Logistics simplified Logistics simplified

You know you have a found a winning solution when it helps you boost revenue, simplify operational processes and streamline communication – all at a viable cost. This is what Expo Freight discovered when it partnered with the region’s leading telecoms provider Etisalat. In the following article, we learn more about their experiences…

From small beginnings as a freight forwarding company in the heart of Sri Lanka, Expo Freight (EFL) has evolved to become a global logistics provider – offering a wide range of customised solutions. Azad Farook, the company’s finance head, says: “As a an international logistics company, we offer expertise in airfreight, ocean freight, multi-modal transportation, warehousing and distribution, 3PL inland transportation, customs brokerage, value added services for retail, specialised cargo handling, project cargo, transhipment services, air charters, and in-house import/export customisation. We established our identity in Dubai in 2004 and set up the Abu Dhabi office in 2007, followed by the Jebel Ali office in 2009. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions to our customers. With over 30 years of worldwide experience, we are well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities manned by a dedicated and immensely experienced professional workforce to ensure that our global customers’ needs are met both effectively and efficiently.”

Drawing on its expertise as a trusted logistics partner, Expo Freight has successfully secured a good share of the UAE market. It works with an impressive customer portfolio that includes oil & gas companies, manufacturers and/or traders in apparel, electronics, automobile spare parts, perishables, foodstuff, machinery, chemicals, ship spares and oil field equipment. “Expo Freight stands out as one of the top freight agent in the UAE. We strive to achieve and sustain maximum customer satisfaction by giving reliable and economic quality driven services our customers,” he further explains.

This commitment to customer satisfaction and a high level of service have become the hallmarks of EFL. “Our clients entrust us with what matters to their business; from clothing and consumer electronics to perishables and pharmaceuticals. This is backed by a network of strong partnerships with key suppliers to a team highly conversant in documentation and clearance procedures.”

Using technology to build a competitive edge

While Azad and his team have succeeded in their expansion and growth across key new markets, their vision is to create a company that is built around cutting edge technology. “If you want to stand out from competition, you have to provide a strong value proposition to your customers.
In our case, it has been all about connectivity, speed and agility. So it involves assessing how quickly we can get in touch with our customers and our ability to give them real time updates. Particularly within our industry, it is very important to be on top of everything. This is exactly why we’ve been investing in technology and have made it our topmost priority. We all know that our industry is currently undergoing a digital transformation. Having an online platform to serve our clients with latest technology while tapping in to e-commerce is necessary.”

In order to work more effectively with its customers, enhance technological capability and continue supporting its growth, Expo Freight needed an ICT partner. “We selected Etisalat as our service provider since EFL’s inception in 2005 and we’ve enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with them ever since. We are one of their corporate customers and use their server across all our offices in UAE. Moreover, they manage our landline, mobile and internet services.”

Speaking of their long-term partnership with the telecoms provider, Azad enthuses: “They were our partner of choice because Etisalat is the leading service provider in UAE and the expertise they bring to the table is second to none. Since ‘service’ is a fundamental part of our company ethos, it was significant that partnered with someone that could help us communicate more effectively with our clients. Furthermore, we have a dedicated relationship manager, who ensures that all our needs are being met.”

He adds: “What really strikes a chord with us is the extensive industry-specific knowledge they have. On several occasions, I have participated in programmes conducted by Etisalat where they highlight the opportunities and challenges within each industry. This is then complemented with a suite of solutions to support.”

Future ambitions

While EFL is making its mark today within the Gulf region, it still aspires to become bigger – and better. “We will continue to build and strengthen our global network, and of course deepen our roots within the UAE market. Our team strives to stay ahead of the curve and offer solutions that are customised for our customers,” remarks Azad. And, he hopes to achieve all this while staying true to his origins. “We are excited about the speed at which we are growing, but we are also conscious about being a start-up at heart.”

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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