FIATA e-Flash No. 210 – 21 October 2019


2019 FIATA World Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, October 2019

This year’s FIATA World Congress was held in Cape Town attracting 800 participants, 60 exhibitors and provided an opportunity for delegates to network 15 hours a day on average. Congress session covered topics such as Brexit, digitalization, modern slavery, education, freight security, attracting young talent and many more.

FIATA’s General Assembly chose its new president Mr. Basil Pietersen hailing from South Africa and also chose its new 2022 FIATA Congress host to be Panama. Before concluding the congress, two key milestones were struck with FIATA agreeing to move its headquarters from Zurich to Geneva, to be close to international bodies, and merging the Advisory Body Vocational Training and FIATA Logistics Academy to create an institute named FIATA Logistics institute.

TRAFFIC and FIATA Launch Digital Course for Freight Forwarders

FIATA and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, launched a new digital course “Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking” during the FIATA World Congress 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa on October 4th.

Recognising that wildlife traffickers exploit the interconnected freight sector, the three-hour digital course provides freight forwarders with essential information to detect, respond to, and report instances of wildlife trafficking. The course is available, free of charge through the FIATA Logistics Academy and was developed in partnership with TRAFFIC with support from USAID through the Wildlife Trafficking Response Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project.

For more details, please visit:

FIATA Updates Model Rules on Freight Forwarding Services

FIATA released an updated version of the FIATA Model Rules for Freight Forwarding Services during its 2019 World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. This revision took into account various changes in the business landscape and legal requirement of the logistics and freight forwarding industry in the past 20 years.

FIATA President Babar Badat commented, “The Model Rules along with the FIATA documents such as the FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading, play critical roles in setting basic service standards and aligning the forwarder’s responsibility on a global scale. FIATA will keep updating these documents to reflect new business practices and regulatory requirements.”

For access to the document, please go to:

Young Freight Forwarders Honoured at FIATA World Congress

For over twenty years both FIATA, the global federation of international logistic service providers and freight forwarders, and TT Club, the specialist insurer for the freight and logistics industry, have championed the development of young professionals in freight forwarding.  Now in its twenty-second year, the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year (YIFFY) Award has been supported by both organisations in order to promote this mission.

The winner of this year’s award, announced on Friday at the FIATA World Congress in Cape Town, is Mrs Evgeniya Khokhlova, who represents Region Europe and is a Specialist in Project Logistics for SVH-Freight in Russia.

For more details, please visit:

FIATA says container cash guarantees needs updating

In its latest Best Practice Guide, FIATA’s Sea Transport Working Group focused on container cash deposits levied by shipping lines and suggested that such cash guarantees must be reviewed as they do not meet contemporary business needs and more importantly are unreasonable.

This best practices guide supports the Federal Maritime Commission (FMCs) initiatives to bring clarity and fairness to the assessment of demurrage and detention fees. FIATA’s newly published guide can be used as industry input for the FMC’s next move to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish “interpretive” rules to address future demurrage and detention disputes brought before the commission by the industry.

For more details, please visit:

FIATA Publishes Best Practices on Prevention of Bribery

FIATA has released a best practices paper on prevention of bribery during its 2019 World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. This paper aims at addressing the challenge of corruption and bribery in the international logistics and freight forwarding industry.  It provides practitioners with advices on internal control measures against bribery and on cooperating with other stakeholders to prevent it.

FIATA President Babar Badat commented, “Fighting against corruption and bribery is critical to create a level-playing field for the logistics and freight forwarding industry and to lower the costs of trade for the entire supply chain. No one can win this fight on their own. FIATA will continue to work with all stakeholders and strive for a better business environment for the industry.”

For access to the document, please go to:

FIATA to launch debut in Geneva in upcoming spring

In this year’s 2019 World Congress in Cape Town, FIATA President Babar Badat put forward a motion on behalf of the presidency to relocate FIATA’s physical residence from Zurich to Geneva in a move that would see FIATA remain a Swiss based entity, not confined to the Zurich jurisdiction, as stipulated in its resolutions.

In a decision which reflects contemporary relationships between and governmental and non-governmental bodies addressing international trade and the movement of goods across borders FIATA members overwhelmingly agreed.

