Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Road transport in pakistan

Road transporters and truck drivers are amongst the most neglected communities in Pakistan. 
The Pakistan market is highly competitive at all levels, with low costs. A great majority, 79%, are owner-operators with 1 to 5 vehicles, 20% are fleet owners with more than 10 vehicles, and just 1% are large companies with more than 100 vehicles. NLC has a fleet of around 750 vehicles. 
The total number of registered trucks was 223,150 trucks as of 2011. That number increases by around 20,000 every year. 
The Pakistan fleet is largely outdated. Some vehicles are decades behind and run on underpowered engines, which has implications on logistic performance (World Bank, 2006).
The majority of trucking companies are concentrated in the port city of Karachi. The two ports in Karachi make up 95% of Pakistan’s international trade, so the city is a hub of transport activity. 
Those are the basic facts of the trucking industry. When we look at the social and economic side of drivers who are the lifeline of the industry, we need to address their basic issues to raise their living standards. Some issues may be resolved under the CSR program and some issues need to be addressed by employers, with less dependency on government and a sustainable business model to compete in the CPEC era. 
Government needs to pay attention to HTV licensing. Most drivers are deprived of an original HTV driver’s license. Our survey shows that only around 10% of drivers have an original license. Institutions need to encourage drivers to obtain an original driver’s license, and the licensing authority needs to pay attention in this specific area to resolve this issue. Our drivers are very good, but we need to award proper facilitation to encourage ethical practices. 
As a society every stakeholder should contribute to improve the road transportation sector; 90% of our logistics depends on road transportation. Why we are ignoring it? 
Only 1% of truck operators provide insurance and other benefit to their drivers. In general, 80% of truck drivers face several challenges like insurance, medical coverage, lack of an original HTV license, annual vacations, retirement benefits and proper rest areas. There is not enough compensation for truck drivers. They work as if they are earning only daily wages.

Trucking as a business industry

The government declared trucking business as an industry in 2008 but there is no law by regulatory authorities to take care of drivers. 
HTV drivers are highly paid in developed countries but underpaid in Pakistan. The average salaries of drivers are PKR 15,000 to PKR 20,000 (USD 150 to USD 180 per month) and the majority of drivers do not have an original HTV driver’s license. The lack of a license provides an opportunity to traffic police, motorway police and highway police to give undue challans/fines and take bribes from drivers, which increases the cost of doing business. 
Sometimes the challans/fines are more than the toll tax.Eventually these costs are being paid by consumers.The most pressing need today is to empower drivers by testing their skills and awarding an original HTV license so they can compete in cross-border trade and drive more safely. 
We also need to address social and economic issues of drivers: why they feel there is no respect of the driving profession, why they do not want their children to continue in the same profession, why there is no system or regulatory bodies for their development from truck operators or truck owners.Under the Transport Workforce Program, the City Organization (welfare) will work with all stakeholders, like drivers, truck owners, operators, driver’s license offices and the government’s Transport Department to resolve issues being faced and to improve working and living standards of the workforce in the road transport sector. 
It will also provide membership to drivers and small truck owners and operators to provide their details and join the program for their betterment. 
Strong logistics and transportation services can enhance the competitiveness of our economy. In contrast, inefficient supply chains with high transport and logistics costs could impede export and import flows, which may increase costs for firms, especially those competing in the export market.