation for shipping. The whole solution is controlled and managed by SSI SCHAEFER's logistics software WAMAS®.

In addition to the storage capacity of the SSI Cuby goods-to-person and Pick by Light areas of 37,260 and 26,500 bin locations to support the picking of slow and fast moving products respectively, the SSI SCHAEFER scope also included extensive pallet storage to support the storage and picking of medical appliances, returns handling and other related processes. These storage areas incorporate a special channel storage system using an automatic SSI Orbiter® with specific picking tunnels to enhance the performance, selective racking system, pallet flow racking system, shelving, multi-tier shelving system with high standard steel structure and carton live storage system.

“In a climate which has a lot of uncertainty, modern automated material handling solutions are becoming the trend and way to move forward for many businesses. In the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, we see the benefits being amplified throughout the supply chain. Through the understanding of operations and processes, complete data, performance analysis and design consultancy, the technology and innovation provided by SSI SCHAEFER allows Nahdi to assure higher efficiency standards, accurate reporting, and high quality customer service,” said Ayman ALA‘mar, GM at SSI SCHAEFER Saudi Arabia.

In addition to the hardware, the SSI SCHAEFER supplied WAMAS® Warehouse Management System provides tracking of the goods. It not only fulfills Nahdi’s vision of providing world-class services, but also enables the company to efficiently track, trace and move its goods, both by batch and FEFO (First Expiry, First Out). This assures integrity, productivity, and performance effectiveness and accurate records that ensure all goods are accounted for and deter pilferage.

Nahdi Medical Company CEO Eng. Yasser Joharji sums up the successful cooperation: “The vision of IMDAD stems from Nahdi’s unyielding commitment towards achieving Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development Program’s targets of creating and improving the performance of logistics hubs across the Kingdom. SSI SCHAEFER has played an integral role in bringing this vision to life through equipping IMDAD with the latest technologies that would not only support us in providing world-class services but would also assure higher efficiency standards, accurate reporting, and quality customer service. We convey our heartfelt gratitude to the SSI Schafer team, who have tirelessly supported us throughout all phases of this project. The launch of IMDAD will mark a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming the most loved and trusted partner to our guests - a milestone reaffirming our commitment towards serving millions of guests across the Kingdom in the most efficient way possible.”

Nahdi Medical Company CSCO Eng. Raed Monagel also added: “IMDAD is the largest logistics Distribution Center in the Middle East in the pharmaceutical industry designed to guarantee medical security in accordance with the latest international systems and to reflect Nahdi's role as an effective partner in supporting Vision 2030. With SSI SCHAEFER’s vast experience in the region, on-the-ground engineering and after sales capabilities to provide complete solutions, adding value to its customer’s specific needs and benefits, Nahdi Medical Company can make this grand vision a reality.”

Insight into the Nahdi warehouse:

Contact Person

Lindsay Organ Campaign Manager Phone No.: 416-575-8494 Mail: lindsay.organ@ssi-schaefer.com