FIATA E-Flash No. 217 – 10 February 2020


FIATA Welcomes Decision by Ocean Carriers during Corona Virus Breakout

Container shipping lines are exempting detention and demurrage in China during the extended Chinese New Year holiday period amid the rapid spread of the new coronavirus. CMA CGM and Orient Overseas Container Line have joined other carriers’ moves to waive container use charges amid the prolonged holidays in China put into effect to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Days after FIATA issued its press release calling for carriers to adopt corporate responsibility during the Corona virus crisis, we welcome the decision from ocean carriers in not charging demurrage or detention fees during the virus outbreak. In FIATA’s Submission to the FMC inquiry last year, we urged the commission to ensure that freight forwarders are able to compete on a level playing field by the provision of a fair and realistic delivery period free of demurrage and detention for containers. FIATA questioned the justifications for charging demurrage and detention fees and to what extent the practice was meeting the intended purpose of moving cargo through the port in a timely manner.

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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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Trust freight forwarders to expedite your businesses for you – Ghana

The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Edward Akrong, has urged the trading public to trust the services of freight forwarders to not only broker customs clearance of goods, but also provide just in time end to end delivery of goods and services internationally.

“We are able to do that because we are networked. You do not only have to travel all the way to Kazakhstan because you need a part or two for a factory or production. You can contact your freight forwarder to handle all of that for you more efficiently,” he said.

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Forwarders warned of shortage of cargo space once China factories reopen

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, freight forwarders are warning customers to expect space shortages once factories reopen in China, with some ocean shippers switching to air or rail freight in a bid to play supply chain catch-up.

According to Vincent Wong, Asia director of airfreight at C.H. Robinson, the majority of factories across China will remain closed until 10 February. “Once they reopen there will be a rush for orders,” he told The Loadstar.

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Industry welcomes new India budget boosting transport and logistics infrastructure

Transport and logistics companies have welcomed India’s latest budget, announced on Saturday, which saw the government unveil an enormous $23bn investment in transport and logistics infrastructure.

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (pictured above) also revealed that the country was drawing up a National Logistics Policy to facilitate international trade and drive costs for importers and exporters.

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Flexport just another forwarder forced to adapt quickly to market changes

The news this week that Flexport has laid off some 50 staff has, predictably, caused a flurry of comment about the digital forwarder and its future. It should, however, be seen in context – it is hardly the only forwarder out there scaling back. DSV Panalpina may have lost between 20% and 30% of Panalpina staff, although admittedly under different circumstances.

Forwarders wax and wane constantly on staff numbers – according to Shipping Watch, DHL Freight, which just laid off 10 employees in Denmark following a DSV Panalpina deal with Vestas, was just one of several forwarders to have lost out.

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DP World unveils $1bn Bangladesh logistics infrastructure investment plan

Dubai-based terminal operator DP World wants to invest US$1bn in Bangladesh’s container supply chain infrastructure, including ports, rail network and inland container terminals. The global port giant has tabled a formal proposal to Bangladesh’s government after a meeting organised with the Dubai Chamber last month.

In its new proposal, DP World says it plans to invest in Patenga container terminal, operate Kamalapur inland container depot and modernise and operate New Mooring Container Terminal (NMCT) and Chittagong Container Terminal (CCT), which are both located in Chittagong port.

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Parceling Out Profits; Amazon’s Shipping Prime; Flipping Reverse Logistics

UPS pricier air express services grew at a double-digit pace during 2019, including a 25.9% year-over-year gain in next-day air shipments in the fourth quarter. FedEx’s overnight air shipments have declined in three of the past four quarters and SJ Consulting says UPS now holds a bigger share of the next-day market than its Memphis-based rival.

Amazon is getting its money’s worth from its shipping spending. The company’s fourth-quarter sales jumped 21% to $87.4 billion and its profit rose 8% to $3.3 billion, the WSJ’s Dana Mattioli reports, capping a strong holiday quarter that saw the e-commerce giant outpace its retail competitors and helping boost Amazon’s valuation in after-hours trading past $1 trillion.

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Ports Risk Losing Control of Their Place in the Logistics Chain

An UNCTAD study has been released examining the digitalization of ports and the risks they face by not adopting “smart” technology. The study Digitalising the Port Call Process has been compiled by Mikael Lind, Robert Ward, Michael Bergmann, Sandra Haraldson, and Almir Zerem with the Research Institutes of Sweden.

It becomes essential for the port of tomorrow to be connected to the global supply chain, in particular, by being informed about upstream progress to ensure its ability to plan its operations successfully and optimally, states the report. This is something that can be achieved through enhanced collaboration and data sharing.

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Panamax gains buoy Baltic sea freight index

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index edged up on Thursday, snapping a 14-session long streak of losses, propped up by gains in the panamax segment and slightly higher earnings for capesize vessels.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, rose one point, or 0.2%, to 431. The capesize index slipped four points to a negative 187, down for the 40th consecutive session.

