As The International
Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) begins its crucial
headquarters session in Zurich, Switzerland, March 14-16, we spoke to
Babar Badat who was recently named President of the 91-year-old organization.
After talking for a few minutes with Babar,
who also serves as Managing Director of Transfreight Corporation (Pvt)
Ltd. of Karachi, Pakistan, it’s easy to understand why this effusive
and approachable executive was elevated to the post of President of FIATA
for the next two years.
In addition to his duties atop the largest
airfreight association on the planet, Mr. Badat is the well-liked leader
and pioneering organizer of a robust and effective logistics industry
that has become a bright spot on the Pakistani landscape.
“FIATA is a very
large global organization representing the freight forwarding & logistics
“FIATA has a growing role to play
in the fast changing international transport environment.
“In recent years the need for better
global connectivity has been championed by FIATA.
“The result is that today’s
large scale infrastructure investment around the world will no doubt lead
to better connectivity. Technology drives many other changes today.
“FIATA is well aware of change and
is continually preparing & positioning ourselves for the future.
“During the past half dozen years,
FIATA has engaged extensively on various international transport forums
around the world.
“I intend to continue this momentum,”
Babar Badat said.
January In Pakistan
In an outreach effort
to secure better knowledge and understanding of the shipping world, the
FIATA Presidency traveled to Pakistan for its January meeting.
“FIATA Presidency members usually
decide on a relevant and convenient location, so with an economy that
is growing at above 5 percent, and a President of FIATA that knows the
country, I am delighted to report that membership elected to conduct our
important early 2018 meetings in Pakistan.
“The Pakistan story is exciting.
“For example, right now there are
huge infrastructure projects underway worth more than U.S. $60 billion
that are propelling the logistics industry.”
“We conducted meetings
“Lahore served as base and opportunity
for FIATA membership to witness first hand the dynamic growth and business
climate in a place that is historically the sister city of New Delhi.
“Come September, Delhi will host
the huge FIATA Annual Global Conference, so we felt the location was a
“We also included a visit to Islamabad.
“In ‘Pakistan’s Capital
City’ FIATA conferees met and spoke with Pakistan Prime Minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.”
our meetings and touring progressed, it was revealed that this was the
first time that any of the FIATA members had been to Pakistan.
“Even more interesting,” Babar
Badat exclaimed, “and useful moving ahead as Pakistan emerges on
the world scene, is learning first hand that here is a country of 200
million people with a large agrarian economy, and a diverse landscape
that sits in a very busy neighborhood.”
A Great People
“Perhaps even better,
FIATA delegates learned that the Pakistani people are friendly and the
food is quite good.
“I believe most in our party were
pleasantly surprised by what they saw and learned about Pakistan.”
Mr. Badat is a founder
and served as first Chairman of the Pakistan International Freight Forwarders
Association (PIFFA), which has grown from just a few companies in 2005
to more than 500 today.
The role of PIFFA includes support for
Pakistan trade worldwide and the development and maintenance of a healthy
international freight industry within Pakistan.
“PIFFA also works to ensure that
a level playing field exists for companies involved in attempting to establish
and maintain the movement of freight both in the country and worldwide
by all modes of transport,” Babar Badat assures.
“PIFFA promotes the freight/logistics
service industry as a whole.
“The Association aims to achieve
standardization in the industry and to promote a high degree of professional
conduct among its members, including ethics and financial viability.
“PIFFA has also been instrumental
in establishing and continuously updating the industry’s S.T.C (Standard
“PIFFA sees Pakistan’s historic
and geographic position and well-educated population as building blocks
to trade development and business expansion for the country,” Mr.
Step at a Time
Babar Badat uses his unique
position to drive the destiny of his homeland into the modern logistics
world. Despite the many well-publicized challenges, he remains convinced
Pakistan’s day is coming.
“You must always maintain your sense
of purpose and mission to build on the great potential of the country.
“It also does not hurt to maintain
your sense of humor,” Mr. Badat smiles.
For Info on FIATA World Congress 2018 India, click here.