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According to the Asian Development Bank, COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic have cost the country as much as between US$ 16.387 million and US$ 49.95 billion. This makes up approximately 0.01-1.57% of our current GDP. After the government announced a nationwide lockdown, many businesses completely shut down their activities.
While there is a lack of momentum for these industries to catch up to speed, a new scope of products and services catering to clients’ needs resulted in a boom. The top three sectors significantly impacted include the logistics, tourism, and retail sectors in Pakistan and on a global scale. These industries make up a majority of the economy. An example of a service that has seen a significant rise through COVID-19 was the implementation of cash on delivery services. This helped both business owners and customer’s continue daily life without the drawbacks of the pandemic getting in the way.
The outlook for the courier and logistics industries can be easily changed. Rural areas can further be connected as part of a more extensive logistic or courier network by untapping potential road, rail, and air transportations, including dry, sea, and airports. In addition, the China Belt and Road Initiative (CPEC) projects consisted of several infrastructure projects that were completed in 2020. Storage and warehousing, including cold chain logistics, are also likely to emerge due to the requirements of CPEC.
96% of goods within Pakistan are transported by land and involve road freight transportation (Sustainable Freight Transport Systems: Opportunities for Developing Countries, 2015). Through expansion and modernization, rail transportation can also expand its market share. This will also enable more courier and logistics routes within the nation, especially in rural areas. With road development becoming a priority, logistics and warehousing.
There are about 2,500 logistic and freight forwarding companies in Pakistan- out of which about 600 are members of Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA).
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