Every year, FIATA connects the global freight forwarding and logistics community and provides a platform for discussion and sharing of best industry practices at the FIATA World Congress (FWC). But given the concerns around COVID-19, and the uncertainties regarding travel in the next few months, FIATA made the difficult decision to postpone to 2022 the FWC planned for Busan, Republic of Korea, on 19–24 October 2020.
This was a tough call to make, as the annual FWC is an important event for freight forwarders, bringing together and celebrating the people, the innovations and the trends that make the industry a living and bubbling business; from railway to airfreight, from logistics service providers to customs brokers, to name a few. However, it was imperative to protect the health and safety of everyone, organizers and participants alike. FIATA searched for other ways to hold the 2020 FWC, but this was not possible without the international community physically present.
Once the decision was taken to postpone the 2020 FWC, FIATA reached out to the organizer of the 2021 FWC. The Belgian host, Forward Belgium, was unfortunately unable to change the date as it had already taken many firm commitments that were impossible to defer. The change of date required both a hard-working attitude from the local organizing committee in the Republic of Korea and flexibility from the local organizing committee in Panama (which originally planned to host the 2022 FWC), to manage the smooth postponement of the 2020 congress. They made it possible to reschedule the FWC in Busan to 2022, as well as the FWC in Panama City to 2023.
Forward Belgium, the Belgian forwarding association, will thus host the 2021 FWC and will go green from 26-29 October. The team has recently finalized the creation of the congress logo (based on the tagline ‘The Changing Climate of Logistics’), as shown on page 24 of this edition of the FIATA Review.
The application process and expression of interest for the 2024 FWC will start in the next few months, with Vietnam and Ethiopia already entered as applicants, following the automatic allotment of the 2023 FWC to Panama. The 2024 FWC process will be communicated in due time by the Congress Committee chair, Stanley Lim, and FIATA’s new staff member responsible for marketing and events, Pauline Dutertre.
In the meantime, stay tuned to FIATA events and congresses through the various communication channels (FIATA e-Flash newsletter, FIATA Review, the website, and social media pages, etc.) to learn more about what lies ahead for the industry.