Mr. Badat said “to move the seat of a 100-year old European organization is not an easy task and it took a lot of work” but he was very thankful for the support he got from the global membership of FIATA. He said advocacy is a very important part of the organization’s work and what better place for that than Geneva, which is truly an international hub for multilateral organizations. He said “for advocacy it’s better to be across the street than across the country.”

For more details, please visit:

FIATA Approves Training Body Mergers

FIATA’s General Assembly overwhelmed approved the merger of the FIATA Advisory Body Vocational Training (ABVT) and FIATA Logistics Academy (FLA), both created to enhance training development in the field of logistics, to create an institute known as the FIATA Logistics Institute (FLI).

Initiatives from each respective body will be carried over and further enhanced within FLI such as digital learning through FIATA’s e-learning platform and validations through local delivery from FIATA’s Association members.

Panama win host for the FIATA 2022 Congress

It is the largest logistics event internationally. The announcement was made on October 5th from Cape Town, South Africa. The Panamanian Association of Cargo Agents (APAC) reported that Panama had won the right to host the World Congress of FIATA 2022, the largest Congress of Logistics worldwide.

The candidacy was presented by the APAC in Cape Town, Africa. In this event, on behalf of Panama, is the president of the Rolando Alvarez and Edgar Urrutia guild. For this achievement, the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, showed joy and expressed his congratulations to the guild.

For more details, please visit:



Concerns raised about modern slavery in supply chains

A special session at the FIATA World Congress, which brought together leaders in the freight and logistics industry, called on people to be vigilant and aware of vulnerable people across the value chain.

Narit Gessler of global nongovernmental organisation, Free the Slaves, said modern slavery across the supply chain was far more common than people thought. Katie Modrau, the South African country manager of nongovernmental organisation, A21, said people who were unemployed and poverty-stricken were particularly susceptible to modern slavery. They are enslaved across the spectrum, from farming, domestic work and construction to clothing factories, mines, the beauty industry and the cleaning industry, says Australia-based legal expert Frazer Hunt.

For more details, please visit:

Saudi Arabia aims to be global logistics hub

Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with certain megaprojects to diversify its economy and to position itself as a global logistics hub. The Governor of Saudi Arabia’s General Customs Authority Ahmed Alhakbani this week said the country was ramping up its customs services in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to attract international investment and drive overall growth.

Alhakbani told the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (Fiata) World Congress 2019, being held in Cape Town, that the Saudi customs authority was adopting an integrated technical system, while also moving towards automating clearance procedures. It was also among the first customs authorities in the world to adopt blockchain technology for shipping operations.

For more details, please visit:

New technology is focus of FIATA congress in Cape Town

Babar Badat, president of FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations) says delegates will come together to “discuss the changes in the logistics and freight forwarding industry, especially the booming new technologies and their influences over our industry, to share best practices and to build up relationships with partners around the globe”.

The last time the congress was held in Africa was in 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Badat says: “In FIATA and in the industry of international logistics and freight forwarding at large, we see ever-increasing participation from Africa, manifesting positive signals of economic growth and strong impulses for international outreach.”

For more details, please visit:

FIATA World Congress: “Digitisation is key to reducing bottlenecks at hubs”

Dr Oliver Peltzer, partner and head practice group transport, aviation, logistics at law firm Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein, has called for the digitisation of customs procedures to help reduce cargo bottlenecks at borders.

“Transport systems involving multiple carriers require a vast number of documents that have to be produced at customs every time goods leave or enter a country,” Peltzer said. “Customs check the documents and inspect the goods – especially if they think there is something wrong with the documentation.”

For more details, please visit:



Major shipping companies Hapag-Lloyd and MSC Step Away From Arctic Shipping

Hapag-Lloyd and MSC are the latest shipping companies saying they will not ship via the Arctic. Companies cite environmental concerns, but experts caution that appearing environmentally friendly may be primary driver. Will more companies, like Maersk and COSCO, have to follow suit in light of growing public concern for climate change and the environment?

Maersk, the industry’s leader who conducted an Arctic test voyage last year, and COSCO, the world’s number three whose vessels have completed around 30 voyages via the Arctic, have not given any indication about also ceasing shipping via the Arctic. Together the top five companies account for more than half of global container ocean freight.

