2023 Market Place Seminar reveals business opportunities for corridor development in Eurasia ¦ Successful FIATA WG Road Meeting in Istanbul!

FIATA e-flash
4 December 2023

2023 FIATA-UIC Market Place Seminar reveals business opportunities for corridor development in Eurasia

The 2023 Market Place Seminar in Istanbul, organised jointly by FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) and UIC (International Union of Railways), showcased insights and initiatives for corridor development in the Eurasian region. Themed "Shaping the Future of Multimodal Logistics – Connecting the Regions," the two-day event attracted industry leaders, international organisations, government authorities and rail  representatives.

The opening ceremony witnessed high-level speakers, including FIATA President Mr Turgut Erkeskin, who underscored the critical role of logistics in daily life and the importance of digitalisation in corridor management. Mr Cetin Altun from TCDD Taşımacılık emphasised Türkiye's extensive freight operations and the strategic significance of the Marmara-Bosphorus crossing. Video interventions from UIC Director General, Mr François Davenne, and UIC Director of Passenger Services, Mr Marc Guigon, were also shared.

Dr Stephane Graber, FIATA Director General, stressed the necessity of international dialogues for strengthening trade corridors, and the importance of digital processes and transport documents in the region for greater trade facilitation and more efficient data exchange. In his presentation, he provided information on how the FIATA Digital Bill of Lading works, and its benefits for the industry.

Ms Aysem Ulusoy, President of UTİKAD, emphasised Istanbul and Türkiye's pivotal role as a logistics hub and the importance of achieving sustainable goals. FIATA Working Group Rail Chair, Mr Ole Andreas Hagen, and Mr Philip Van den Bosch, Deputy Freight Director of UIC, moderated the event filled with insightful discussions.

The two-day seminar provided policy and business perspectives for the Middle Corridor and Southern Corridor, presented by representatives of the World Bank, OTIF, UNECE, and ITF/OECD, Turkish Ministry of Transport, as well as private sector representatives. The need for coordination efforts, sufficient capacity, and competitive pricing for corridor success was highlighted as key. Cost considerations were emphasised as an important element, not only to compete with the Northern Corridor, but also to be a good alternative for other modes of transport. 

The event concluded with a "World Café" style workshop, discussing how FIATA and the UIC's global network can provide valuable solutions to business challenges in the region. FIATA and the UIC also announced their collaboration in developing a toolkit for corridor development, inviting railway partners to participate. The seminar's success was acknowledged, with gratitude extended to the host, TCDD Taşımacılık, and FIATA Association Member UTIKAD, for their warm welcome. The collaborative efforts launched at this event will seek to address operational and policy challenges and foster growth in freight forwarding and corridor development in the region, harnessing FIATA’s expertise on multimodal transport corridors.

See the event photos and presentations here!

Not yet heard? Catch-up with all the latest from FIATA's experts and industry voices in the November FIATA Review

The long-awaited November edition of the FIATA Review is out now! Why take a look?

✨  Exclusive Coverage of the 2023 FIATA World Congress Panels

✨President Turgut Erkeskin's Inspiring Message to the Forwarding Community, a first for the magazine!

✨ General Meeting Special: Meet the New Presidency and Extended Board Members

✨Member News Extravaganza: Welcoming 5 New FIATA Association Members in 2023

✨ Spotlight Interview with Andre Hein Gerber – 2023 FIATA Young Logistics Professionals Award Winner

✨Closing Insights from Director General Stéphane Graber with a Retrospective of 2023

The global voice of freight logistics has never been more relevant, as collaboration came out as the key word of this year's edition of the FIATA World Congress. A united front by the international forwarding community is as important as ever. Raise the forwarder's voice, and share this magazine widely!


Read the latest FIATA Review here!

Successful FIATA Working Group Road meeting in Istanbul!

The FIATA Working Group Road meeting, which was held in person in Istanbul, Türkiye, right after the 2023 Market Place Seminar, provided an excellent platform for insightful discussions on the current and future landscape of the road industry.  

FIATA’s President, Mr Turgut Erkeskin, together with the FIATA Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) Chair, Mr Mark Bromley, and the new FIATA Working Group Road Chair, Mr Petr Rozek, provided an opening speech and welcomed all participants to the meeting.

In the first session of the meeting, Mr Fuat Pamukçu, Vice President Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Strategy at DFDS Group Mediterranean Business Unit, provided the group with a high-level presentation on ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) opportunities between Türkiye and Europe and other regions. He was followed by Ms Müge Karahan, Sales & Marketing Director/Executive Committee Member at Cobantur Boltas, who gave a comprehensive overview of intermodal solutions in the Middle Corridor. The attendees also contributed by providing road industry updates from their regions.

