Zurich, March 2011. „The Headquarters Session 2011 was the most successful in the history of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), in terms of participants, but also in terms of driving many industry issues forward,” said FIATA President Jean-Claude Delen. „Some 213 representatives of forwarders associations from 63 countries attended the meetings and workgroups. We saw lively, result oriented debates, highlighting best practices and weaknesses. We took some important steps towards raising industry standards and formulating strategies for the future.”
In a strong show of confidence the FIATA President declared that the airline industry, represented by IATA, should finally face reality, and recognize forwarders as their most important customer group, and treat logistics services providers accordingly.
“Forwarders contract over 80% of international air shipments as principals,” he stated. “Furthermore the relationship between airlines and forwarders should be future oriented. Focusing on adding value to the transport chain and driving efficiencies. We should talk at eye level about common standards and best practices, in the areas of security, paperless cargo handling, financial transactions and other professional issues.”
The failure of the Air Cargo Agency Conference, which met on March 8 in Istanbul, to adopt a recommendation from the IATA/FIATA Consultative Council (IFCC), has aroused the forwarders’ wrath. The recommendation was to amend the IATA Resolutions dealing with the accreditation of training for air freight forwarders, and to incorporate programs accredited by FIATA.
Forwarders were particularly angered, as the recent launch of the joint Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG, December 2010) had led them to believe that IATA was genuinely interested to change its ways, and seek cooperation with others.
FIATA continues to work for safer and more secure global, regional, and national supply chains. Security in the fields of air cargo, container shipping, and land transportation thus attracted a lot of attention as at previous FIATA meetings. The discussions highlighted the different regulations, procedures, levels of compliance, and technical standards around the globe from Hong Kong to Europe and North America and how they affect forwarders. The global voice of freight logistics together with TIA, CLECAT, and the US Chamber continues to lobby for mutual recognition of the US C-TPAT Program and the EU AEO Program. The US Chamber in turn is pursuing mutual recognition between C-TPAT, CCSP, and other government security programs.
Further highlights of the Headquarters Session were discussions about raising training standards in the industry, the new INCOTERMS, the new FMC tariff regulations coming into force effective April 18, and the transport corridors Asia - Europe under discussion by the UNECE (UN European Committee for Inland Transport).
The next important event in the FIATA calendar is the FIATA World Congress due to be held 18-23 September in Cairo (Egypt).
Marco A. Sangaletti
P.O. Box 364
CH-8152 Glattbrugg, Switzerland
Tel.: +41-43-211 65 00
25 March 2011