COURIER FIRMS CAPITALIZING ON MODEST COST, PROMPT DELIVERY SYSTEM

Postal service has been present in this part of the world for ages but quality of its service deteriorated in 70s and 80s.

SHABBIR H. KAZMI, Special Correspondent
Oct 09 - Oct 15, 2006

With the fast changing life style, habits of sending/receiving letters and handling international trade have also changed. Though a lot of information is being exchanged through e-mails - a recent phenomena in Pakistan - a lot of information/documents are still exchanged through postal service and courier companies.

Postal service has been present in this part of the world for ages but quality of its service deteriorated in seventies and eighties. This decline was not in terms of quality but more importantly in terms of time being taken from accepting mail to its delivery. On one hand people were required to visit the nearest letterbox/post office and on the other hand delivery used to take days because of inefficient collection/delivery system. This gave birth to courier companies, capitalizing on a prompt collection/delivery system. Though the charges were higher, time sensitivity often forced people to use alternate delivery system. As the volume of business grew tariff came down. Increasing volume encouraged the courier companies to develop their own air and on-land handling system rather than using the existing railways and airlines networks.

Most of the people are worried about the safety of their consignment. This peace of mind was often missing from the traditional postal system. Capitalizing on this weakness courier services claim to make efforts to ensure zero error service. They also claim to follow a comprehensive risk coverage policy, which insures all the shipments against any unforeseen event such as loss or damage during transit. At the same time they refuse to handle certain shipments, which are given in a comprehensive list of banned items. These include currency, jewellery, bullion, antiques, liquor, stamp, precious stones, firearms, plants, gases, explosives, animals, valuables and perishables. These services also claim that the world is at your doorstep by using comprehensive flight schedules available, an elaborate network and competitive tariff.

Documentation and handling of international shipments has always been a serious issue but courier companies have made this job easier. Now if any one needs to import goods or documents from anywhere in the world, he/she can just call any of the courier companies. They claim to handle all custom related issues quickly, arrange collections from anywhere in the world, carnet, and deliver straight to customer's door or any other specified location. From straightforward document imports to complex inward processing relief, and other more complex imports, one can benefit from the knowledge and rest assured that it's all being done by experienced personnel.

They also tell their customers, when exporting they do not need to bear the trouble with custom agents or flight schedules, because when they are taking care of things clients can sit back and watch the exports reach their destinations. Most of the courier companies have geared their operations for efficient deliveries worldwide and focus is to let the customers benefit from the timely services and logistics support. Export and import services are provided through both sea and air.

Courier companies claim to take care of heavy shipments and large cargo requiring special handling. They claim to accept all types of commercial cargo and cargo requiring special handling (such as dangerous goods). Being an IATA cargo agent they issue Air Waybill. Any modes of special transportation such as consolidated cargo or ATA carnet transportation are available according to customer needs. Similarly, they also allow customers in picking up any shipment from any country in the world and dispatch it to another country, and bill all charges to the client. One need not speak to agents from some other country and no need to speak with customs just let the courier company take benefit of the global network works.

With the growing market there has been a mushroom growth of courier companies. However, some of the companies deserve special mention, not because they are enormous in size but because they have been offering innovative services, one such company is TCS Pakistan. Ever since its inception in 1983, TCS Pakistan has been among the leaders of the courier and logistics service industry in the country. It has attained leadership through innovation, pioneering spirit, commitment and passion. Starting with just 25 shipments, the TCS saga is now spread over five continents. TCS with its international look caters South Asia with over 2000 locations in Pakistan. TCS has also largely helped redefine the very path and direction for the entire industry.

TCS story needs to be unfolded comprising hard work and dedication. When people take pleasure and pride in what they do, then success becomes a foregone conclusion. The journey that invariably begins with the first few tentative steps, soon assumes a life and dynamism of its own as destination after destination is arrived at and proceeded from. The pursuit of excellence has no destination and remains a journey in perpetuity along an ever rising graph of attainment. Along the way it becomes necessary to take stock, review strengths, and address weaknesses, and sometimes restructure and reconfigure in view of new realities.

"Prosperity is the ability to succeed with relative ease," said Spencer Johnson, Management guru and author of "Who Moved My Cheese". "Too much change is not wise, and too many little changes don't work. You have to make a few big, simple changes that will have a significant impact." He goes on to say that "... the more you care for your employees the more successful your company will be, and that means listening to them and hearing what they feel about issues such as change. The wisdom of the group is always greater than the wisdom of just one leader, so it is important for the company to buy into that..." This best describes the philosophy at work that has seen Khalid Awan execute some broad strokes and leverage his successful courier company TCS into a multi-business group, TRANZUM, focused on attaining global market share in diverse endeavors.

