On The Move
What is the most important service that you provide?
Since we are a logistics company, we provide all sorts of freight transportation services. When the company was launched, we provided airfreight services only. Today, we provide a full range of transportation services, including charter freight services, container freight services, railway freight services, and multimodal freight services. When we meet a potential customer, we offer tailor-made turnkey freight transportation solutions. It is economically practical for businesses to work with us. However, rail and road are the transportation modes that are most in demand. Road freight transportation services are a major contributor to our revenues, because there is a huge demand for fast delivery. The price also contributes to that; it is more economically practical to hire a truck to deliver goods as opposed to a jet. It makes sense to wait for five or six days rather than pay 10 times more and get your cargo the same day.
What are your competitive advantages?
There are many logistics companies in Baku. Everyone focuses on a particular segment of the market. Some companies focus on providing airfreight services, while others focus on road freight. There is no single company in the market apart from us that focuses equally on every segment. On top of that, we have a strong business culture and great talent. Human capital is the key to a company's success. Our employees' wages are well above the average and are among the highest in Azerbaijan.
How would you describe your client portfolio?
Approximately 40% of our clients are Azerbaijani businesses, which is a significant amount given the number of logistics companies in Azerbaijan. Our service portfolio is diversified as we cater for about 60% of exports and about 35% of imports by air, and 40%-45% of imports by land, which is 70%-75% of the American, European, and Turkish imports. Some of our customers are international furniture and electronics stores, and we also deliver food and beverages to the Four Seasons Hotel. There are only a few companies that cater for international logistics, because it requires a high level of expertise in customs clearance procedures.
Baku is hosting the First European Games in 2015. How can your company contribute to, and benefit from, the event?
Every major event carried out in Azerbaijan creates opportunities and encourages business development. There is a lot of equipment that needs to be brought into the country for the games, and we also import machinery for the industry. We work in partnership with the European Games Committee and have a subsidiary company that provides land freight services mainly within Azerbaijan. We have also partnered with major global companies, one of them being UTI.
What further opportunities are there in the transport sector in Azerbaijan?
I have run a comparative market analysis on Germany, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. Logistics is a fast-moving industry and a great contributor to the economy. One of the most recent achievements has been the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway. It will allow for a reduction in costs, and will greatly boost the development of the transport sector. In addition, we have invested a huge amount of money in developing our warehouse facilities.
What are your thoughts on government efforts to stimulate investment?
The government has always encouraged the private sector to strengthen relations with developed economies. There are a number of incentives to draw international attention to Azerbaijan. One of them is the European Games in Baku. There are many things happening in the oil and gas sector. The leaders of the country adopted a balanced and sensible approach to developing the country's economy, and ensured every investor can have their projects realized.