Global logistics company DHL on Monday announced it is suspending its “import express product” services in Pakistan due to restrictions on outbound remittances by the government.
In a letter circulated among its customers, DHL Pakistan said it was suspending the service and restricting outbound shipments to a maximum weight of 70kg per shipment for all customers billed in Pakistan, with effect from March 15. The last pick-up date for the “import express product,” it said, would be March 14, adding that shipments picked up on or before this date would still be delivered.
“In the case of DHL Express, the remittances sent by DHL Pakistan cover the cost of DHL’s international aviation, hub, gateway and last-mile delivery incurred through our global network for the shipments sent/received by our valued customers,” read the letter sent to customers on Monday. It said the constraint had made it unsustainable for DHL Express to continue providing its full product offerings in Pakistan.
While apologizing for the development and its impact on express shipping for businesses and supply chains, the company said it was in “regular contact” with authorities to allow pending remittances that would allow it to resume all its services in Pakistan at the earliest.
The announcement by DHL has been met with trepidation among the business community, with export-oriented industries in particular noting that express shipping is vital for them to provide samples of their products to interest buyers abroad.
The ruling coalition, as well as the State Bank of Pakistan, have imposed restrictions on outward remittances for foreign companies operating in the country to stem the rapid decline in the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The move has been criticized by economic observers, who have noted that the lack of dollars is endangering the country’s shipping lines.