“The success of a freight forwarding company is based on its global connections with other forwarders around the globe. The more reliable partners they have, the more representational ability they can offer to the clients.”
This week we interviewed Mohammad Rafay, the Overseas Agents Coordinator of SFI Logistics, Globalia member in Karachi, Pakistan. Mr. Rafay who recently completed 4 years with GLB Karachi, tells us about his experience at SFI Logistics, the things he has learned, the problems of coping with the pandemic, and also provides insights into the future of the logistics industry.
Q. First of all, congratulations for having completed 4 years in the industry. How do you feel about it?
A. Thank you very much. I am very excited today and very proud with the achievements I have completed throughout these years as well as everything I have learned along the way.
Q. That is very good, Mr. Rafay. And what have been your achievements in the SFI so far?
A. Since my joining I had worked hard and always gave my best to each task that was assigned to me. On February 18th 2018, I received my 1st award as Emerging Talent & Most Efficient employee of the month. I haven’t stopped since then & always had the appreciation of my superiors because of my work ethic. Now in my position as Overseas Agents Coordinator, I am working on developing business with international partners across the globe. I am willing to work even harder in the future. I can not believe how fast these years have passed but one thing is sure that in all these years I have learned a lot. I worked hard & always tried to give my best to the company.
Q. Let’s talk about your origins in the freight forwarding industry. When and how did you get into it?
A. I can say that sometimes you don’t choose a career, the road is always there waiting for you to start the journey, taking you towards the heights of success. On April 21st 2017, I started my career as a newbie in SFI Logistics. Gradually, I started learning about the logistics industry and moved up on the ladder of success.
Q. Can you tell us about the history of SFI Logistics?
A. SFI was founded and incorporated in 2005 in Sialkot, Pakistan. Since our inception, we have been at the forefront, providing personalized services to our customers and overseas agents worldwide. Our commitment to customer service is second-to-none, and the company has continuously evolved over the years to meet the ever-changing customer needs and flourishing business opportunities in the region. We have a well-established track record and our services have always met with great customers’ and foreign business partners’ satisfaction. We have also managed to retain a consistent growth. We offer great services at very competitive rates and have never been known to compromise on the quality of our service.
Q. Very nice. However, in all industries, there are challenges. Which are the main challenges you have faced?
A. Not coming from a freight forwarding background, for me there was a lot to learn. It will be better to define challenges as learning curves. I always had great mentors who were by my side and this made the challenges seem very easy.
Q. I agree, mentors are always necessary. And what did you learn in the last 4 years?
A. I learned what is freight forwarding, different types of services in the logistics industry like air freight ocean freight etc, how operational matters take place. Moreover, I learned about the handling of shipments from the port of loading to final place of destination & what important role freight forwarders plays in connecting the trade lanes of the world. Lastly, I learned how to develop a strong business with international freight forwarders & customers worldwide.
Q. So now you have come this far, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry from your own experience?
A. In my opinion, the keys to success are:
Firstly, veracity in service offering: Being honest about what your company is offering to the customers is the most important thing. If you are conducting the operations exactly the way that was previously agreed, your customer will see you as a professional and reliable company. This will build customer loyalty towards your company.
Secondly, customer expectations and flexible operations: Different customers have different needs, such as costs & time restraints, cargo destinations, and cargo specifications. Therefore, it is important that a freight forwarder has the flexibility to deal with each situation individually, building the best solution to attend customer needs in a complete and effective way.
Thirdly, competitive pricing: When a customer is looking for a freight forwarder to deal with their cargo, price is one of the factors they will take into consideration while making the final decision. Therefore, offering competitive prices, along with quality services, is very important.
Finally, trustworthy connections across the globe: When it comes to foreign trade, it is quite impossible for a freight forwarder to have its own representation everywhere in the world. Therefore, success of a freight forwarding company is also based on its global connections with other forwarders around the globe.
Q. If you had to choose, what is the most significant shipment your team has handled?
‘Being honest about what your company is offering to the customers is the most important thing. If you are conducting the operations exactly the way that was previously agreed, your customer will see you as a professional & reliable company.”
Q. From your point of view, what is the future of the freight forwarding industry?
A. The logistics industry is intertwined with all companies in the world that produce and sell something across a border. It’s a fantastic profession, and there is an extraordinary level of commitment. It is emerging as a sought-after sector, due to the role of digitization. Digitization is one of the key tools helping more progressive logistics providers. I believe that the following technologies will revolutionize the freight forwarding industry forever: Block chain, augmented reality, robotics, autonomous logistics or big data analysis.
Q. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
A. I’m really excited about my current position as Overseas Agents Coordinator at SFI Logistics. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing people in industry. My ideal career is the one where my ideas are heard and in which I am making a real impact. I see that there is a lot of area for growth to advance within this role and I want to continue to learn and grow in this industry. I see myself further developing my skill set and expertise in this field. I’d like to be seen as someone with deep expertise in this field, and I know that’s something I’ll have an opportunity to do here. My 10-year career goals are to make a positive impact in this organization and play an integral role in the organization.
Globalia members with shipments to/from Karachi, Pakistan, are invited to get in touch with their professional team.