Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Pakistan’s logistics giant TCS Private Limited recently transported another pharmaceutical shipment by road to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, following TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) protocols, administered by the United Nations International Road Transport Union (IRU). TCS Private Limited is the first Pakistani Company to have qualified for international operations with Pakistani trucks and drivers. Amongst the requirements for this qualification are an Electronic Customs User Interface and an international guarantee in favor of the ‘World Customs Organization’. More Pakistani Companies are now lining up for this qualification as a direct result.
TCS Private Limited’s vehicle entered Uzbekistan on January 12, 2022, after navigating through days of heavy snowfall across Afghanistan’s mountains. In a historic first, the TCS Private Limited crew, in freezing cold but enthused with a sense of purpose, spent a night inside their truck on the famous Friendship Bridge, which constitutes the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan because the gates of both countries closed for the night just as the TCS Private Limited TIR truck was crossing the bridge.
Incidents such as these and its earlier piloting of TIR protocols pertaining to Land, Customs and Border procedures have given TCS Private Limited invaluable experience for operating future trade routes between Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics. This landmark mission was achieved by TCS Private Limited in close coordination with the Ministry of Commerce, and the Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (PNC-ICC), and the Uzbek International Forwarders Association (UIFA).
In a statement on the occasion, TCS Private Limited’s Co-Founder and Chairman Khalid Nawaz Awan, said, “We are proud to be trail-blazing new routes and trade corridors that will rejuvenate the economies of this region. As Pakistan’s logistics backbone, TCS Private Limited will extend its physical footprint by opening its Sales and Customer Support Offices in countries across the region”.
Earlier in 2021, the TCS Private Limited pilot was supported by Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development). The entire project was widely lauded by the Uzbek and Pakistani governments in July 2021, during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Tashkent.