9 December 2021
Maritime supply chain crisis: FIATA launches consultation to find solutions
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the maritime supply chain into unprecedented disarray, with historically high ocean freight rates per container, unpredictable schedules, port congestion and supply chain bottlenecks, including soaring surcharges and fees. Some major shipping lines appear to be seeking to take advantage of the situation to increase their control over the supply chains and accelerate vertical integration. This is particularly a concern for vulnerable economies and the small and medium-sized enterprises in the supply chain that are an essential component for the development of such economies.
FIATA remains proactive on this significant business and competition issue, and has contacted other Geneva-based international organisations to join forces to address the current maritime supply chain crisis. Under the aegis of UNCTAD, discussions are planned in the coming weeks to define an action plan to build a more sustainable and resilient supply chain for the benefit of all stakeholders, among which FIATA's members.
Please send your thoughts, suggestions, data or experiences on this important topic to FIATA headquarters at [email protected] to help us make the freight forwarders' voice heard in the upcoming discussions.
Unpredictability of Season's deliveries
The disruption of the maritime supply chain, and the increasing shortages of goods in Christmas season is compelling by governments and regulatory agencies to investigate the situation all over the world. Schedule reliability in terms of transit and frequency are now at an all-time low resulting in a total absence of predictability, whilst freight rates are at record high levels. Freight forwarders and their customers – many of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – are particularly hard hit by these rocketing prices.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is launching an inquiry into supply chain disruptions, and has requested that nine large retailers, wholesalers and consumer good supplies provide detailed information on the matter. This has also been the case in Australia, where the Australian Government announced on 30 November 2021 an inquiry, by the Productivity Commission, into the efficiency of the Australian maritime logistics system with a report expected by June 2022.
FIATA continues to encourage all stakeholders to work together to develop strengthened and constructive dialogue and exchange of information, as the entire supply chain would benefit from a less opaque system with transparent and consistent practices.
Expression of interest - FIATA World Congress 2025
The FIATA World Congress (FWC) is a key event in the FIATA calendar and brings together a diversity of interested parties from the international trade logistics and supply chain management industry. It provides the opportunity, especially for all FIATA Members, to meet to discuss industry-related issues, to hear from subject matter experts, to converse with regulators, to understand the needs of trade, and to address changing business models.
While the pandemic has created challenges for FWC host Association Members for Busan 2022 and Brussels 2023 events, FIATA continues to look to the future and a return to the FWC of the past, where participants can again meet in person. In addition, FIATA has taken the opportunity to realign and refocus the FWC with a changed program format which will be introduced with the 2024 FWC in Panama.
For the FWC, it is the practice to call for Expressions of Interest from Association Members to host the event on behalf of FIATA. As such FIATA is now looking ahead to the FWC 2025 and is soliciting Expressions of Interest from Association Members, the receipt of which must reach the FWC Committee by 31 December 2021 for review in January 2022. Subsequent to that work, the Committee will further discuss, with prospective hosts, key elements of hosting the FWC.
Expressions of Interest should be addressed to the Chair of the FWC Committee and forwarded to [email protected].