FIATA E-Flash No. 214 – 16 December 2019


Happy Holidays from Everyone at FIATA

We want to take this time to show our appreciation to our members and partner stakeholders. We wish the best for you in this holiday season and the upcoming year.

Everyone here at FIATA reflects on those that have made our success possible. Thank you for continuing to support us and may your holiday season be filled with joy.

FIATA Appoints New Director General

FIATA President Mr. Basil Pietersen today announced the appointment of its new Director General. “After an extensive recruitment process, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr Stéphane Graber as the new Director General of FIATA who will take up his role in Geneva on 1 January 2020.”

“Stéphane brings to FIATA a strong background in information technology, training and development and finance.  As a previous Secretary General in a not for profit non-governmental body involved in commodity trading and shipping based in Geneva, he has that in-depth understanding of international logistics and the movement of goods across borders “said Mr Pietersen.

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FIATA Membership Fee 2020 – Invoices

Please be advised that the invoices for FIATA Membership Fee 2020 will be sent by email to all individual FIATA Members between 6 and 10 January 2020. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with all our current membership and welcome new members in the coming year.

Industry Steps Up Efforts Against Rogue Lithium Battery Shipments

IATA, in partnership with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), FIATA and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), are amplifying their efforts to ensure the safe air transport of lithium batteries.

The organizations are also renewing calls for governments to crack down on manufacturers of counterfeit batteries and of mis-labeled and non-compliant shipments introduced into the supply chain, by issuing and enforcing criminal sanctions on those responsible.

The campaign includes three specific initiatives; new incident reporting and alert system for airlines, industry awareness campaign on the dangers of shipping undeclared and misdeclared lithium batteries and facilitation of a joined-up industry approach.

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When the fine print matters in freight contracts – CBCFA Member Discussion

The decision of the Victorian County Court in Technology Swiss Pty Ltd and Ecology SRL v Famous Pacific Shipping Pty Ltd which was delivered on 30 September 2019 and published on 13 November 2019 has already received some attention and commentary within industry.

Much of the attention has focussed on one of the outcomes of the decision which allowed the incorporation of the terms and conditions of the freight forwarder including a limitation of liability condition which reduced the award for damaged cargo.

Members of FIATA’s Australian Association, Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia  (CBFCA), were pleased with the outcome which supported their use of terms and conditions of trade but agreed with the importance of steps that needed to be taken to ensure that the terms and conditions of trade become properly incorporated.

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What Brexit’s political headwinds mean for freight forwarders (Podcast)

As the current standing of Brexit hangs in limbo until Jan. 31, 2020, with little light likely to be shed on the situation until the United Kingdom’s general election takes place on Dec. 12, freight forwarders are already at work establishing contingency plans for a worst-case scenario during this murky period.

In this episode of On Air with Air Cargo World, they speak with Robert Keen, British International Freight Association director general, regarding what regulatory uncertainty stemming from Brexit means for freight forwarders – namely, a potential skilled labor shortage and increased costs to customers.

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GIFF elects Edward Akrong as President at 23RD AGM

A former Council Member of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Edward Akrong has been elected as the Association’s new President at the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Association in Cape Coast.

He takes over from Kwabena Ofosu Appiah who has steered the affairs of the Association for the past four years. The Commissioner of Customs Col. Kwadwo Damoah, in a speech read on his behalf urged GIFF members to continue to strategize for the future in order to grow with the evolving trends of clearing and forwarding business.

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ICAO FIATA DG Training Programme – Promotional Offer for DG Training Centers

FIATA wishes to extend an invitation to training organizations which offer Dangerous Goods by Air Training, to consider the benefits of becoming a Recognized ICAO FIATA DG Training Centre. Those interested Training Centers which come forward and submit an application prior to February 28th, 2020 will not be required to pay our Application Fee. A savings of 450 US Dollars.

We would be pleased to provide you with more information on the benefits of becoming an ICAO FIATA DG Training Center, simply send us an email at, with your contact details and a member of our training department will be in touch with you shortly.

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3PLs needn’t fear etailers doing logistics, but to prosper, they must add value

Freight forwarders have nothing to fear from the in-sourcing of transport by etailers – but they must invest in technology and add value for their customers, if they want to participate in an expected doubling of growth over the next decade.

