Afghanistan flag Afghanistan: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Afghanistan

Evolution of the Sector
Formal distribution and sales channels are not well-developed in Afghanistan. Most commerce is confined to small storefronts, markets, and informal roadside trading. Some major distribution centers can be found in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar.  Many commercial goods destined for Afghanistan are shipped through ports in Karachi, or Port Qasim in Pakistan, moved over land by rail, or truck, and enter the country via the Torkham (Nangarhar province), or Chaman (Kandahar province).  In addition, a significant amount of Afghanistan’s imports pass through Hairatan, the country’s third largest port, in northern Afghanistan. 
A 75 km rail link, from Uzbekistan to Marzar-e-Sharif, was completed in mid-2011, but there is no internal rail network in Afghanistan. 
Goods are currently distributed throughout Afghanistan by truck.  Another major overland route is through Iran via Bandar-i-Abbas, entering Afghanistan at the border with Herat province. Potential foreign investors should remain aware of U.S. and international sanctions legislation, targeting Iran that may impact shipping to Afghanistan via this route. More information is available at the website of the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. 
Though a growing number of air cargo companies offer their services, this sector is still undeveloped, and remains expensive.
Market share
Formal distribution and modern distribution are not well developed in Afghanistan. The main international distribution channels are still not established in the country, mainly due to the security concerns and the barriers to implement a business in this country.
The operating channels, especially in Kabul, are :
-    A-one
-    Chelsea Supermarket
-    Finest Superstore
-    Spinneys
The traditional sales channels still dominate the retail sector.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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