FIATA WORLD CONGRESS 2014 - HIGHLIGHTS October 15th - 18th 2014

Highlights from Istanbul

Opening Ceremony

The 2014 FIATA World Congress opened to a fantastic display of traditional Turkish music and dance, and was shortly followed by welcoming addresses from UTIKAD President, Mr Turgut Erkeskin, and FIATA President, Mr Francesco Parisi and Ministers representing the Turkish Government. The Ceremony was capped off with the presentation of the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award by Mr Andrew Kemp of the TT Club. The 2014 YIFFY Award goes to Ms Fortunate Mboweni from South Africa for her detailed and interesting presentation on the transportation of radioactive isotopes from South Africa to Namibia.

In the margins of a rich protocol, UTIKAD announced the Sustainable Logistics Certification launched in cooperation with Bureau Veritas and the Journey of the Bill Of Lading Exhibition, which was on display in the adjacent hall and gave participants the opportunity to take a step into the culture of logistics and its history.


Region Americas (RAMNS)

Sea Transport in the USA: the joint effort between TIA and the customs brokers was able to mitigate the consequences of regulations adopted by the Federal Maritime Commission. There is capacity shortage in Land Transport in the entire North American region: shortage of drivers and inefficient investment in infrastructure and shortage of rail equipment characterise the current situation. In this picture there are new tachograph and insurance rules which could exacerbate market conditions.

The construction of a new airport in Mexico City is announced. First stage of construction is to be finalized by 2020, this will change the picture of Mexican logistics dramatically.

In Argentina, where inflation reached 40%, shipping lines decided not to collect Argentinian Pesos for import or export. Devaluation risk is complicating business for freight forwarders.


Region Asia pacific (RAP)

AFIF's Paul Golland and Brian Lovell performance was lively and informative on the Australian trade and forwarding economy and structure, about their current initiatives and future targets in gaining critical mass for e-AWB, collaborate with the new entity called Border Force in 2015 – inter alia – with regards to Customs and Quarantine processes. A Trusted Trader programme (a.k.a. AEO) is also on the horizon.

TIFFA, the Thai Association presented first experiences on their e-Air Waybill implementation pilot.

The presentation - Eying on the "e-AWB" was held by Mr Witoon Santibunyarat, immediate past President TIFFA.


Region Europe (REU)

Mrs Eva Molnar, Director Transport at the UNECE made clear in her presentation that bottle necks and missing links should be eliminated. Therefore, sufficient investments are required to develop international transport connectivity. This easily connected with the recently adopted FIATA positions on logistics connectivity (


Region Africa Middle East (RAME) 

RAME introduced new Rules of Procedure which would guide the region’s members. A presentation was delivered on the Yamoussoukro Decision which highlighted the need to revisit the decision with a refocused implementation approach suggested in FIATA’s published Position Paper. RAME delegation voted on the next RAME Field Meeting Location. It was decided that the 2015 RAME Field Meeting would be held in Dubai, UAE. The meeting closed with the 2014 Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year, Ms. Fortunate Mboweni, delivering an inspiring presentation about her journey to success.


Customs Affairs Meeting (CAI)

Delegates enjoyed a comprehensive information cocktail of globally relevant Pre-Loading Air Cargo Screening Pilots, in short ACI - Advanced Cargo Information planted by the US, EU and Canada and the Establishment of Global Standards via WCO SAFE Framework  garnished with the topping of Turkey’s national implementation of Authorized Economic Operators served by the Chair Stephen Morris and the CAI’s meetings guest speakers - IATA Mr Gordon Wright and the hosting countries Turkey’s Customs and Trade expert Mr Barış Biçimseven  Vice-President of Association of Customs and Trade Experts-Turkey.  The meeting deliberated the FIATA Position Paper - The Impact of a harmonised de minimis value threshold  wherein FIATA embraces the principles of simplified, harmonised Customs and border management, whilst encouraging States and Customs administrations to renew their efforts in the implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention.


Advisory Body Vocational Training

The Advisory Body Vocational Training continues to provide a number of high quality validations of the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding and the FIATA Diploma in Supply Chain Management. The validations always provide excellent opportunities for continued professional development of the industry in all regions.

Ensuring a successful launch, these Association Members came back to showcase their outstanding innovation, creativity and impact of the FIATA programmes across the vocational and higher education sectors in delivering world-class teaching and engagement:


FIATA Diploma Revalidations:

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina (ECOS) Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina International Freight Forwarders Association
  • Indonesia (ILFA) Indonesia Logistics and Forwarders Association
  • Lithuania (LINEKA) Lithuanian National Association of Forwarders and Logistics
  • Singapore (SLA) Singapore Logistics Association
  • Kazakhstan (KFFA) Association of National Freight Forwarders of the Rep. of Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia (FMFF) Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders
  • Pakistan (PIFFA) Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association
  • Georgia (AFG) National Associatiaon of Freight Forwarders of Georgia


FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management Revalidation:



New Validation of the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding:

  • Turkey (UTIKAD) Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers
  • Tanzania (TAFFA) Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association


New Validation of the FIATA Higher Diploma in Supply Chain Management:

  • Chinese Taipei (TAFLA) - Taipei Airfreight Forwarders & Logistics Association
  • Pakistan (PIFFA) Pakistan International Freight Forwarders

A range of train-the-trainer programmes will be conducted in collaboration with the FIATA Foundation.

