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The life of a freight forwarder: the highs, and the lows of the industry

FIATA HQ Meeting: Unveiling the ABIT working session topic and line-up

What is needed to achieve the digital supply chain, addressing the technical and operational challenges? This question will be the main theme of the ABIT session at the FIATA HQ Meeting. FIATA reminds all FIATA Association and Individual members that they are invited to register through this link for online participation and here for in-person presence

Confirmed speakers are Christian Gyntelberg, Program Director at Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) and Henk Mulder, Head, Digital Cargo at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). More on the HQ Meeting FIATA bodies sessions and speakers will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

FIATA visits NV Logistics - a day in the life of a freight forwarder!

This week, some of the FIATA HQ Team visited Geneva Airport for a tour of the apron and cargo storage facilities, as well as the NV Logistics warehouse in Satigny. The day was packed full, with an early start on the tarmac, where the team were toured around to see hangars, planes being loaded with cargo (only passenger planes, as Geneva Airport does not receive cargo planes), and some interesting goods stored in the airport cargo storage. 

Amongst more usual cargo, the team saw human blood samples stored in a container befit with a freezer to keep samples at -18°C, unhatched eggs and chocolate! At the NV Logistics warehouse the team saw cargo from archery equipment to bubble tea, amongst larger cargo.

A great day was had by all, and the FIATA HQ Team members came back having had an eye witness experience into the daily tasks of a freight forwarder! FIATA would like to thank Thierry Moreno and Jasmine Gharbi of NV Logistics, and Saskia Theuvenin of Genève Aéroport for their very informative tours, and wish them all the best with their upcoming ventures!

Air freight cargo growth, and subsequent decline revealed

This week saw the publication of IATA's Press Release, sharing air cargo data gathered in the last months. Growth can be seen in February of this year due to several factors benefitting air cargo compared to January. After the early February Lunar New Year holiday, manufacturing increased considerably and the relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, reduced flight cancellations due to Omicron-related factors (outside of Asia), and fewer winter weather operational disruptions boosted the sector.

“Demand for air cargo continued to expand despite growing challenges in the trading environment. That is not likely to be the case in March as the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine take hold. Sanction-related shifts in manufacturing and economic activity, rising oil prices and geopolitical uncertainty will take their toll on air cargo’s performance,” commented Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. TIACA shared the most recent economic impacts from March's events, which indeed were more negative due to the Ukraine war.

IATA also reported that 'Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), was up 2.9% compared to February 2021 (2.5% for international operations)'. The reported data also focuses on each region and its airlines (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East and African) independently, which can be found in the above Press Release link.

Ocean Shipping Act Reform passed by U.S. Senate  

The U.S. Senate passed a formal vote on 31 March on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), introduced in February by Senators Amy Klobuchar (Democrat-Minnesota) and John Thune (Republican-South Dakota). The Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved this last week. The Senate is now preparing for negotiations with the House of Representatives to find a compromise to be signed by the US President.

The aim of the bill is to unlock bottlenecks in ports, which amongst other problems have been causing issues for farm commodities. The bill will give the Federal Maritime Commission more authority and rulemaking ability over certain practices by international ocean shipping companies. The FMC would also be authorised to begin investigations of ocean common carriers’ business practices and apply enforcement measures. The OSRA would also prohibit ocean carriers from “unreasonably declining shipping opportunities” for US exports and require them to report to the FMC on a quarterly basis total tonnage and TEU units for every vessel that makes port calls in the US.

In other maritime news, the South Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) and the COMESA Competition Commission (CCC, representing 21 African member states) have instigated an investigation into alleged price fixing and increase by shipping lines. 20 local and overseas liner operators will be looked into as part of the ongoing investigations.

Latest IPCC report: what can freight forwarders keep in mind?  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report on 4 April 2022, emphasising solutions to avoid environmental and human disasters. The report takes stock of past and present emissions and offers options for reducing emissions by major sectors.

In 2019, direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector were 8.7 3 Gt CO2-eq (up from 5.0 Gt CO2-eq in 1990) and accounted for 23% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. 70% of direct transport emissions came from road vehicles, while 1%, 11%, and 12% came from rail, shipping, and aviation, respectively. Emissions from shipping and aviation continue to grow rapidly, though carriers are now responding with lower CO2-emitting technologies to reduce emissions.

The main objective in improving sustainability within the transport sector is to operate systemic transformations to reduce emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C (as per the Paris Agreement). In the context of the logistics industry, reactivity is key. Reducing emissions will require coordinated action along the supply chains.
FIATA is committed to supporting its members and partners in these sustainability efforts to reach the global common goal of carbon neutrality.
For more information, read the full IPCC report here.

Wildlife watch with TRAFFIC

FIATA, who is fully committed to supporting the fight against illegal wildlife trade (IWT), is pleased to share a very useful web resource provided by its partner, TRAFFIC. This webpage, which is a unique one-stop-shop for the transport sector to find resources to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking in the supply chain and build their capacity, is a direct response to the need identified in the two-day Global Shipping Roundtable co-organised by FIATA, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency), TRAFFIC, United for Wildlife, and WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) in June 2021.


Upcoming events:

  • 28 April 12:00-13:00 CEST ¦ Webinar series on ‘Market Structure and Maritime Competition' organised by FIATA
  • 17-20 May ¦ FIATA HQ Meeting 2022, Geneva with the participation of all FIATA Association members, their delegates and international partner organisations 
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