For our next Atlas member interview, we talked to Manju (Magi) Punjabi from Austin, Texas. Among other things, she discussed her start in freight forwarding, the strength of the industry and her love for traveling and networking.

How did you get started in the logistics industry and what has your journey been like so far?

Its back in 2004 that I started my Career with DHL. Honestly, I never wanted to be in this industry but like they say, the things you run away from, follow you…

My father was in the freight forwarding industry and had his own company handling air exports long ago. When I started my company, I specialized more in ocean freight, so I believe it was in my blood.

After working with DHL, I moved to London, UK for few years yo work for a similar industry and gained even more experience there. I realized there can be nothing better than this industry, which is challenging and every shipment we move has different challenges and opportunities to learn something new.

I continued my logistics journey working for transport companies, ferry companies before returning back to the Customs Clearance world in 2001, here I learned my trade as a freight forwarder until the opportunity came along to start my own business in 2017. From a desk in the spare room at my home until where we are now in a commercial warehouse with almost 50 staff and 60 trucks, split between 5 UK locations to ensure we have good coverage.

If there is one thing that you could change to the logistics industry, what would it be and why?

In the air industry, suppliers cannot book the cargo directly without help of IATA agents. I think there should be some norms in place in ocean freight as well, where supplier cannot book the cargo directly to shipping line. Right now, shippers are taking bookings directly to carriers with much lower rates and this is taking away business from freight forwarders.

Shipping lines are getting business from forwarders anyways, so giving bookings to supplier doesn’t make sense and pinching forwarders’ pockets is something that needs to be looked into. Forwarders are only used for credits as if we are financial companies. Since we all should make money, this needs to stop!

What do you like most about the industry and your job in particular?

We have 3 branches in 3 different countries, and they all have different challenges and rules to follow for every cargo we move.

he best thing about our industry is that it’s never out of business! This industry is running the economy of the nations. Just like the import and export trade, we are part of this trade by fulfilling the needs of actual users.

During COVID times, when the whole world was struggling and people were losing jobs, our industry was booming. This industry can never go out of business and we will always be running the economy.

And most importantly, what I really like is travelling and networking! We are so busy with running the business that the only chance we get to hang out and have fun is with networking and attending conferences where work and fun overlap. I love travelling and networking gives you all opportunities to travel and explore the world and create connections to exchange business.

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors?

WE do everything: air, ocean , LCL, FCL, clearance and we have a FMCSA license to do trucking. So providing all services in one roof is what is our forte. Besides, we have branches in different countries, which also takes us ahead in the competition.

What do you like the most about being a member of our logistics network?

I like the exclusiveness of the membership which we have got in Texas!

How do you relax in your free time?

I love playing badminton, so whenever I get the chance I play badminton and love to hang out with friends. I’m also a foodie, so I like to explore different cuisines. Whenever there’s a new

food joint opened, I will ensure to visit with friends

Thank you, Manju!