October 1, 2020 General 608

IAG Cargo launches new direct service to Lahore, Pakistan

This is definitely going to ease out capacity, transit times and airfreight pricing for Europe and North America from LHE .. Currently we have to rely on ‘Middle Eastern Airlines’, and they go via DOH AUH or DXB. Where as IAG is going to be direct flight between LHE and LHR with a frequency of four times a week.

  • IAG Cargo announces a new direct service from the UK to Lahore, Pakistan with regular flights commencing four times a week from October 2020
  • New route will give businesses access to important manufacturing hubs in the region and connect Lahore with Europe, the United States, Canada and beyond

IAG Cargo today announces a new direct service from the UK to Lahore, Pakistan, starting from October 2020. The service will run year-round, four times per week from London Heathrow. The new service will strengthen IAG Cargo’s existing presence in Pakistan, which since 2019 has also included flights to Islamabad, which resumed service on 14 September 2020 operating daily between the two capital cities.

IAG Cargo’s extensive global network will allow customers seeking to transport essential goods from the region, such as textiles, leather, and surgical goods, access to key markets in Europe, the United States, Europe, Canada and elsewhere. The new route will be operated by British Airways B787-8 wide-body aircraft.

Shameer Nasarulla, Area Commercial Manager for Middle East, Pakistan & Bangladesh, IAG Cargo, said: “We’re very pleased to be opening this new route and to add Lahore to our network of over 350 destinations. Lahore is home to many manufacturers of important goods and is an important market for computer equipment, electrical machinery and auto spares parts from Europe and the US. IAG Cargo will now also be able to play a bigger part in the Mango harvesting season – an important moment in the year for Pakistani exporters.”

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner, said: “The first ever British Airways flights to Lahore is a sign of confidence in Pakistan, and the deepening ties between our two countries. I hope it will open up even more opportunities for business links, people-to-people ties and tourism.”



September 30, 2020 General 296

Latest 29.09 Customer Advisory Global Update - CMA CGM Group

The CMA CGM Group is currently dealing with a cyber-attack. We have decided to temporarily suspend all access to our eCommerce websites to protect our customers. Our teams are fully mobilized and access to our information systems is gradually resuming.

All communications to and from the CMA CGM Group are secure, including emails, transmitted files and electronic data interchange (EDI) interfaces.

Maritime and port activities are fully operational.

Regarding your bookings:

    1. All bookings confirmed before Sunday, September 27th 3.00 pm (CEST) are secured and will be attended to.
    2. For new bookings after this date:
      • If you use a direct EDI connection or a platform such as INTTRA / GT Nexus / CargoSmart: please continue to follow the usual process.
      • If you use the CMA CGM Group’s eCommerce platforms, we offer you the following 2 alternatives to place your bookings.

It appears to be a lot deeper trouble than it seemed. There is no ‘restoration’ of system to original state, in sight. What has made me curious, ‘Ragnar Locker’ attack works on Windows machines only, Did it only effect their IT team’s workstations, or may god-forbid they run their web server on ‘Windows’ too, If they are restored I will tried to find it out, or maybe, it’s their LAN Windows server that got effected.

Few Lessons:

  1. Always use Linux or Mac OSX especially for your IT teams, Windows being the most popular OS, is a lot more vulnerable to hacking than any other Operating system.[2]
  2. I have not used ASP dot net, But I think it can run on any web server operating system (Linux), avoid Windows Server. EVEN if you have to use ASP over ROR etc. [1]

[1] You can use Mono to run ASP.NET applications on Apache/Linux, however it has a limited subset of what you can do under Windows. As for “they” saying Windows is more vulnerable to attack – it’s not true. IIS has had less security problems over the last couple of years that Apache, but in either case it’s all down to the administration of the boxes – both OSes can be easily secured. These days the attack points are not the OS or web server software, but the applications themselves. (StackOverflow)

[2] Windows I am not implying is ‘less’ secure, it is just too much vulnerable due to its market share.

September 11, 2020 General 1,695

DB Schenker to AP Møller-Mærsk: Welcome to the junglepermalink

Alesssandro: It didn’t take long for feedback in my marketplace to explode at the end of last week, when I went after the status of relations between Germany’s DB Schenker and Denmark’s AP Møller-Mærsk as the former, shamelessly, tries to poach Damco customers in what appears to be the epitome of a strained forwarder-carrier connection.

When these carriers are off waters into a 3PL territory, they are just like everyone else. they can’t keep their boat afloat on the land period.

Alesssandro: please spell it out for me: FF/logistics is a people business (I think we agree), they are hiring some of the best from the FF industry (I think we agree), and still they cannot compete? While it remains to be seen to what extent they truly want to compete with the major GLSPs, and I get the capacity-best-quotes-from-3rd-party issue – what else is there not to like? Carriers are carriers and aren’t smart enough to be as good as FFs doesn’t sound a very compelling argument to me…

What I have figured, steamship carriers are ‘genetically’ too much bureaucratic, and with their freight forwarding divisions, I am sure, their DNA is ultimately inherited by them, also freight forwarders are willing to get their hands dirty where they do not, handling SMEs etc .. they definitely can compete, I wasn’t implying that, but I just don’t see the ‘devotion, and dedication of a freight forwarder in them’.

Also it ain’t gonna help them IMO, because all carriers now have their FF divisions, so they would end up competing with each other, just like they compete in the box ship market. I should be wrong though when suggesting it, but I still don’t see it happening; on the paper, It just looks too good, and their FF divisions should knock the ball out of the park.

