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A bright future ahead

Dear colleagues and friends,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost one year since I assumed the presidency at the FIATA World Congress in Cape Town. The current pandemic has certainly made it challenging but memorable as we continue working to better serve our members. The impact of COVID-19 will be felt in our industry for some time, but we are optimistic that the future holds better days to come.

At FIATA, we remain active and engaged to deliver top quality service to freight forwarders and we rely on our ‘reset programme’ to achieve our objectives. Despite facing unprecedented times, we have accomplished so much in less than a year. Our priority in the ‘reset programme’ was to restructure our head office and get relevant staff who could reenergize the way we conduct business. It was also important to do this work from Geneva to regain presence in the international scene and advocate trade facilitation policies that will reposition us as the key global freight logistics organization.

Our mission is certainly underway. Under the guidance of our new Director General, the Geneva team has plenty of work ahead of them to ensure that objectives are met. On the topic of education, the ‘reset programme’ called for the enhancement of training through the newly created FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI). The head office, in collaboration with FLI Interim Chair Stephen Morris, have already identified three workstreams focusing on standards and certifications, digital learning and international cooperation, and catering to the youth to bring all education and training initiatives under one umbrella.

On industry digitization, we have some catching up to do, but this is now covered by our digital strategy. The head office, led by the expertise of the Advisory Body on Information Technology, has already launched two projects to create a registry of FIATA members’ digital identity and a library of digital standard templates to help freight forwarders enter the digital world. Multiple working group meetings have already taken place to move the projects forward.

The ‘reset programme’ also highlighted the need to protect FIATA’s intellectual property. We have an array of documents that are widely used by the industry, and while copyright applies, its enforcement remains a day to day challenge. The head office, aided by the digital strategy, is conducting an audit of licenses to ensure compliance of regulations regarding FIATA’s intellectual property.

Finally, we recognize the need to do more to promote sustainability in logistics. The future lies in the hands of younger generations who will inherit an industry that is looking to reinvent itself to remain relevant. The way to do this is by engaging young professionals who will carry sustainable practices and take the industry into the future. The head office has therefore modernized its communication to reach younger people and nurture young freight forwarders who will take the organization in a new direction. We want the younger generations to know that we are motivated by our leading ‘reset programme’ and they can count on FIATA to take freight logistics to the next level.


Basil Pietersen

FIATA President

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