TRANZUM has emerged as a progressive master enterprise offering services in diversified industries including express, logistics, warehousing, distribution, gift delivery, mail order, travel and tours, visa drop box, management development, event management and publications. The TRANZUM enterprise has established offices in South Asia, North America and Europe.

The new businesses are natural upstream and downstream activities of the core competency that TCS has acquired over the years. They are manned by old colleagues with new mission statements and a shared vision that accepts nothing less than perfection as part for the course.

The story continues with the development of one of its nascent enterprises. Octara has developed very quickly indeed, and it has as much to do with the dynamism of the team that is heading Octara, as with a period in corporate lives where human resource development has been flagged across the board as a key area in the acquisition of competitive advantage. As event managers of the 10th Management Convention 2006, Octara has staked its rising reputation to delivering a 'WOW!' experience to its highly valued client - the Management Association of Pakistan.

Another leading name in the logistic industry in Pakistan is OCS, established in Tokyo, Japan, in 1957. A consortium of newspaper publishers formulated the concept of a worldwide speed delivery network for their publications. Their invention was called Overseas Courier Service (OCS). Since then, OCS has been providing premium quality express courier, freight forwarding, transportation and logistic solutions worldwide. Major OCS corporate offices worldwide anchor an extensive international delivery system.

In 1986 OCS Pakistan commenced its business operations as an independent courier company in the country. In the wee hours of a crisp winter morning, the first express document was booked in Karachi. Today, OCS Pakistan handles tens of thousands of shipments every single day. Within Pakistan, the OCS name has become synonymous with dependability and quality. It has more than 200 pickup points and its delivery locations across Pakistan exceed 1500. Internationally it covers the globe with the OCS network of offices in more than 90 countries around the globe.

Pakistan Post Office is a state enterprise dedicated to providing wide range of postal products and public services. It is the premier national postal communication service holding together a vast country with a large population. A true emblem of federation, it is committed to serving everyone, everyday, everywhere. Pakistan Post Office is one of the oldest government departments in the Sub-Continent. After independence from Britain it began functioning as the Department of Post & Telegraph. In 1962 it was separated from the Telegraph & Telephone and was launched as an independent attached department of the Ministry of Communications. Beginning with nearly 3000 post offices in 1947, it has expanded its network. It is one of the largest employers in Pakistan having about 50,000 employees.

Apart from the traditional postal services, it boasts a wide range of banking, life insurance and a number of other public services. It provides an extensive range of products and services to cater to both the personal and business needs of various segments of society. The traditional services remain the core business with central management facilities in Islamabad and Lahore.

Traditional Services Miscellaneous Services Value Added Services

- Letters - Certificate of Posting - Registration
- Post Cards - Recall of Posted Article - Insurance
- Printed Papers - Post Restante
- Small Packets - Value-Payable Post
- Blind Literature Packets - Post Boxes and Bags
- Registered News Papers
- Domestic Parcels

There has been a mushroom growth but many companies have been able to create their niche market. They offer not only cost effective but also prompt delivery system. However, some of the weaker players may weed out in due course of time.

STUDENT EXPRESS RATES (TCS)

Delivers your documents to the College University or any Educational Institutional of your choice anywhere in the world!

Weight in Kg

Rates

Up to 0.5

Rs. 900+GST

Addl. 0.5

Rs. 500 + GST

 


SHOP&SHIP RATES

Aramex Shop&Ship offers you a mailbox in the USA and another in the UK for a one lifetime setup fee of $35.00

SHOP&SHIP SHIPPING RATES:

Destination  

First Half Kilo in U.S Dollars 

Additional Half Kilo in U.S Dollars 

Geneva

35.00

6.50

Kuwait

8.00

5.50

Dhahran

15.00

6.00

Jeddah

15.00

6.00

Dubai

8.00

5.50

Cairo

9.00

5.50

Riyadh

15.00

6.00

Abu Dhabi

8.00

5.50

Bahrain

8.00

5.50

Muscat

15.00

5.50

Istanbul

15.00

9.00

Colombo

12.00

6.05

Doha

8.00

5.50

Athens

8.00

5.50

Amman

8.00

5.50

Damascus

8.00

6.00

Beirut

8.00

5.50

Sofia

27.00

7.15

Palestine

11.00

8.80