At the ABVT we are committed to cover education through expert coverage of train the trainer programmed. Three train-the-trainer courses are planned in the next months. They will take place in Chile, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.


91st  Airfreight Institute Meeting  (AFI)

Mr William Gottlieb, FIATA Head of Cargo Modernization Program Working Group, informed about the anticipated joint program of FIATA and IATA that brings a new era of relationship. The forwarder will act as principal in his contracts with airlines instead of acting on behalf of the carrier as an IATA-agent.

Participants were impressed by the presentation of Dr Emre Serpen, Wipro’s Global Head of Airport Practice on Sustainable Logistics and Aircargo Opportunities , which gave an impressive outlook of Turkey’s and the region’s air transport industries status; its success, growth, progress and its commercial outlook and upcoming challenges.

Touching the African continent’s evolvement, FIATA Region Africa Middle East Chair, Mr Basil Pietersen, informed on FIATA’s approach to improve the region’s air cargo regulatory and operational solutions for the development of Air Cargo. As well with its’ recently published  Position Paper – Revisiting the Yamoussoukro Decision with the purpose of encouraging the adoption of appropriate protocols for the enhanced implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.


Advisory Body Safety Security (ABSS)

The meeting provided information on ACC3 carriers which were validated. Facts and figures were provided on the number of carriers validated and the number of validators. In addition, delegates were informed of an EU database which contained ACC3 validated carriers being not available to anyone outside the EU. The meeting also featured a presentation informing delegates of the details in regards to the banning of Lithium Metal Batteries as cargo on passenger air crafts. ICAO’s Valerie Trojanowska, Aviation Security Expert, delivered a presentation looking ahead at the latest developments in Aviation Security stressing the importance of transparency and raising awareness on key issues. Finally, the subject of Ebola was discussed and how this epidemic could also affect the freight forwarding industry.


Advisory Body Legal Matters (ABLM)

The FIATA eFBL Trial has been successfully concluded in June 2014. Proved that the eFBL concept works and CargoDocs has the functionality required to facilitate paperless trade for FIATA members worldwide. The responses from forwarders were very favourable and they liked the solution and consider it to be viable.


Advisory Body Information Technology (ABIT)

ABIT was reintroduced after an initial attempt a few years ago and the work to be conducted within the Advisory Body. Dr Lance Thompson, International Development Manager at CONEX, gave an introduction to the importance of International Standards for the implementation of systems and technologies throughout association members' states and companies. Also, Ms. Marina Comninos delivered a demonstration of the ESSDocs Software, which allows for the utilisation of the FIATA Bill of Lading in electronic format. This is the only multimodal negotiable document, which now becomes available electronically.


Advisory Body International Affairs (ABIA)

FIATA and World Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance work in the field of logistics. MoU signed by Mr. Jose Guillerme Reis and Mr. Babar Badat. The Asian Development Bank, Mr. Olly Norojono, participated in FIATA World Congress for first time and delivered a presentation introducing the bank's initiatives and interest to build relations with FIATA. ABIA highlighted its work with UN in advocating for Logistics Connectivity to be inserted into the design of the Sustainable Development Goals and introduced FIATA's Environment and Sustainability section with ABIA.


Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI)

The FIATA – UIC Market place seminar has already become a tradition and the report provided on the recent edition in Trieste was reinforcing this impression.

The Amendments of IMO Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Regulation were discussed and

FIATA has been providing updates on this topic for the past three years, FIATA had maintained the view that imposing restrictions on all containers is wrong. The vast majority of containers shipped are legitimate, and there should be greater use of intelligence and sanctions against shippers that offend.

The SOLAS regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass. FIATA has serious concerns about the progress and possible practical procedures related to the certification of Method No. 2. There seem to be very little awareness in the countries and the clock is ticking.

In regards of Market Developments and its Consequences on Productivity it was noted that the freight forwarding industry has been investing heavily in IT infrastructure and interfaces with port communication systems, government authorities, customs and others with the objective to increase productivity amid a strong pressure on margins. Productivity is a major concern in our industry with human resources being the main asset - as well as the main cost.

Unfortunately, there are external elements that reduce productivity and increase costs. Many countries are facing a shortage of drivers, container chassis, and lack infrastructure. The consequences for our business are bottle necks and traffic jams leading to delays and extra costs.


General Meeting

The General Meeting is the main decision making body of FIATA and always involves interesting debates on the future of the Federation. This year the hot button issue involved the moving of the FIATA Secretariat from Zurich to Brussels. In a very tight vote it was resolved that the Secretariat will remain in Zurich. The evening before the GM a magnificent Gala Dinner entertained over 1000 guests, who showed their truly generous nature by pledging in excess of 100.000 USD to the newly create EBOLA fund, which had been created by the FIATA Extended Board with an initial donation.


Closing Ceremony

The eventful 2014 FIATA World Congress was concluded with speeches from both Francesco Parisi and Turgut Erkeskin and featured the passing of the baton to Chinese Taipei, who will be the hosts of next year's World Congress between 8th and 13thof September 2015.


Media Contact:

Hans Günther Kersten, Director General

Email: kersten(at)



FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31, 1926.  It  is  a  non-governmental  organization  that  today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 8-10 million people in some 160 countries. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It is recognized as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organizations, governmental authorities, private international organizations in the field of transport such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.  


23 October 2014

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