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How to factor IMO 2020 into upcoming ocean freight contract negotiations

The International Maritime Organization’s low-sulfur regulations, which required container lines to comply with a sulfur emissions limit of no more than 0.5% mass by mass starting Jan. 1. In turn, refiners had to boost production of compliant fuels and shippers had to ready their budgets for freight price hikes and surcharges.

Shippers, carriers, forwarders and nearly all other industry stakeholders have consensus on two facts. First, global shipping is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and the industry must adapt measures to reduce environmental impact. Second, reducing emissions is not cheap.

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2019 worst year for air freight demand since 2009

IATA has released full-year 2019 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), fell by 3.3% compared to 2018 while capacity (AFTK) rose by 2.1%.

This was the first year of declining freight volumes since 2012, and the weakest performance since the global financial crisis in 2009 (when air freight markets contracted by 9.7%). In the month of December, cargo volumes contracted 2.7% year-on-year while capacity rose 2.8%.

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Kenya, US sign amended air cargo agreement

Kenya and United States (US) have signed an amendment to the US-Kenya Air Transport Agreement, which will now see easier movement of goods between the two countries. The amendment adds all-cargo rights to the existing air transport agreement between the two countries. It is expected that when the deal comes into force, it will offer air carriers greater flexibility to meet their cargo and express delivery customers’ needs more efficiently.

The amendment now adds seventh-freedom traffic rights for all-cargo operations to the bilateral Air Transport Agreement between the two countries, meaning cheaper costs, and efficiency of cargo movement between the two countries.

FIATA welcomes such agreements and would like to see more regional collaboration in the African aviation industry. FIATA has taken the position to support the implementation of ICAO’s Yamoussoukro Decision and the Lomé Declarations, which require a cooperative effort from all regional bodies to insert key elements of the aviation agreement into their regional agreements, such as the CFTA.


New cooperative agreement forged to provide cybersecurity in air cargo sector

Airports Council International (ACI) World and A-ISAC announced today they have signed an agreement that better enables ACI members to join the A-ISAC for access to airport-specific cyber threat intelligence and actionable data that will enhance their ability to build cyber resiliency.

Both organizations play an active role in supporting the global aviation network; by increasing collaboration, the groups have created a partnership that better protects global aviation stakeholders.

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STB Tackles Rail Demurrage Issue Head On

In an effort to rein in rampant abuse of shippers by major railroads through unreasonable demurrage charges and fees, the Surface Transportation Board has proposed two regulations and a policy statement declaring that it will not tolerate exploitive practices in the future.

In the policy statement, the board stressed two fundamental principles that it encourages all rail carriers, shippers and receivers to keep in mind. First, demurrage rules and charges are not reasonable when they do not serve to incentivize the behavior of shippers and receivers by encouraging the efficient use of rail assets by returning railcars without unnecessary delays.

In its submission to the United States (US) Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Review of container detention and demurrage charges FIATA supported a more transparent, equitable and business orientated process as regards the determination and levy of such charges not only in the US but in other economies where industry operated under similar processes.

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8% Growth in Rail Freight Transportation

A total of 50.47 million tons of commodities were transported by railroads in the last Iranian year (March 2018-19), showing an 8% increase compared with the previous year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Based on the recent report, more than 12.12 million tons of goods were exported and over 2.71 million tons were imported through the national rail network during the period, indicating a 1.04% rise and a 11.72% year-on-year decline respectively, reported citing figures released from the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways.

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Will Trains Play a Key Role in the European Green Deal?

“As things stand, rail’s market share of EU freight is slipping, falling from above 18% to below 17% in recent years,” said James Nix, director of freight at Transport & Environment, a clean transport campaign group. As roads currently take the lion’s share of inland freight, “very substantial sums are being invested in rail freight,” Libor Lochman, executive director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, told DW.

“We’ve been requested by the Green Deal to move, as much as possible, freight from road to rail. But for this you need to improve the European cross-border railway network,” said Commissioner Valean. Intermodal connections and capacity have to be built, border activities have to be streamlined.

FIATA supports the green initiatives. Our position has been for developing consistent global policy on sustainable logistics connectivity can impress the required acceleration to achieve interconnected production and consumption, but failing to do so may increase expenditure by introducing a cost for inaction which may defeat all efforts toward development.

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AI logistics startup Fleetx nets $2.8m for market expansion, an India-based fleet management startup, announced that it has raised US$2.8 million in a series A funding round led by Singapore-based VC firm Beenext and existing investor India Quotient.

Founded in 2017, the Gurugram-based startup uses AI, big data, and predictive analytics to help fleet owners and shippers monitor and optimize their daily logistics operations. It aims to help improve their efficiency, safety, and decision-making in a cost-effective and flexible way.

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Shipamax scores $7M Series A to digitise the logistics back-office

Founded in 2016, Shipamax  first set out to build an online broker for bulk shipping, before pivoting to a SaaS offering for bulk shippers. However, realising that the need for digitisation was real but that the market wasn’t large enough for a “VC scale business,” the startup pivoted one more time to develop a toolkit for back-office “process automation” for the global logistics industry.

The core Shipamax technology connects to any email inbox or unstructured data source and automatically extracts data from emails and attachments in real time. It then outputs a clean, structured feed via the Shipamax API.

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