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e-Flash - Finding solutions to the maritime supply chain crisis

17 December 2021

The latest issue of the FIATA Review is out

The December issue of the FIATA Review is out now! Don't miss this special General Meeting edition, featuring:

  • the who's who from the General Meeting elections;
  • key takeaways and exclusive insights from the two High Level Dialogues on addressing the bottlenecks in the maritime supply chain, and on how digital standards can facilitate global trade;
  • the YIFYYA Award regional and global winners, including an interview on the winner Mr. Justin Goedhart from SAAFF in South Africa;
  • two new FIATA members, KLIFFA and CRFFN

...and much more!

Read the December 2021 FIATA Review here

Freight forwarders prove key to solving the supply chain crisis

The number of supply chain crisis meetings requiring FIATA's input in recent weeks have overwhelmingly proven freight forwarders' key role in the solutions across the modes of transport in these unprecedented times. With FIATA event being required to participate in 2 crisis meetings simultaneously on 15 December in maritime and airfreight respectively, it is clear that freight forwarders are absolutely fundamental to managing the crisis and ensuring the fluidity of international trade.

UNECE workshop on intermodal transport and logistics
In this UNECE workshop tailored to Kazakhstan, FIATA presented solutions to optimize the freight transport industry, with a focus on multimodality, digitalization and sustainability. Key solutions highlighted included: improvement of infrastructural developments in line with today’s realities, institutional connectivity to implement rules and regulations to facilitate trade and ensure a level-playing field, training and capacity building to improve people-to-people connectivity.

UNCTAD ad hoc expert meeting on the maritime supply chain crisis
Following FIATA's High Level Dialogue on addressing the bottlenecks in the supply chain last month, UNCTAD held an ad hoc expert meeting on the maritime supply chain crisis, featuring FIATA and other industry stakeholders, together with policymakers, to focus on solutions to reduce congestion and high freight rates. In line with FIATA's position, market structure, trade facilitation, and intermodal/multimodal transport were identified by many experts as key. The outcomes will inform UNCTAD policy recommendations for member states, the international community and UNCTAD, and will lay the ground for subsequent global and regional trade logistics discussions.

ICAO air cargo collaboration meeting
The ICAO meeting brought together representatives from different international organizations active in the supply chain. With business recovery high on the agenda, FIATA highlighted its work to address the future of airfreight, including its work on e-commerce and on strengthening its partnerships with key industry partners. Digitalization was a hot topic, with discussions focused on the need for further collaboration to align and join forces. FIATA was cited as an example to follow, with its collaboration with UN/CEFACT to develop its eFBL standard, which is fully aligned with the MMT Reference data model to facilitate its interoperability. The legal framework for digital negotiable documents was also discussed, notably the UNCITRAL work to advocate for a harmonized legal framework, to which FIATA actively participates.

Regulators increase scrutiny over maritime supply chain and its economic impacts

The effects of the pandemic have severely impacted international trade logistics processes, which prior to the pandemic, were still able to manage one-off effects as to weather, labour issues as to strikes and other disruptions. The ability to manage the logistics chain has now been severely challenged in all forms of transport, in particular sea freight, which delivers the quantum of world trade and from which ancillary services, particularly road, deliver the final mile.

Governments are finally taking an interest into the impact the logistic hiatus is having on economies. Some, like the United States Federal Maritime Commission and the Australian Productivity Commission, are now addressing the surging cost of logistics on consumers and the inflation pressure it brings. Further information can be found in the media releases of the FMC and Productivity Commission.

FIATA's Working Group Sea held a crisis meeting today to address the recent position adopted by carriers as to the manner and form in dealing with carrier’s new business models which, on the surface, will have significant implications for all freight forwarders with a high impact on small to medium enterprises. FIATA continues to address issues that impact on freight forwarders, including structural market competitive conditions, trade facilitation, and ancillary charges.


  • FIATA Seasonal closure | The FIATA headquarters will be closed from 24/12/2021-2/1/2022. We look forward to seeing you full of energy in 2022 and wish you a happy transition into the New Year.
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