“The only limit on 3PLs is what is between their CEOs’ ears,” said Robert Voltmann, secretary general of Fiata and president of the Transportation Intermediaries Association.  “We see the 3PL industry doubling in size over the next 10 years,” he told delegates at Tiaca’s Executive Summit in Budapest yesterday.

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Carrier blames weak freight market, bad lease deal for latest bankruptcy woes

Family-owned Hendrickson Truck Lines Inc. of Sacramento, California, recently filed for bankruptcy protection, citing a soft freight market, loss of two key customers and a bad truck leasing agreement.

In its filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, it listed assets and liabilities as being between $10 million and $50 million. The company said its financial problems started in January with a sharp decline in overall freight tonnage. This, combined with excess truck capacity, resulted in a 21% rate drop compared with 2018, resulting in a $400,000 per month revenue drop, according to its petition.

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BMW joins climate coalition

German OEM BMW claims it is the first carmaker to join the Getting to Zero Coalition, which has the goal of using zero-emission cargo vessels from 2030.

German OEM BMW claims it is the first carmaker to join the Getting to Zero Coalition, which has the goal of using zero-emission cargo vessels from 2030. “Maritime transport is crucial for supplying the BMW Group’s international manufacturing network and for the global distribution of vehicles,” said senior vice-president of production network and supply chain management, Jürgen Maidl.

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Agreement on USMCA promises to remove trade uncertainty

The US, Mexico and Canada have finalised the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is to replace the existing North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). Trade negotiators signed in revisions to the deal, which was originally announced last year, on Tuesday this week (December 10) in Mexico City. Those revisions included tighter labour standards and strengthened environmental protections, which US Democrats had requested before endorsing the deal.

While USMCA still needs approval by legislators in each of the three nations (now likely in the new year), it heralds a more secure trading environment, with benefits for the continued movement of automotive parts and vehicles in the region. Around a quarter of all new vehicles sold in the US are assembled in either Mexico or Canada, according to data from Cox Automotive.

As highlighted in FIATA’s position, freight forwarders believe the role of governments come to the fore in dealing with cutting red tape and creating facilitation opportunities, enhancing harmonisation, implementing international agreements, investing in education, promoting skills’ creation and quality of study, updating, upgrading and maintaining infrastructure, promoting public and private investment in key infrastructure and seeking international coordination, not regional segregation. With these elements logistics becomes a powerful enabler of prosperity and the precious ally of good government in creating happier and more successful citizens.

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Container ports: the fastest, the busiest, and the best connected

Recognizing the importance of measuring container port performance, UNCTAD developed the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) in 2004 to determine countries’ positions within global liner shipping networks; the latest country-level LSCI statistics were published in July 2019. Subsequently, on 7 August, UNCTAD launched two new datasets:

Ports in smaller countries tend to provide transhipment services to larger neighbouring countries. The expanded Panama Canal has led to shifts in service patterns. Containerships have the lowest turnaround times. In 2018, a given ship spent a median of 23.5 hours in ports, i.e. 0.97 days. Dry bulk carriers spent typically 2.05 days during a port call, while container ships spent on average the least amount of time (0.7 days).

FIATA is an advocate for speed and connectedness of ports which in turn increase lead times, reduces costs for any port charges and improves relationships among all stakeholders in the supply chain from the shipping lines to the forwarder.

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Fresh floes: What does the Northern Sea Route mean for automotive logistics?

The Northern Sea Route (NSR), a growing shipping lane linking South-East Asia with Northern Europe through Arctic waters, is set to become a competitor to the Suez Channel for cargo delivery between these two regions. Russian authorities believe that the NSR would could be used for all types of cargo.

Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom has pledged to spend $7 billion on building an Arctic fleet, while the Russian government has promised $11 billion for the development of port infrastructure in the region – as well as offering subsidies. Yet many shipping companies have expressed doubts about the viability of the NSR and some have said they will not use it because of the likely environmental impact.

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Maritime freight operating costs rose again in 2019, Drewry finds

Drewry estimates that average daily operating costs across the 46 different ship types and sizes covered in its report increased 2.2% in 2019, compared to underlying increases of just 1.1% and 0.7% respectively in the previous two years. This followed a period in which operating expenditures actually contracted over the two consecutive years (2015-16) by almost 9%, London, England-based Drewry said in its “Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2019/20” report.

