The trade world is considered to be mainly executed by the means of freight forwarding, logistics and shipping companies. In global scale it is considered as the backbone of world’s economy. The trends for the Shipping Companies in Pakistan have been changing rapidly in their favor, the shipping times as we knew are now changing and every era that now comes forward will bring greater opportunities with even greater challenges.

Pakistan’s seaports are anticipated as the busiest and most crucial for all of the Asian trade markets. In the past decade its importance has just increased exponentially, especially with the opening of world’s most trending economic corridor THE CPEC. The questions might rise here like what makes Pakistan’s seaports of such great importance? Or how Pakistan can get the most out of such enormous opportunities? All these trending queries can be really interesting and complex if we look for an expert’s answers.

PIFFA – Pakistan International Freight Forwarding Association is the only representative body having around 500 members. It is the only platform that provides support to freight forwarders in Pakistan. Its performance indicators have not been quite impressive. According to the World Bank survey in 2010, the overall Logistics Performance Indicators (LPI) of Pakistan was ranked 110 out of 155 countries.

Harnessing the Best Opportunities

Pakistan’s maritime sector is a vital component of national economic and military power and its linkage between economy and security. If we wish and aspire to become a rising Asian economic power in the decades and centuries ahead, we will have to pay more attention in developing our maritime sector and harness the most out of it.

Pakistan’s geographical location has immense potential and that’s why it is considered as a strong hub for a flow through traffic between Asia and Europe. Our geographical connectivity with Chine and Europe makes us the trade corridor and a logistics hub. That’s the main reason Pakistan & China mutually agreed to turn Pakistan ports into regional giant.

It can be considered as one of the best opportunities for decades to come; implementing such plans will not only make the economy strong but will also give Pakistan a great importance in the region and relations with the region countries will enhance. And to be last in the race of horses is better rather then not being in it. So, creation of this China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can be the biggest thing and the best way to boost the economy. As, it is projected that China is investing around $62 Billion in aids and investments for CPEC.

CPEC is certain to benefit China’s troubled state-owned enterprises, allowing them to overcome the challenges of overcapacity and oversupply by going global. And, for Pakistan, the project could help it quickly overcome deficits in its electric supply and revive its struggling domestic industries, positioning it for higher rates of economic growth.

Another aspect of opportunities can also be observed in a way that this only project will bring great business and employment positions for the locals. The corridor will enhance the road routes, highways and motorways and the relations between businesses and government will become more reliable.

Assessing the Challenges & Developing Solutions

The biggest and the most crucial challenge that we are facing is the competitiveness in the trade market. Enormous pressure and poor performance is affecting our supply chain and logistics and hence affecting the overall exports.

The infrastructure is the foremost important element in improving our ability to attract more and more investors. Enhancing the transport network and eliminating the mafia factor around it is similarly crucial. We should be able to plan, assess and execute on a rapid and enormous scale as any operation that might stuck will create huge log piles of delays to the process as all of these process are linked and synchronized.

Most importantly among the biggest challenges for the warehousing service in Karachi is the lack of focus on developing seaports. According to the report from World Bank of 2017; improving the competitiveness of Asia’s container ports of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan is critical to maintain the trade growth in the region.

Pakistan’s major deep seaports such as Karachi port handles only 1600 ships during the whole year which accounts for 60% of its marine shipments. Gwadar port is considered to be the gates to the Gulf of Persia it is being considered to be used as a major transit port to facilitate global shipments for the CPEC.

If we really need to meet such enormous targets we need some advancement and upgrade to our seaports and increase the flow of ships. Recently a German firm has shown interest in investing $40 Million in Bin-Qasim seaport’s upgrades.

Therefore, if we conclude the idea of Pakistan being in the Billion Dollar opportunity, obviously it will come along with some unique challenges and changes that need to be made. So, instead of just waiting for investors to put in money and efforts to get things working its necessary for us to get the most out this challenge by putting all the mind and efforts into it.