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e-Flash - Special FIATA Reporting Sessions: FIATA General Meeting Week

19 November 2021


FIATA General Meeting 2021

The FIATA 2021 General Meeting took place online on 18 November 2021, with 184 delegates in attendance representing 76 FIATA National Association members. It was the occasion to close a busy year for FIATA in which over 120 meetings of FIATA Institutes and Bodies had taken place, and to take stock of the key achievements of FIATA through the Reset Programme under the Presidency of Basil Pietersen (SAAFF, South Africa).

Celebrating the accomplishments delivered under the Reset Programme 

The journey that the Federation has embarked on over the past two years has equipped it to be able to better address the evolving needs of the global freight forwarding industry during these unprecedented times. The General Meeting applauded the many accomplishments under the Presidency of Mr Pietersen, which included, among others, the development of the FIATA Digital Strategy which is already bearing fruit, the establishment of a new and vibrant Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, and the strengthening of FIATA's cooperation both internally and externally with stakeholders across the supply chain.

New developments in FIATA's evolution

The General Meeting also voted on several key motions that will be integral to strengthen FIATA going forward and ensure it remains a relevant, professional and dynamic organisation that can stand toe-to-toe with other comparable international non-profit organisations. Among others, this included an update to the FIATA Statutes to reflect the Headquarters' move to Geneva.

A new team elected/confirmed

FIATA was pleased to welcome the new FIATA President, Dr Ivan Petrov (NSBS, Bulgaria), whose election was confirmed at the General Meeting. Dr Petrov, who has served in the FIATA Presidency since 2015, will be instrumental to continuing to drive forward FIATA's evolution. 

Serving with him in the Presidency will be the elected Senior Vice-Presidents Turgut Erkeskin (UTIKAD, Turkey), Jens Roemer (FB, Belgium), and Thomas Sim (SLA, Singapore), new Secretary General Robert Keen (BIFA, UK), and new Treasurer Galo Molina (ASEACI, Ecuador).

Finally, it was the occasion to elect/confirm nominations to the Extended Board and the FIATA Institutes and Bodies, and to welcome some new faces which will no doubt further invigorate the work of FIATA with their fresh expertise and diversity, in line with the FIATA Reset Programme. More information to come in the upcoming FIATA Review!


High Level Dialogue: Addressing the bottlenecks in the maritime supply chain

"Each actor in the supply chain has its interests at heart, but defending them in the morning should not prevent constructive dialogue in the afternoon to find common ground and improve the maritime supply chain as a whole in the interest of the global consumer." 

- Jens Roemer, Chair of FIATA Working Group Sea Transport

In the run-up to the FIATA General Meeting, on Friday 12 November 2021, FIATA conducted a High-Level Dialogue on "Addressing the bottlenecks in the disrupted maritime supply chain". This unique event was part of FIATA's ongoing efforts, led by Jens Roemer, Chair of FIATA Working Group Sea Transport (WG Sea) to do everything possible to find solutions to these unprecedented challenges. In an impressive panel brought together senior representatives of key stakeholders across the supply chain: 

  • Jan Hoffmann, Head of Trade Logistics, UNCTAD
  • James Hookham, Secretary General, Global Shippers Forum
  • Anne Kappel, Vice President Strategy, World Shipping Council
  • Alan Murphy, CEO and Founder, Sea-Intelligence
  • Eddie Ng, Vice President Group Cargo Solutions, PSA International 
  • Jens Roemer, Chair of FIATA WG Sea

In this lively and insightful discussion, the speakers exchanged openly on the current state of play of the maritime supply chain. All agreed with the fact that the industry is in uncharted territory as the maritime supply chain continues to experience record levels of rates, delay, congestion and capacity shortages. Bottlenecks identified were multi-layered in nature, including hinterland issues, capacity, human resource, and a need for better information exchange between all stakeholders. Investments into digitalization strategies and sustainable practices were underlined as key avenues of reflection to help rebuild supply chains, as well as a more clear and predictable framework in order to inject much-needed infrastructural investments.

More information on the takeaways from the dialogue in the next edition of the FIATA Review!

For those who couldn’t attend the webinar, the recording of the High-Level dialogue is now accessible on FIATA’s YouTube Channel.


High-Level Dialogue: Development and adoption of digital standards to facilitate global trade

"Everyone is responsible, but no one is to blame" 

Chair of US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Dan Maffei on the disrupted maritime supply chain 

The second High-Level Dialogue, focusing on Digitalization, took place on Monday 15 November. The panel, moderated by the Chair of the Advisory Body Information Technology (ABIT), Anne Sandretto, addressed the topic of “Development and adoption of digital standards to facilitate global trade”. Three key industry leaders, Hannah Nguyen, Deputy Director of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Digital Standards Initiative (DSI), Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Chief Transport Facilitation and Economics Section at the TIR Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Peter Kern, Chief Operating Officer at CargoX Ltd., debated on the role and importance of digital standards.

Standards are key enablers in the digitalization process as they facilitate interoperability, but several other important elements are needed to achieve a wide adoption of digital solutions and documents:

  • Harmonized legal framework: digital documents (data) need to be legally recognized as equivalent to paper documents, worldwide
  • Operational interoperability: business process integration is necessary beyond the boundaries of a single organization. The digital processes should work and be integrated in all stakeholders' day-to-day operations
  • Trust and security: data should be able to be issued and exchanged by and with trusted stakeholders in a secured way 

All speakers agreed that FIATA’s collaborative approach is key to succeed in the digitalization process. Standards development and adoption can only work if representatives from the different stakeholders involved in a process are kept involved and continuously provide inputs to keep the standards relevant.

“Digitalization is a continuous journey and we are just at the beginning. FIATA is eager to keep working in collaboration with all actors of the supply chain to make it a reality.”

- Ms. Anne Sandretto, Chair of ABIT


Meet the YIFFYA Global Winner 2021!

Breaking News: Justin Goedhart, SAAFF, is the Global Winner of the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award (YIFFYA). This was officially announced on 17 November during the virtual final event.

The event was a fantastic opportunity for the finalists to present the paper that has led them that far in the competition. It was also their chance to shine in front of an audience of logistics professionals and to bring some innovative perspectives to the industry, while inspiring the young generation of freight forwarders to take part in the future of FIATA.

As a competition does not stand alone, FIATA and TT Club would like to extend their warmest congratulations to the Global Winner of the YIFFYA, Justin Goedhart, and to all the other participants of the competition, in particular the Regional Winners, Georgina Perez Perez, CIFFA, Glauc Fornés Gil, FETEIA and Muhammad Wasif Wiqar, PIFFA. 

The YIFFYA competition becomes Young Logistics Professional (YLP) Award as from 2022. The competition remains the same with a brand-new name that is more inclusive and will allow for other activities to be organised to promote young logistics professionals, as noted during the event by the FIATA President Mr Basil Pietersen.

Want to find out more about the Global Winner 2021 and have more insight into the competition’s final event and upcoming edition? Check out the press release and the YLP Award’s promotional video.

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