Earlier in June, the FIATA Headquarters shared information with members about the nominations and elections process for the Presidency, Extended Board, and Chairs of FIATA bodies during this year’s General Meeting – to be held online on 18 November. More details concerning deadlines, processes, and statutory requirements – such as nominations due on 1 July – were included in this information. If an Association Member has not received these emails, please contact [email protected].
Association Members are reminded that they can only nominate candidates for these positions and vote in the General Meeting, if their membership fees for 2021 have been paid by 1 July. For questions, please contact [email protected].
FIATA’s Advisory Body on Legal Matters has developed a guidance note on the Terms and conditions applicable to the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL) and their interaction with standard trading conditions (STCs) developed by FIATA Association Members, to provide some clarification on the role of each of these governing terms. Their scope of application differs and the relation between one another can significantly vary from one jurisdiction to another.
The guidance note, available on the FIATA website, can provide valuable insights for the freight forwarding industry. FIATA members remain advised to enquire with their national associations whether they are potential conflicts between the STCs and FBL terms and conditions, and which rules should prevail.
On 2 June, FIATA took part in a webinar on disaster response management organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) Academy as special guest speaker representing the voice of the private sector, alongside the WCO. Almost 300 participants were in attendance, approximately 70% of which were customs administrations around the world. FIATA Director General, Dr Stéphane Graber, recognized the key role played by customs in international trade and in disaster situations, as a key interface for essential goods. Drawing from lessons from COVID-19, he also stressed the crucial role of continuous dialogue between customs administrations and industry stakeholders at all times as an important prerequisite to readiness in times of disaster, and welcomed the WCO's efforts to ensure close and continuous engagement with the private sector through the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group in which FIATA actively participates.
The webinar provided a valuable opportunity for FIATA to directly represent the voice of the freight forwarding industry to customs administrations around the world. Crucially, it provided the occasion to underline the importance of inclusive and pragmatic AEO programmes for companies of all sizes, noting the value of trusted trading partners in being able to deal with times of crisis. In addition, the webinar addressed the importance of a number of WCO tools and instruments, experiences around the import and export of relief consignments globally, and the crucial need for coordinated border management and capacity building available for all relevant stakeholders.
On 8 June, FIATA participated in a panel at the Supply Chain + Logistics Forum to discuss ‘The Freight Markets: Latest Developments’. FIATA Director General, Dr Stéphane Graber, addressed the key developments taking place in today’s freight market, in the context of a severely disrupted maritime supply chain, with critical container imbalances, high levels of blank sailings, and rocketing freight rates, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, he highlighted that in this context freight forwarders and their SME customers are more exposed to high price volatility and unreliability and need to consider how these risks can be best managed.
The panel provided a valuable opportunity to underline how FIATA is currently working to drive greater stakeholder cooperation and dialogue in order to develop solutions to optimize the supply chain through digitalisation and more effective data exchange. In addition, Dr Graber noted that there is an increasing demand for rail freight from Asia to Europe. Silk Road train trips have increased exponentially while demand is also increasing in other parts of Asia such as Thailand and other countries in South East Asia. All this requires multilateral cooperation and a strong international legal framework. FIATA works at the international level towards the harmonisation and strengthening of the underlying legal framework and the international recognition of a multimodal transport document such as the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading. Finally, the forum also addressed how emission controls would affect the freight market prices, the factors influencing the supply in freight markets, and the direction for markets in the short term and long term.
The eFBL proof of concept is almost done
The electronic FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL) proof of concept has now entered its final stage. There are 6 software providers (AKANEA, CargoX, CargoWise, eCustoms, eDox Online and TradeWindow) currently testing the implementation of the eFBL solution, along with 20 participating freight forwarding companies. The tests will allow evaluation of the full eFBL lifecycle: from the creation of the document through the participating software providers, to the verification of the eFBL by the different stakeholders – accessing the document audit trail. The tests will continue running throughout June-July and the results from the proof of concept will be shared this summer.
Launching the FIATA Connect series
A new webinar series called FIATA Connect will provide far-reaching insights on cutting-edge practices to assist logistics professionals in better navigating the industry. FIATA Connect will be launched in July exclusively for members, with four editions planned over the year, and will feature leading experts in the logistics and supply chain sector.
The first FIATA Connect edition, organized under the auspices of the Working Group Sustainable Logistics, will take place on 1 July at 9:30-10:30 CEST and address ‘Greenhouse gas emission calculators and standardization processes: Perspectives for the freight forwarding sector’. Andrea Schoen, Head of Business Sustainability and Customer Consulting at DB Schenker, will speak about this process and what it means for the industry. Register for this event now.
FIATA and ICHCA will renew MoU
FIATA and the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) will hold an online signing ceremony to renew their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 29 June at 15:30 CEST. This MoU is an important step towards reinforcing the collaboration between the freight forwarding and logistics actors connected to cargo handling throughout international supply chains.
FIATA and ICHCA will accede to have a programme of cooperation, which will include agreed actions and initiatives (meetings, sharing of information, ad hoc task forces, etc.) to enhance their impact on issues where both organizations have common interests. Before the MoU signing ceremony, there will be a discussion with the presence of FIATA President, Basil Pietersen, and ICHCA Chair of the Board, John Beckett, and other interested stakeholders. The MoU signing ceremony is open to all interested FIATA members. To register, submit your interest at [email protected].