Interview: Saqib Mehmood, The Vision Shipping

“Good customer service with prompt reply and the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a Freight Forwarder’s success”

This week we interviewed Saqib Mehmood, Director of The Vision Shipping LLC- a Coop member in Dubai UAE. Among other things, Saqib talks about the benefits of attending our Annual Meeting and sheds some light on how to be successful in the freight forwarding industry.

Q. Can you tell us a little about The Vision Shipping’s history? 

A. I founded TVSL group- a company providing various shipping and logistics services in 2009. With a proven background in the freight forwarding industry, we have served customers from all parts of the world. Over the years, we have become our client’s most reliable option and we carry the same image even today. TVSL is undoubtedly, one of the most renowned companies in the city and we’re making it big with each day passing.

Q. What distinguishes The Vision Shipping from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. Our services are more focused on the domestic and international transportation of both domestic and commercial goods. The service is mandatory for the companies, which are engaged in transporting a wide range of products to overseas market. We are committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction by ensuring quality, cost effective services and timely freight forwarding and logistical solutions. Apart from Air and Sea, we also use LTL, FTL, and Intermodal (rail) to move freight. What sets us apart is our ability to deliver the best service on time.

 Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team has had to deliver?

A. Although we keep handling a lot of complex shipments on a regular basis, moving the Rig Moment from the Gulf of Mexico to India had indeed been a challenging task.

Q. How did you hear about The Cooperative Logistics Network? What attracted you most to The Coop?

A. We were curious about your network when we heard about it from an acquaintance in the industry. I immediately followed up and all the answers to my scrutinizing questions were answered satisfactorily. It was then that we joined as a founding member and here we are still. Full transparency, clear cut information, friendly members, professionally organized Annual Meeting and follow up, and an uncomplicated Payment Protection Programme are some of the factors which attracted us most to your network.

Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is technology for the industry? 

A. With every passing year, the role of technology in the freight forwarding world is steadily increasing. Technology is now enabling things like predictive analytics, real-time visibility, and enhanced customer service. Freight forwarders of our times need to be updated with all the latest technologies in the industry otherwise they would run the risk of falling behind their competitors. Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? A. The transparency and the ruthless competition of carriers and logistic providers, increasing traffic, and related congestion, strikes and hijacking are some of the most common issues faced by freight forwarders in UAE. Moreover, we need to keep pace with the rapidly changing laws and directives and inform our customers about them before our competitors do. I realize these issues are not exclusive to our country.

Q. From your own experience, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?

A. The first step has to be introspection. One needs to analyze where they currently stand in the market, their strengths and weakness. Once the problems are identified, the freight forwarding companies need to focus more on their strengths and work on their weakness and convert that into their strength. Moreover, one needs to identify their client’s exact needs, to make a tailor-made service. Freight forwarders should always keep in mind that low rates are not always the deciding factor to gain a business. If a freight forwarder can provide top-notch services while offering a decent rate, then there is no looking back for that company. Good customer service with prompt reply & the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a company’s success. Lastly, a freight forwarding company have to have a proper marketing team with a good marketing strategy in place to promote their organization at the global level.