aving worked for over two decades in the logistics sector for other companies, including Multimodal Clearing and Forwarding Ltd in Zanzibar, Mr. Omar Mussa, the CEO of First Lane Forwarders Company Limited (FLFCL) called it quits and ventured into the logistics industry by opening his own clearing and forwarding company called Fast Lane Freight Company, which is also one of the leading Customs Agents in Zanzibar.
The company has grown significantly in recent years, which he attributes to good networking with other industry stakeholders. It is his enthusiasm for logistics that has seen him given many responsibilities including being the President of the Zanzibar Freight Forwarders Bureau (ZFB).
He says that he has created a strong foundation and a good network out of the exemplary work he has done over the years that the company has taken strong roots in that whoever takes over from him will enjoy an easy ride.
He has traveled the world over, including in Asia, Europe, and Africa, where he has also sought to create a network wherever he meets new people, which has come with great success.
“The strongest element that defines our growth is time management. This is a very strong component for anyone seeking to succeed in logistics, and our customers are very keen on how timely services are provided,” Mr. Omar said.
He has made significant contributions to the economy of Zanzibar and the East Africa region as well. It is his belief in networking that has seen him create Joint Ventures in all the countries in East Africa, including Dubai as well as having a liaison office in Tanzania mainland.
His exceptional work has seen him sit on the board of FIATA, FEAFFA and he is also a member of the East Africa Business Community (EABC).
One of the biggest challenges that shook the logistics industry in the recent past was the Covid 19 due to the restriction measures that prevented physical meetings for three years.
“We never gave up. We are seafarers who weathered the storm to go to the stormy seas to get fish to feed the society,” Mr. Omar said.
Again, it is the strong foundation that the company has laid down that helped sustain its operations beyond the borders during the COVID-19 period, restriction on physical movement notwithstanding.
The company has received numerous awards from the government, private companies, and other agencies over the years. Mr. Omar recently received an achievement award from the FIATA president FIATA RAME held in Uganda in collaboration with the Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA). Mr. Omar’s success in the logistics sector has seen him take a seat on the advisory committee to the Prime Minister related to matters in logistics.
The company has employed 13 permanent jobs, 10 in Zanzibar and 3 in the Tanzania Liaison office.
“By working with other sister companies spread across the region, we have created many other indirect jobs and also been able to spread our services beyond the borders,” Omar said.
One of the biggest challenges facing the logistics industry in Zanzibar is the frequent delays at the Port of Malindi. These delays can be attributed to the limited capacity of the port in relation to the volumes of cargo it handles. The Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC) is regulated by the Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA).
“We look forward to a situation where the port is upscaled to compete with other ports in the region such as Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. This way, we will be able to offer our services unhindered and efficiently,” Omar said.
Through their association with the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA), the Clearing Agents in Zanzibar have gained an opportunity to conduct their operations beyond the confines of the Zanzibar Freight Forwarders Association (ZFB), as stated by Mr. Omar. “FEAFFA has also effectively represented the concerns and issues of the clearing agents at a regional level,” Mr. Omar said.
He looks forward to the creation of a network that will connect the entire African logistics service providers.