Alesssandro: …so APMM changing to change nothing at all?

APMM isn’t like any other steamship line, they are ‘PRO’, however it all boils down to basics, theoretically, Nestle or Coke, should have retail outlets too, rather than 3rd party distributors and retailers, to drive their bottomline as high as they can. But that scheme quickly falls apart, when you consider the operational costs., even apart from operational costs, it’s a huge administrational effort, to make retail sales at your own being a large producer of the goods.

Latest: Maersk terminates agreement with DB Schenker 18.OCT.20

August 21, 2020 General 467

Nike® Imports from six factories at Lahore, Pakistan

Nike® Imports from six factories in Pakistan. All of them are located at Lahore. Karachi is the port city and has a lot of apparel factories too. However the highest quality products or tier-1 branded (Nike, Adidas, Zara etc) apparel are mostly produced at Lahore or adjacent cities like Faisalabad.

April 30, 2020 General 399

Microsoft FY20 Q3 Resultspermalink
  • Microsoft Q3: revenue up 15% YoY to $35B, net income of $10.8B, up 22% YoY, Intelligent Cloud revenue of $12.3B, up 27%, LinkedIn revenue up 21%, Azure’s up 59%
  • Microsoft says Teams has 75M+ DAUs, up from 44M in mid-March, a 70% increase, and attributes the growth to COVID-19

Meanwhile in Redmond, Washington. Satya Nadella has some figures to share with you. He has always been very impressive even prior to rising to the title of CEO, and glad they got rid of Steve Ballmer, whose obsession with mobile was insanely manic. If you can never be good at something, admit it, move on and choose what you can do best.

April 28, 2020 General 497

Import General Manifest and Outbound Inbound Marketing

I rather find it strange that in US import air and sea manifest isn’t available publicly online1, in Pakistan every single import by air and sea is available online by Pakistan Customs. It’s a very crowded portal all FFs / Customs Brokers and their Tele Reps are busy calling customers right away the shipment lands into Pakistan by collecting data from there.. importers here are overwhelmed by phone calls and emails., its called import general manifest IGM and portal is updated on an hourly basis.

Exports data is tricky. It’s not available online. Having said that both imp-exp data ain’t so helpful. As it may seem.

As outbound marketing has lost its mojo long ago due to spam. It’s all about Inbound now. 90% customers we had acquired in the past 2 years were entirely through SERP organic ranking., and AdWords.

Even our 50k subscribers strong newsletter doesn’t help much. We now only send once a month at maximum just to keep the list from being stalled and avoid too many bounce back due to inactive email addresses. That doesn’t go well with anyone. Either MailChimp or SES.

A lot of email addresses become invalid due to people leaving etc even in a month., and if you don’t email in 2-4 months it easily breaches the allowed hard bounce limit of 0.5%  and risks account suspension.

1. The US Customs however provides the manifest data to Commercial Software Companies, who would sell it online for a subscription ranging from $100 to $250 per month.

April 6, 2020 General 320

Qatar Airways beefs up freighter frequencies to multiple marketspermalink

Qatar Airways is pouring on the freighter capacity, using all-cargo aircraft and passenger planes in cargo-only mode to meet high demand for moving fresh produce and meat, pharmaceuticals and general cargo in Australia, India, Kuwait, Oman and the Netherlands.

Literally QR (Qatar Airways) is keeping the lights on here in Pakistan too, under current circumstances. EK (Emirates Airline) is either profiteering or may be it’s their inadequate strategy to cope with the COVID-19 crisis in our market., because normally they are very nice.

March 7, 2020 General 663

These startups raised billions and then laid off thousands. Workers are shocked and frustratedpermalink

Just a few months ago, discount hotel chain OYO seemed unstoppable. The India-based startup touted plans for global expansion and saw its valuation double to $10 billion in October. But in mid-January, the company began sweeping layoffs that have seen thousands lose their jobs. Last September,, a car-leasing startup that raised nearly $400 million in a funding roughly a year earlier, acquired one of its rivals, Canvas, only to slash 40% of its workforce weeks later. The goal, according to a memo at the time that directed CNN Business to from its then-CEO, was to “be a smaller team, focused on doing fewer things well.” One laid off Canvas-turned Fair employee said it was “a rollercoaster.” (Fair declined to comment beyond the memo.)

Actually the ‘startup’ model always been around the ‘hyper-growth’ at any cost1. So they could outcompete the established players or get too much head start over the new comers., or otherwise just grab as much market share, in a shorter period of time, as they can. 

However it comes at a price and price is what VCs are willing to pay or at least used to pay for the hyper-growth. Traditionally businesses grow organically, as did our. However VC-Startup partnership totally changed the economics and dynamics of the businesses. 

Anyhow speaking of Flexport specifically, I guess laying off merely 50 personnel does not even count as opposed to other larger lay-offs, for instance Oyo another Softbank funded startup laid off over 3300 personnel.

1. However in the aftermath of WeWork fiasco, things are changing quite rapidly, in particular Softbank has made a major shift in their strategy, they are trying to minimize losses and seek profitability in the near future for their funded startups., by reducing headcounts and overheads.

January 14, 2020 General 752

Success Vs Failure

Neither success nor failure are spontaneous. Both are the result of an enduring process. No one becomes a billionaire overnight, and no one goes bankrupt overnight either. In short, you have to persistently screw up a lot of things to go bankrupt. And likewise, you have to persistently do most things right to succeed.