The last quarter of the year kicked off with numerous meetings at FIATA. Despite the ongoing pandemic, all four regions gathered virtually in October to discuss pressing matters to freight forwarders. The Airfreight Institute and the Multimodal Transport Institute also met virtually for two of landmark meetings, in place of their usual gatherings at the FIATA World Congress given the current COVID-19 situation, providing the opportunity to update on progress made and to discuss key topics of interest to the industry. For more details on the meetings, read the full news story.
The FIATA President was also welcomed via Zoom by the FIATA Headquarters for the first time since the new team started this year. The president and staff exchanged views on the organization’s strategy and objectives, including the need to increase FIATA’s relevance. The discussion also included the implementation of the reset programme, which is now well underway, and the importance of building synergies between the Presidency and the Headquarters. FIATA will continue promoting teamwork and transparency and will report on measurable outcomes from the new way forward.
Reminder: As the year comes to an end, FIATA would like to remind its members to review any open invoices before the end of year. Should there be any questions, please contact [email protected].
Last 29 October, FIATA participated in a panel at the UNECE Virtual Meeting of the Friends of the Chair of Working Party 24 on the COVID-19 impacts on intermodal transport and logistics. With many countries in the world implementing new lockdown measures, the discussion highlighted the role of digitalization, needing to continue to harness lessons learned from the first wave of the pandemic, and the need for international cooperation to ensure a favourable legal framework and infrastructure for multimodal transport.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has been evolving, the panel discussed the new developments/impacts, assessed COVID-19 response measures, and exchanged on recommended measures going forward to strengthen the fluidity of multimodal supply chains. FIATA addressed the prospects for freight transport – in particular combined transport – in the short to medium term. In particular, it was the occasion for FIATA to highlight the importance of working on an appropriate legal framework to support recognition and widespread use of multimodal transport documents, and to underline the work of FIATA in relation to the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading. It was also an opportunity to stress the importance of digitalization in the supply chain, and to encourage the continuation of important trade facilitation measures put in place during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 6 November, FIATA, through the collaboration of the Working Group Sea Transport (WG Sea) and the Advisory Body on Legal Matters (ABLM) submitted its comments to the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry on vessel-operating common carriers’ definition and application of the term ‘Merchant’ in bills of lading. This important issue has been of ongoing concern amongst the FIATA membership, under which carriers have often sought to extend liability beyond the contractual parties to those who do not have any beneficial interest in the cargo, through broadly defined ‘Merchant’ clauses. FIATA thanks the WG Sea and ABLM delegates for the comprehensive inputs, and remains committed to providing support to the FMC as necessary in the interests of encouraging a level playing field.
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has launched an Air Cargo Sustainability survey to collect insights to feed their strategy and plans set up by their sustainability working group and to set up a baseline to monitor the progress year-on-year. In line with FIATA’s focus on sustainability in logistics, members are invited to complete the survey by 1 December to increase available data in the air cargo sector.
The FIATA Working Group Sustainable Logistics continues working to expand the global awareness of the logistics industry in sustainability and lead new initiatives through the promotion of best practices and common values.
FIATA engaged with the UN/CEFACT team to discuss FIATA's standard trade documents digital library project. The working group participants for this project confirmed that usage of the UN/CEFACT Reference Data Model to create FIATA digital trade documents standards is the best way to ensure the interoperability of the standards with a majority of systems and other trade documents.
The next working group meeting is scheduled on 18 November. A first draft of the proof of concept for this project will be presented for validation, which will then be shared with the FIATA Presidency on 24 November.
Registration for the FIATA General Meeting, which will take place on 7 December 2020, is open until Saturday, 21 November. If an Association Member did not receive the Call for Meeting, which includes registration details and voting platform instructions, please ensure to check the spam folder, and if unsuccessful, contact FIATA at [email protected] For Individual Members or Observers, please email [email protected] to receive connecting details.
A reminder on important deadlines for the General Meeting 2020:
FIATA is now receiving letters of intent from Association Members who would like to host the 2024 FWC. The expression of interest should reference the opportunities that hosting the congress would bring to FIATA and its members and should paint a picture of the supply chain industry in the host country. The letter of intent to host the 2024 FWC should be sent to [email protected] no later than 31 December 2020.
FIATA will inform the Association Members candidates if they qualify for the bid processs on 15 January. Qualified candidates will then be provided with the FIATA Congress Protocol and asked to submit an event proposal by mid-February 2021.