In the most recent rise, spending rose across all six of the main cost categories, indicating how broad-based inflation continues to be, the report said. That cost-inflation curve has been dampened slightly by a continued recovery across most cargo shipping markets, but the rise in costs was still broad-based across all the main cargo-carrying sectors: container, chemical, dry bulk, oil tanker, LNG, LPG, general cargo, reefer, roro, and car carriers sectors.

For more details, please visit:–drewry-finds/



More global air cargo hubs to join Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Alliance

Executive representatives from Hong Kong International Airport, Munich International Airport, Sydney Airport, and Toronto Pearson International Airport have pledged their commitment to join the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking by signing the United for Wildlife (UFW) Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration.

The critical need for a strong global effort is demonstrated by the fact that the illegal wildlife trade is one of the most lucrative transnational crimes and estimated by the United Nations to be worth up to $23 billion annually.

Recognising that wildlife traffickers exploit the interconnected freight sector, FIATA in conjunction with TRAFFIC, released a three-hour digital course which 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.


Cathay Pacific Cargo cuts prices as air cargo flies into a soft new year

Exports from Hong Kong, carried on the group’s four airlines – Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Air Hong Kong and HK Express – will see a reduction of HK$0.3 per kg for special and general cargo, a decrease of between 18% and 20%. The cuts will be partially funded by Airport Authority of Hong Kong.

This year’s figures were down 3.3% on 2018 – and IATA is forecasting growth of just 2% next year, still below 2018 levels. And yields, it said, would decline again, by 3%, – this year they fell 5% – while total cargo revenue in 2020 will fall for the third consecutive year, by 1.1% over 2019, to $101.2bn.

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World rail freight news round-up

GB Railfreight has introduced a service from the iPort Rail site at Doncaster to Felixstowe that runs five days a week. ‘This service, our second to Felixstowe and fifth to be launched within a 13-month period.

United Wagon Co is to supply a second batch of 20 dump cars to BrIK by the end of 2020. The Type 32-6982-01 cars will be used to transportation and bulk and lump mineral cargoes for the mining and construction industries.

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Self-driving truck completes first cross-country freight delivery

Silicon Valley startup announced this week that a self-driving semi-truck packed with a payload of 40,000 pounds of Land O’Lakes butter successfully made an over 2,800 mile trip from cross-country trip from Tulare, California to Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

It is estimated that there are about 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States and about 7.4 million people working in adjacent positions in the trucking and shipping industry. Driving a truck is the most popular occupation in 29 states, and the people who work those jobs do not fit neatly into a demographic that can easily be transferred over to another line of work. The average trucker is 49 years old and has a high school education.

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Amazon’s shipping and logistics spend remains in lockstep with expectations

While Amazon’s earnings are typically astronomical—and the 3rd quarter was no exception, with revenue up 23.7% annually—what truly stood out in supply chain circles is the company’s ongoing and increasingly intense focus on all things shipping and logistics.

This was highlighted by Amazon executives noting that the company will spend roughly $1.5 billion—yes, billion—on its one-day shipping efforts, replacing its ubiquitous Prime two-day shipping program. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company is ramping up to make its 25th holiday season the best ever for Prime customers, with millions of products available for one-day delivery.

FIATA and its members indicated in its position paper that Logistics will gradually adapt to the new “principals” (micro enterprise and private individuals) for engaging with eCommerce, but in this dynamic process there will be early adaptors and leaders; others, who may have missed the “first mover’s advantage” may struggle.

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SAP wants to provide shippers with access to real-time tracking information

The new partnership between SAP and project44 will provide joint solutions for key transportation processes. This includes, receiving and tracking to connect, automate and provide visibility data and insights. As a result, the solution will deliver a more holistic and consistent experience, saving time and resources, improving operations and driving business development in the economy.

“Shippers often struggle with little transparency across their logistics ecosystem due to volatile market conditions and siloed operations, which makes everything from staffing operations to keeping stock on shelves more difficult,” said Franz Hero, senior vice president, Supply Chain Development, SAP. “We want to provide shippers with access to real-time information that pinpoints their shipments’ location at all times and provides dynamic, predictive delivery ETAs. This information will improve shippers’ real-time decisions, to run more proactive, data-driven supply chains.”

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