Recent opening of M5, Pakistan's longest access-controlled motorway, is a boost for the nation's fast-growing road transport sector. The 6-lane 392 kilometers long M5 motorway is longer than than the 375 kilometers long 6-lane M2 motorway. After M5 opening, the only missing section in planned 1,694 kilometer long 6-lane Peshawar-Karachi motorway is 296-kilometer Sukkur-Hyderabad M6 motorway. Growing network of high-speed motorways is opening up less developed parts of the country for investment, business and tourism. It is aiding agriculture, trade and commerce by moving freight and people faster.
Here's a brief overview of Pakistan's road transport sector as summarized by Karandaz research:
1. The Transport, Logistics and Communications (TLC) sector is estimated to have contributed 13.3% of GDP in 2016-17. Of this, more than 62% was contributed by the road transport sector. In 2014-15 the sector employed 3.1 million people.
2. Most traffic intensive routes are a) Karachi to Peshawar via Hyderabad-Multan-Faisalabad-Rawalpindi; b) Sukkur to Quetta; c) Karachi to Quetta via the RCD Highway; and d) N-5 National Highway segment of Multan-Lahore-Gujranwala-Rawalpindi.
3. Passengers and freight are the primary segments of road transport sector. The fastest growing freight segment is the delivery vans at 7.5% annually, while for the passenger segment it is motor cabs and taxis at 5.9% annually.
4. Road transport grew at an average rate of 6.2% annually between 1991 and 2016, faster than the average GDP growth rate 4.4% during this period. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to accelerate transport sect or growth with construction of roads and other transport infrastructure.
5. Freight transport sector is highly lucrative with profit margins ranging from 21% for large trucks to 43% for rickshaws. Passenger transport sector is even more lucrative with 30% profit margin for wagons to 50% for luxury buses.
Here's a video of Uch Sharif service area on M5 Sukkur-Musltan Motorway:
Although the rate of growth has slowed since 2018, Pakistan's middle class consumer population still remains among the fastest growing in the world. In a report titled "Emerging Markets Transforming As Velocity Markets", Ogilvy and Mather, a global market communications firm, has put Pakistan among what it calls "Velocity 12" group of economies that include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico,…