The 2021 FIATA Week kicked off yesterday, with 15 sessions having already taken place. During his opening address, FIATA President outlined the event’s excepted outcomes. Eight FIATA bodies sessions have already been held to set the direction for their work in the year to come. During the Meet the HQ session, Association Members were also introduced to the staff and their projects. A highlight of the last couple of days is the attendance from more than 80 Association Members and Individual Members to the high-level dialogues on digitalization in the supply chain and the FMC. This is a figure that heralds an overall promising turnout for this week’s meetings.
For the remaining days, Association Members and Individual Members are invited to attend 16 sessions, 8 of which focus on delivering best practices on a multitude of subjects that are key for the industry. These include the challenges surrounding the safety and security of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Freight-Pay solution for FIATA members, social media opportunities for national associations, and many others. Stay tuned for a special news story, which will be published after the closing of the event.
The first High-Level Dialogue of the FIATA Week took place on 22 March on digitalization in the supply chain. This session, open to both Association Members and Individual Members, had a panel of three industry guests who shared their vision on the supply chain’s digitalization current situation and upcoming challenges and opportunities. The high-level dialogue, which had more than 80 participants, was hosted by FIATA Director General Stéphane Graber and welcomed the Head of Digital Engagement and Transformation at CHAMP, Stéphane Noll, the Head of Digital Cargo at IATA, Henk Mulder, and Consultant and Advisor in Freight Forwarding, Steve Walker. The speakers discussed the necessity for freight forwarders to evolve and adapt to new business models and how FIATA’s projects will support its members to gain efficiency, improve processes and user experience through digitalization. FIATA’s collaborative approach was praised to ensure the interoperability of its solutions with all modes of transport and different actors of the supply chain.
The capacity building session for the soon-to-be launched online payment platform called Freight-Pay was held on Monday, with an opportunity to join again this Wednesday. Hosted by FIATA Senior Vice President Turgut Erkeskin, the session introduced FIATA’s tailored solution for members to instantly make and receive payments and manage transactions all through a single platform. The session also welcomed guest speakers from PayCargo, who partnered with FIATA to develop the platform.
On 16 March, the Working Group Sea Transport was pleased to welcome US Federal Maritime Commissioner (FMC) Rebecca Dye to its meeting. Commissioner Dye has played an active role in investigating crucial issues impacting the maritime supply chain, such as demurrage and detention practices, the merchant clause, and merchant haulage. This important exchange provided an excellent opportunity for open and informal dialogue on the ongoing disruptions within the maritime supply chain, looking at the factors that allowed the pandemic to trigger the current crisis, as well as the factors of concern that may impact the possibility for a level-playing field, and other regional developments. Crucially, it provided an opportunity to look forward to the future to consider how all stakeholders can work together to improve the maritime supply chain and make it more resilient, considering, for example, the use of digitalization.
This meeting was an excellent precursor to Commissioner Dye’s participation in today's High-Level Dialogue on the FMC at the FIATA Week, where she spoke further on her perspectives on the disrupted maritime supply chain, and the ongoing FMC investigations. The session was hosted by the chair of the Working Group Sea Transport, Jens Roemer.
The FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI) had launched a consultation for Association Members to better assess their current and future needs with respect to training and education. While the consultation was initially planned to conclude on 19 March, FLI has extended the deadline to collect as much feedback as possible. FLI thanks all Association Members for their valuable contributions, which will be shaping the institute's activities for the months to come. Should there be any questions about the survey, please contact Dr Frédérique Roche, FIATA Professional Development and Sustainability Officer, at [email protected].