Current issues in the road industry were also discussed in the meeting. Mr Alper Özel, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Transporters Association, provided an insightful presentation on current hot topics in road transport, highlighting problems related to visa requirements. Focus was also given to the drivers’ shortage issue, and the participants discussed suggestions to elaborate a concrete project to deal with the problem.

The session, which focused on the optimisation of road and intermodal transport through digitalisation, was enriched by the presentation provided by Ms Aysem Ulusoy, UTIKAD President, on green logistics perspectives. Special attention was also given to the digital FIATA Bill of Lading and the process of issuing the paperless document. A very comprehensive overview on the eCMR project was offered by the MTI Chair, following his participation in the expert working group.   .  

The meeting was a great opportunity for engaging in discussions on the dynamic nature of the industry and the critical importance of technological advancements in shaping its future.  

WCO-PSCG meeting in Brussels focuses on Customs procedures awareness building, digital developments and gender equality

On 13-14 November, the World Customs Organization Private Sector Consultative Group (WCO-PSCG) held its meeting at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels. FIATA was pleased to participate in its capacity as a longstanding WCO-PSCG member, and on this occasion, also stood in for the WCO-PSCG Vice Chair who was unable to attend the meeting.

The meeting provided the opportunity to hear from the WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricard Trevino on the WCO’s work to update its environmental scan, which highlighted the need for awareness building on the role of customs and the WCO. Digital developments were also highlighted, in particular the importance of data collection for risk management purposes, the need to build a trusted environment for the sharing of data, and the need to ensure appropriate updates in WCO instruments to support the digitalisation of procedures. In addition, the WCO-PSCG had the opportunity to hear from the WCO Director on Capacity Building, Mr Ebenzer Tafili, who discussed work on gender equality and diversity, the WCO Academy, and integrity development.
Discussions took place on the preliminary report on the WCO Harmonised System (HS) survey presented by the WCO Secretariat, including the desirability of future improvements on this complex system, the possibility to expand classification to meet environmental goals, and the level of specificity required. WCO-PSCG members highlighted challenges posed for many companies to properly classify goods and the compliance risks involved. Extensive deliberations also took place on trade facilitation and business continuity, as well as eCommerce.
Following the WCO-PSCG meeting, FIATA actively participated in the meetings of the WCO working group on the SAFE Framework of Standards (SAFE WG), which brought together WCO member customs administrations and private sector observers. During the SAFE WG, FIATA expressed its ongoing support to WCO digitalisation initiatives, including the recent cooperation between the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) and the WCO on single window initiatives, and underlined the importance of interoperability and trusted networks in such work.

FIATA also welcomed the ongoing work to monitor the implementation of the SAFE Framework of Standards. FIATA encouraged such monitoring to take place systematically, and highlighted key findings from its recent survey on Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes such as the need to ensure tangible benefits including simplified procedures, and the importance of a strong Customs to business partnership.

FIATA joins CLECAT and European Shippers Council 'Logistics for Europe' event 

On 14 September 2023, FIATA was pleased to attend the 2023 Logistics for Europe event hosted by CLECAT and the European Shippers Council (ESC) in Brussels, titled “Partnering Compliance and Competitiveness in the EU – is it Possible?”. The event brought together industry representatives from freight forwarding customs agents and shippers to discuss the current challenges taking place in the European industry, and to consider the implications of regulatory developments in the European Union.

Particular attention was given to the impact to small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular to new sustainability-related requirements such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CRSD). FIATA wishes to thank CLECAT and ESC for their kind invitation, and will continue to follow these developments closely to consider how it can support its global membership on these topics.

Calling FIATA Associations in Regions Africa and Middle East, and Asia-Pacific! Don't miss your chance to host the 2025 FIATA Field Meetings!

The FIATA HQ is now accepting applications to host the following 2025 FIATA Regional Field Meetings: 

- FIATA RAME (Region Africa and Middle East) 

- FIATA RAP (Region Asia-Pacific) 

Don't miss out on the opportunity to participate in these highly engaging events and showcase the logistics opportunities in your region to the world! 

Those Association Members interested in applying to host the meetings must submit a letter of intent, communicating their interest and capacity to host the field meeting to [email protected], no later than 31 December 2023.   

The selection process will consider the following indicative selection criteria, which include: 

  • Ease of access to the venue, 
  • Visa Requirements, 
  • Safety and Security, 
  • Business Opportunities, 
  • Venue Incentives,  
  • Hosting History, and  
  • Participation in FIATA’s activities 

Candidates will make a detailed presentation of their applications during the 2024 FIATA RAME and RAP Regional Meetings, scheduled at the 2024 FIATA HQ Meeting held in Geneva between 22-26 April 2024, where FIATA RAME and RAP Members will then select the finalist.  

Kindly note that the selection of the short-listed candidate will be limited to those coming from the sub-regions which did not host the 2023 Field Meetings.