For more details, please visit:

Flexport buys online container tracking specialist Crux Systems

The acquisition of Crux Systems will allow Flexport to incorporate the company’s track and trace technology into Flexport’s platform, which is used by nearly 10,000 shippers and suppliers. Clients will get more accurate, more timely visibility into their shipments, including cargo location, time stamps, and completion of major delivery milestones.

“When we founded Crux Systems, we saw an opportunity to improve global logistics by solving the difficulties of accessing container information and getting real-time visibility into what’s happening with your shipments,” said Crux Systems CEO Eric Klein. “Joining Flexport enables us to leverage expertise, infrastructure, and technology to further build out a world-changing track and trace service.”

For more details, please visit:



Drones set to reshape cargo, transportation sector

The emergence of cargo drones is set to radically improve the cargo and transportation sector, as they are able to offer autonomous quality service 24 hours a day, the yearly World Congress of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Association (Fiata), has heard.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Aeronautics and Astronautics Professor Wesley Harris explained the benefits of huge, industrial quality drones that are able to move heavy containers. DRONAMICS Global CEO and co-founder Svilen Rangelov, believes drones will contribute to transportation in the same way that the Internet contributed to communication and payment. “Heavy-lifting cargo drones will be able to mitigate a number of challenges within the logistics industry.”


Africa air freight demand surges

Africa’s freight market is well on course. The continent has seen a significant increase in demand this year compared to the same period in 2018. How far will the trade war between the United States and China go? Figures published this month by the International Air Transport Association on world freight market data show a contraction in demand this year compared to 2018.

A contraction that has not affected Africa and China, however. African carriers recorded the strongest growth among all regions in August 2019, with an 8 per cent increase in demand compared to the same period last year.

For more details, please visit:



Dutch to introduce 740m-long freight trains

FOLLOWING successful trials in 2018, Dutch infrastructure manager Prorail has confirmed that the commercial operation of 740m-long freight trains will be permitted on the Dutch network from 2020.

Prorail anticipates that rail freight operator LTE will operate around 20 pairs of 740m-long container trains per week run between the port of Rotterdam and the Dutch – German border crossing at Venlo – Kaldenkirchen. These will be routed via the conventional network and will not use the Betuweroute dedicated freight corridor.

For more details, please visit:

Chinese subsidies for the New Silk Road on a decline

What has been anticipated for many months now seems to be happening. The Chinese subsidies for rail freight traffic to Europe are on a decline. The government has put in place ceilings on the local subsidies, which will be lowered even further in 2020. This was reported by several industry experts.

There is been no formal announcement on this policy, but the news has been going around. Panda Paw Dragon Claw, a Chinese-based blog about Chinese foreign policy, refers to the Ministry of Finance end of August. Reportedly, local governments may not subsidise train journeys to Europe by more than 30 per cent of the original price in 2020. This is similar to what logistics providers have heard.

For more details, please visit:



DP World launches Log X, technology accelerator platform for logistics startups

The Log-X technology accelerator platform will focus on digital technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, simulators and Internet of Things. Global logistics major DP World has launched Log-X, a national technology accelerator platform for logistics in partnership with Invest India, Kerala Start-Up Mission and its accelerator partner Startup Réseau, to encourage innovation and technology adoption in the Indian logistics sector.

The platform will seek to identify logistics-focused technology startups through Startup India portal and will look to onboard up to 10 selected startups for conducting pilots, with a long-term objective of partnerships, strategic engagements and proof-of-concept development. The finalized startups will be mentored by DP World leadership team and external mentors onboarded to the program.

For more details, please visit:

Automation Isn’t About to Make Truckers Obsolete

Hardly a day goes by without someone suggesting that technologies like AI, machine learning, and robotics will transform the 21st century labor market. A prominent example of this has been in truck driving – an occupation that spans multiples industries and moves over 70% of U.S. freight by weight -which many speculate will see a widespread loss of jobs with the rise of self-driving technology.

Some have forecast that autonomous vehicles will eliminate 2-3 million trucking jobs over the next several years. But in looking at the data, we believe that, while the risk of job loss from automation is very real, the projections that often get touted are overstated. In a study in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, we argue that there are three key reasons why:

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