Dhaka City is the capital of Bangladesh, nestled in the heart of the Bengali Delta on the shores of the Buriganga River.
Dhaka is not only well known for being the administrative, cultural and economic center of Bangladesh but it is also recognized worldwide as being the fastest growing city in the world.
With its large population of over 17 million people, it is also classified as one of the most populated cities in the world.
Its prime geographical location and large conglomerate of local businesses and foreign investors companies make it easy to understand that the rate of unemployment in Dhaka keeps declining annually as well as the fact that its stock exchange is one of the largest in South Asia in terms of its import and export trade volumes.
Dhaka and shipping cargo
One of the most prominent business opportunities in Dhaka is in the shipping and cargo industry.
More specifically the freight forwarder business.
There are up to 1000 registered shipping companies in Dhaka that operate primarily as freight forwarders.
These companies are considered the intermediaries between the shippers and the carriers.
Of course without the negative characteristics of middlemen that most of us have come to believe.
This large number of freight forwarder companies is inspired by a few factors.
These factors promote this business model as opposed to a shipping company that solely deals in.actual physical shipments.
First and foremost, there a high-cost implication involved in operating a cargo shipping, company (either air, land or sea cargo) that facilitates transportation from the point of departure to the point of destination.
A company that carries on the business as a freight forwarder is mostly in charge of the logistical aspects of the shipments.
They are responsible for networking with necessary support services, finding out licensing and stamp duty requirements on behalf of clients.
Their main objective is to help their clients arrange their imports and exports, take control of the necessary documentation, and file insurance claims where the need arises.
That is what the local cargo shipping businesses in Dhaka specialize in. The success of these businesses is based on customer satisfaction.
They save other companies or individuals that wish to ship cargo a substantial amount of time and resources. This is the main reason why the industry is such a hit.
New policy since 2015 for foreign Freight Forwarders
One of the main obstacles that faced a business in Dhaka that was operating as a freight forwarder, prior to the mitigating policy changes introduced in 2015 was the dominant presence of foreigners in the industry.
As previously mentioned there are over 1000 shipping companies in Dhaka, and prior to 2015, 30 of these were fully owned by foreigners.
This greatly oppressed local freight forwarder businesses that could not compete with the large capital investments the foreigners were willing to input as startup capital.
Therefore the competition was stifling. The NBR (National Bank of Revenue) however, in 2015 implemented a bar on the freight forwarding licenses awarded to foreigners on owning local companies.
Foreign freight forwarder companies were also required to place a professional security on their business before they could be allowed to conduct business.