Issa Baluch is credited with pioneering the thriving sea-air combined transport freight business in the UAE. He holds a Master of Business degree from the University of Hull (U.K.) and has completed numerous aviation, transport, and freight logistics programs. Baluch was invited by the Harvard University to take part in the Advanced Leadership Initiative Program, which eventually made him a fully-fledged Senior Fellow in 2011.
Baluch started as tally clerk at Gulf Agency Company in Dubai in 1973, rising to general manager. In 1989, he founded Swift Freight International, which quickly gained a reputation as one of the top freight logistics providers in the region. Baluch was president of the Dubai-based National Association of Freight and Logistics from 1992-2000, and was again re-elected to the post and served from 2010 to 2011. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations – FIATA (president, 2003-2005). He previously served as Board member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) from 2005 to 2013; and on the Advisory Board of Dubai Logistics City, and the Marketing Committee of Dubai Flower Centre.
Baluch is the Chairman of US-based Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd., which is an agricultural development company currently installing a 10,000-hectare commercial agriculture park and franchise farming system on the shores of Lake Volta in Ghana, West Africa. He also serves as Director at the Wentworth Resources Limited, an East African-focused oil and natural gas producer and explorer covering Tanzania and Mozambique. Baluch is also a Board member of UAE-based Air Cargo Trader, a professional airline cargo management company.
Baluch is particularly keen on upholding training and education of young logistics professionals, and part of the steering committee of The Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award (YIFFA), which is annually sponsored by FIATA, IATA and TT Club.
For his outstanding services to the international air cargo industry, Baluch has so far received two Lifetime Achievement awards: in 2006 presented by Air Cargo News UK, and in 2013 presented by STAT Trade Times.
Baluch is the author of Transport Logistics: Past, Present and Predictions, which is available in four languages; and Transport Logistics: The Wheel of Commerce. He is currently engaged in projects in Africa concerning agriculture, as well as oil and gas, in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also works as an industry consultant, providing counsel and advice to supply chain organisations around the world.