A unique new partnership between Allseas Global Logistics and Pakistan’s Raaziq International will help to maintain two critical supply chain corridors into and out of Afghanistan as the country rebuilds after years of conflict.
Allseas has recently signed an MOU agreement with Raaziq International, the number one logistics group in Pakistan. The agreement will focus on the survival of two routes established and maintained by Raaziq over the past ten years on behalf of the ISAF forces, with a small commercial element – the northern route via the Khyber Pass into Kabul, an eight-day truck drive, and the shorter, three-day route into the southern parts of Afghanistan.
These routes were jointly established by Raaziq to facilitate the transport of supplies from Port Qasim, Karachi, to military bases in Afghanistan. Raaziq also owns and operates 13 staging stations located strategically along the routes; these secure compounds provide the full range of services for up to 40 trucks each day, including toilet and washing facilities, sleeping areas, fuel and lighting and full life support.
Raaziq’s services also include arranging and escorting truck convoys along these transport corridors. The company owns a large fleet of vehicles and trucks, some of which are purely Afghanistan-registered and operated transport. This avoids the restrictions on Pakistan-registered vehicles crossing the border into Afghanistan, so that the vehicles can move freely into and out of the country, rather than transhipping cargo at the border. Raaziq also owns and manages a large fleet of refrigerated vehicles, as well as operating a refrigerated warehousing at Port Qasim.
“What we are talking about is some very elite infrastructure which over the past ten years has upgraded the transport regime for Pakistan and Afghanistan,” says Allseas’ business development manager, Carl Clark. “As military forces move out of Afghanistan, it is so important that the transport corridors they have used are maintained and protected for commercial use. These corridors will be vital for the infrastructure and rebuild effort that will drive the commercial element forward.
“So many millions of dollars/pounds have gone into creating this infrastructure; as the military comes out, the worst case scenario would be that these corridors collapse behind them if cargo is not pushed through them on a daily basis. The network will not pay for itself and if it were to dilapidate, it would be impossible to reopen these lines of communication in a cost-efficient and reliable fashion. Hence we have made this alliance with Raaziq to support these corridors and keep them open.”
Allseas expects early cargo moves to provide the fundamental needs for rebuilding, from cables and pipes to general construction materials.
“We want to say to our commercial clients: there are these tried, trusted and secure lines of communication. At present a lot of cargoes into the region are door-to-quay because people don’t have the confidence in the door-to-door routes. But these hard-to-reach places can now be serviced on a regular and confident basis. The people at Raaziq are the absolute experts – they have been the pioneers and we will rely heavily on their expertise and experience.”
There are substantial opportunities for British manufacturers and producers to supply into Afghanistan, Carl points out. “But it is no good selling something to somebody if you can’t get it there and sustain the supply lane.
“In this partnership with Raaziq, we will be pioneering this forward, creating an opportunity for British business to operate into these regions. We would also like to see government support in this – because higher volumes will enable lower rates, while keeping the cargo flowing will mean the corridors are self-perpetuating.”
Raaziq has a network of 11 branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was named Logistics Service Provider of the Year in the 2013 Containerisation International Awards.