UNASCO: exploring the market for sustainable business

Fawzeia Abdulla Al Marzooqi (Management Department College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Syed Zamberi Ahmad (Management Department College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 24 September 2018


Subject area

Growth strategies, marketing strategy, resources-based value theory, alliance network model, logistic and supply chain.

Study level/applicability

This case can be used in undergraduate and graduate classes as well as development programmes for managers in small to medium-size enterprises. The case suits courses in business, strategy, marketing and freight forwarding.

Case overview

Union National Air, Land and Sea Shipping Co (LLC) (UNASCO) is a small to medium-sized freight forwarding company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has three offices, two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. UNASCO handles commercial imports/exports from/to many destinations, including Europe, Asia, the USA, India, the Far East, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Middle East (ME) and Africa. UNASCO has been in business for more than 35 years and has run the business smoothly. Recently, the company has faced several internal and external challenges that impact business performance. These challenges are high operating expenses, stiff competition and low market demand. Due to these challenges, the sales staff is being pressured to generate more income to ensure that the company is not experiencing a loss. Now, UNASCO is uncertain how to sustain the business.

Expected learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are as follows: to learn about the freight forwarding industry, the competitive landscape and the challenges surrounding it; to enable the participant to generate a list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for UNASCO and to gain skill at using SWOT analysis; to increase the participant’s ability to evaluate a situation and effectively communicate remedies about it both in writing and verbally; to enable the participant to analyse a problem using the Fishbone Diagram cause and effect tool; to enable the participant to use the Six Thinking Hats technique to make more reliable and sounder decisions; to gain skill at using Porters Five Forces tool, understand the competitiveness of UNASCO’s business environment, and identify the potential for business growth; and to gain skills at developing a marketing strategy using the 4Ps model.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email support@emeraldinsight.com to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Mrs. Nadia Abdul Aziz AlKhan, the general manager of Union National Air, Land and Sea Shipping Co., for her invaluable support in writing this case study.

Disclaimer: This case study is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names, financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Abdulla Al Marzooqi, F. and Zamberi Ahmad, S. (2018), "UNASCO: exploring the market for sustainable business", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 8 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-08-2017-0201



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.