World Logistics Passport (WLP), a freight loyalty programme designed to ease the flow of global trade, is looking for a bigger presence in India. 

To help unlock market access and economic efficiencies for members, WLP partners with industry leaders such as DP World, Dubai Customs, DP World Nhava Sheva and Indo-Latin American Chamber of Commerce across Asia, South America and Africa.

In India it has centres in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, offering multi-modal logistics service, especially for small and medium enterprises, says Abdulla Almulla, Senior Manager (Technology), WLP.

Business model

Almulla says WLP encourages local entities, freight forwarders and traders to provide additional trade in exchange for incentives. The initiative has different tiers of membership — such as silver, gold and platinum — tied to each entity’s global influence and market leadership. Members can unlock access to higher levels by meeting growth targets and outperforming the market, he says.

It was during the Covid-19 pandemic that WLP came into being to explore business opportunities between emerging markets wherein freight forwarders and traders could cash in. India became a WLP member in 2021.

“Over the past year we have witnessed a 60 per cent growth in partner onboarding. This would mean more benefits for members that they could use to streamline their logistics journey. WLP has over 250 partners globally, including 23 from India, comprising a mix of government and private entities,” Almulla says.

Regional bottlenecks

WLP works with partners in different countries to study commodity-specific bottlenecks in each region and explore ways to ease the logistics process. It is currently working with partners across Latin America and Asia on ways to increase trade in coffee and halal meat.

“The first project was piloted in Dubai in 2019 and we are now extending it across geographies. The idea is to lower the trade barriers between countries to help each other grow across geographical boundaries. WLP also envisions Dubai to increase its share of global trade. We see a lot of trade coming from India,” he says.

In India, the freight loyalty programme is currently attempting to understand the commodity-specific logistics journey and working with partners to smoothen the process in the pharmaceutical, agriculture, and textile segments.

Fostering economic ties

Asked if the programme has led to an increase in trade from India, he says, “Assessing the impact of initiatives like WLP can be a complex process with results that may not be immediately quantifiable; we are actively working towards fostering positive trade effects. Our efforts are aimed at creating a conducive environment for trade growth and enhancing economic relationships. We continue to monitor progress and are optimistic about the potential for positive trade impact in the future.”

At the same time, the continued inclusion of new members and partners underscores the importance of enhancing trade opportunities between emerging markets, he says. Currently, more than 10 countries are part of the initiative, including Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. Numerous benefits have accrued to local economies, traders, and home-grown businesses, he says.

WLP seeks ways to improve existing trading routes and develop new ones. This, in turn, can help goods and services move around the world seamlessly, increase resilience in global supply chains, and remove the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading with each other. It targets building logistical bridges between manufacturing hubs in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, Almulla says.

(The writer was recently in Dubai at the invitation of Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai)