With a reputation for delivering quality services to long-standing and new clients alike, Islamabad-based Viking Shipping Services sees joining FIDI as way to consolidate its position in a challenging market – and help the firm expand its business further. FIDI Focus speaks to Chief Executive Muhammad Qamar Ur Rashid.
What are the characteristics of the moving market in Pakistan?
Muhammad Qamar Ur Rashid: Pakistan’s moving market is based on reputability, expertise, communication, commitment, word of mouth, accurate estimates with no hidden costs and efficient service.
How has Pakistan’s moving industry evolved over the past 10 years?
MQUR: Over the past 10 years, the moving industry has evolved so that customs clearance is now done electronically in Pakistan and we get approvals online whereas before everything was managed manually. Now every mover can provide you with online tracking and you can monitor your shipment. However, there is still much to be done in this industry in Pakistan.
What impact has COVID-19 had on moving in the country?
MQUR: Pakistan’s moving industry went through a lot while everything was closed, but we retained our experienced and professional team. Now, after two years, business is returning to full strength – but major problems for the industry include freight rates rising day by day, dollar exchange rates fluctuating, and fuel price increasing.
Nevertheless, as businesses around the world are dependent on supply chain cycles to run their operations, there are still opportunities for the sector.
Where do you see the biggest opportunities for growth in your market?
MQUR: Demand for the logistics and freight services is increasing rapidly in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America, along with improvements in the economic situation within these areas. Viking aims to expand its operations in these economies to tap into the growing demand.
How would you describe Viking’s business ethos?
MQUR: As a service-orientated firm, we have achieved the high standards we set for ourselves – and we are constantly endeavouring to maintain and improve our quality. While we have gained new clients recently, most have been with us for many years and have continued to benefit from the quality service we provide.
What are your main strengths as a company?
MQUR: Viking’s main strength is in our responsiveness and ability to move fast.
Why did you decide to join FIDI?
MQUR: Nowadays, FIDI is mandatory for any up-and-coming moving business that is looking to excel in the moving business.
This membership provides recognition in international moving and destination services and enables us to connect with up to 600 trusted and accredited Affiliates in more than 100 countries, all of which are providing a quality-driven service. With this in mind, FIDI will help us expand our network and partnerships.
How did you find the FAIM process?
MQUR: The FAIM process was excellent, and effectively tested every part of Viking’s services.
What are the challenges ahead?
MQUR: Challenges will include dealing with anti-globalisation ideologies some countries have adopted in a regressive attempt to defend their interests against globalisation. Fuel shortages, high prices and disruption to road and aviation freight are also increasing costs.
Finally, we must meet the challenge of keeping customers continually well informed about high incremental costs and delays by shipping lines.