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Shedding light on the cargo industry of Pakistan

Unfortunately, since 2019, Pakistan's freight forwarding industry has been in turmoil.

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According to the World Bank’s recent statistics for 160 countries, Pakistan ranks 122nd in terms of Logistics Performance Indicators (LPI), with Germany first and India 44th.

LPI mechanism broadly depends on six decisive parameters: customs clearance efficiency, uprightness of trade infrastructure, equitable shipment pricing, quality of logistics services, surety to track shipments, and consignment delivery standards. Surprisingly, Sudan and Congo demonstrate a bit higher LPI scores as compared to Pakistan.

Read more: Exporting transport services brought $737million in the country

Pakistan’s cargo and freight forwarding industry continues to get attention for its zeal in helping importers and exporters. Even though the National Transport Policy 2018 and the National Freight and Logistics Policy (NFLP) 2021 establish clear dogmas for stakeholders, the Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) has reported the economic woes of approximately 600 freight and logistics companies.

The shipping and freight industry is a driving force for the global economy. In accordance with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, sea routes handle 80% of world trade volume. Transportation of technological equipment, food commodities, raw materials, and general items is difficult without appropriate shipping network facilitation.

Unfortunately, since 2019, Pakistan’s freight forwarding industry has been in turmoil. It requires reconsideration of policies for bringing colors to the said industry.

The competence of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan is questionable because the promotion of trade is subject to infrastructural developments.

Moreover, Pakistan Customs can be blamed for the inefficiency of the clearance procedures. Importers are discouraged by unnecessarily lengthy customs clearance procedures.

In addition, only a few freight forwarding firms in the country have operational shipment tracking systems. Furthermore, the absence of a shipment price determination system, combined with skyrocketing fuel prices, forces the business to regress.

The cargo sector’s difficulties have been aggravated, particularly in the aftermath of Covid-19. The general suspension of international flights has hampered traders’ goals. According to the PIFFA survey, 71 percent of participating freight firms reported no gain from government incentives and relief measures.

Sustainable economic development of Pakistan is dependent on a robust and low-cost transport and logistics sector. Enhanced export competitiveness also depends on the efficient performance of the sector.

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