Welcome to the world of MENA region e-commerce

Nowadays, a lot of e-commerce platforms are very popular in

MENA market, such as JollyChic, Souq, Noon, Namshi, Wadi,etc.

With the fierce competition in the cross-border e-commerce

markets such as Europe and the United States, more and more cross-border

e-commerce platforms and sellers are eager to seize the opportunities in the

new market. The Middle East is one of the hottest emerging markets.

However, at the same time, as a pioneer of new markets, when

cross-border e-commerce enters the Middle East, there are many problems needed

to be solved urgently. The logistics solution is the most difficult bottleneck.

The market has great potential, and the Middle East is a

fertile ground to be reclaimed.

As one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the

world, not only the local e-commerce platforms are booming, but also many

foreign platforms have been attracted in MENA, including China's e-commerce

companies. The giant Amazon has also made a big push into the MENA e-commerce


It is known that the e-commerce market in the Middle East is

mainly centered on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, covering Bahrain,

Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Syria and other countries. Saudi Arabia and

Dubai lead the rest of the Middle East with its own economic development, large

number of online shopping consumers and e-commerce market share, Saudi Arabia

accounts for about 65% share, and the UAE accounts for 20%. The remaining 15% belongs

to other Middle Eastern countries. Fashion, beauty, 3C (electronics) and

products with MENA characteristics such as perfumes are the most popular goods

in the MENA e-commerce market.

The logistics solution are the biggest obstacle in MENA

e-commerce market.

Because of the high network coverage and the large consumption

potential, the MENA market is truly a fertile ground to be reclaimed for the Chinese

cross-border e-commerce sellers. At the same time, however, the special humanistic

and geographic environment of the MENA have also added challenges to the

Chinese sellers, and this is especially true for logistics problems.

Difficulty in custom clearance. There are high trade barriers

in the Middle East, like high trade tariffs and strict product clearance. If

e-commerce sellers encounter high tariffs, changing regulations and exchange

rate fluctuations, the customs clearance might cause huge losses. Therefore, when

orders placed, it could takes several weeks to be delivered. This dilemma has

greatly reduced the shopping experience and increased the probability of

returning goods.

Difficulty in delivering. There are no specific zipcodes in

many parts of the Middle East so the addresses’address is not clear. And due to

the insufficiency in the couriers familiar with the route, a significant delivery

cost increases in the last mile.

On the other hand, most of the Middle East is Muslim country,

and there are many taboos in terms of products and delivery. For example, the

women are afraid to open doors to strange man without their male family members

at home. Therefore, products that may take several months to arrive may end up

being undeliverable because no one is paying.

Difficulty in sorting. With more and more sellers entering

the Middle East local e-commerce platform and self-built independent platforms

in recent years, the volume of goods in the Middle East e-commerce market has

risen sharply in the short term. As the result, the current logistics channels

may be difficult to carry a surge in volume, so more and more e-commerce giants

and big sellers began to pay attention to the construction of overseas


However, the current construction of overseas warehouses in

the Middle East, both in terms of labor costs and capital costs, is relatively

high. In some areas, there are many restrictions and requirements for overseas

warehouses in terms of policies.

Major logistics companies in the

Middle East

Here are several major logistics companies in the Middle East

local distribution:


Aramex is a 35-year-old Middle Eastern courier company.

According to Aramex officials, 80% of local delivery in the Middle East is done

by them. Aramex's advantage lies in its long-term accumulation. It relies on

the historical data left in the Arab countries for more than 30 years. Through

its own system, it matches the actual address of the user by name, phone

number, email address, etc., and then delivers it.

In order to solve the problem of unclear address, Aramex does

not employ a large number of Indians, but mainly employs Middle Eastern locals

to deliver. Local people are more familiar with the local area and able to communicate

more smoothly, which can reduce the rejection rate effectively.


Fetchr is a Dubai-based company founded by French Iraqi

ldriss. Fetchr believes that even the address is not clear, more than 80% of

consumers in the Middle East have smartphones. Therefore, through technical

means, users can download the Fetchr application and then locate on Google

Maps, so Fetchr's courier can deliver the package by GPS positioning.

Fetchr offers the same-day delivery and the following-day

delivery service and it works with UPS and FedEx to deliver orders from the

United States, in addition, Fetchr also undertakes DHL's delivery in MENA.

Souq, the largest local e-commerce company, met the challenge

of the last mile delivery since its inception and has been looking for

solutions in local delivery. Q Express is its self-built logistics company and

only services Souq with the last mile delivery. The current orders on the Souq

platform are delivered by Q Express. Souq buyers can enter the order number and

track the logistics status on Q Express. All Q Express couriers carry PDA

equipment to update the shipping status at any time; Q Express has multiple

transportation outlets in the Middle East to facilitate the delivery and return

of goods.