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Supply chain and its potential in Pakistan

Supply chain management can be defined as the process of supplying raw material an enterprise or organization needs in order to convert it into a finished good. The process basically deals with the logistics, production, procurement, and marketing of the goods to the end customer providing them with the best quality product at their disposal. The supply chain is a network connecting and associating individuals and organizations to plan out resources, activities, and technologies to manufacture and sell a product or service to the end-user. Supply chain management for Asian traders can be challenging especially when China is dominating the global supply chain system. However, that does not mean that there is no scope for Pakistan in this challenging line of work.

Here are few facts about Pakistan’s economy. The average economy is $300 Billion, the GDP for the year 2021 is expected to be 3.47%. There is a lot of potential in the supply chain as the country is moving away from agricultural-based economy to a service and manufacturing-based economy.

With growing demand and opportunity now is the right time for businesses to set their foot in supply chain management to lower the production cost, deliver services/products on time and gain the advantage of the resources and labour. However, it is not easy as it seems. Pakistan faces a lot of constraints in this particular prospect. firstly,  we need to speed up the lead times at dry ports and Karachi port to enhance imports and exports. It takes almost a week to get a consignment clear; which indirectly is draining our foreign exchange. Integrated transport is introduced to give a smooth flow of cargo and to give better control to the supply chain to producers and traders. All these processes must be well planned so that extra movements are removed. Working near suppliers and considering them as part of an extended enterprise gives benefits to increase yield. As we know road transportation costs more than railways but takes less time, so there should be upgrading of coaches. The supply of food-grade items, pharmaceutical products and raw materials is transported at the risk of theft; this needs proper security to get rid of the fear of theft. Securing the supply chains need technologies, cooperative systems and processes with trading partners.

However, with phase 2 of CPEC kicking off recently, China almost taking over Gwader port, the port would be functional in 3 to 4 yrs time. China is beginning to open up an economic corridor in the African market and middle-eastern countries as well. This is an upcoming opportunity as the Port in Gwader would be requiring several warehouses and relevant supply chain roles for local businesses. If things go accordingly it can easily bring trade upto $4 to $5 billion annually.

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