Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in Pakistan

Freight and shipping is available in Pakistan by land, air and sea.

The European Commission estimates that in 2010, Pakistan’s imports of petroleum, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel and tea from China, EU, Saudi Arabia and India were worth €32.8billion, Exports of textiles, rice, leather goods, sports goods, chemical, carpets and rugs to EU, US and Afghanistan had an estimated value of €16.1 billion in the same year.

A long strip of the Arabian Sea provides Pakistan with sufficient coastline to maintain several large ports. The ports of Karachi and Mohammad Bin Qasim are the exit points for most of the goods produced in Pakistan and in 2007 these ports handled 95% of Pakistan’s international trade. Karachi is the largest of all these ports – it handles around 60% of Pakistan’s cargo, which is around 25 million tons per annum. A port at Gwadar has recently been developed in order to provide another hub in the west of the country, close to the entrance of the Persian Gulf. According to the World Bank, the combined traffic from these ports has been rising by 8% over the last two years (2009-11). Pakistan’s ports are run by their own port authorities under the Ministry of Ports and Shipping. Pakistan has 11 merchant marine vessels including bulk carriers, cargo vessels and petroleum tankers.

Pakistan’s road and rail services predominantly run along a north-south axis, moving goods from Pakistan’s primary manufacturing centres to the ports in the south. There are over 7,700km of railway in and over 260, 760 km of roadway of which the majority is paved and 711km is expressway. Pakistan Railways runs freight and passenger services in the country and has 200 dedicated freight stations. Its principal cargos are PTA (a chemical involved in the manufacture of rayon), petroleum oil and lubricant, wheat, coal, fertilizer, rock phosphate, cement, sugar and oil seed. Road and rail transport is also an important method of cargo transportation for trade with Afghanistan.

Airfreight moves the rest of Pakistan’s exports and imports. There are around 150 airports in Pakistan, but only the airports of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Gwadar handle international cargo. Of these, Karachi is the main airfreight hub. In addition there are 24 heliports in the country.

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. Pakistan scored 2.82 (2012), placing it above the score for both the South Asian group (2.58) and the lower middle income group (2.55) and in a good 71st place out of 155 countries in overall LPI.

Global leaders in freight forwarding, courier and other services DHL, Fedex, TNT and UPS (represented in the country by Universal Logistics Services [PVT] Ltd) all operate within the country alongside local firms offering these and customs brokerage services.

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. Pakistan ranks in the top 50 for customs (46th) out of 155 countries. It ranks in the top 100 in terms of infrastructure (71st), timeliness (83rd), shipment (68th), logistics (72nd) and tracking (90th).

Freight, Shipping and Logistics organisations in Pakistan
A.M. Freight Logistics
Export Promotion Bureau