FIATA E-Flash No. 202 – 17 June 2019



For those coming to South Africa for the FIATA World Congress in Cape Town, 1 – 5 October 2019, there is so much to discover. Whether you enjoy relaxing in style, rich cultural experiences, fabulous food and wine, or exploring the wonders of nature, South Africa is quite extraordinary, mysterious and a lot of fun.
With such incredibly diverse landscapes, people, culture and wildlife to choose from – it is difficult to sum up! Let’s just say there is a whole lot of magic to discover. Highlights include: cosmopolitan Cape Town, a Big 5 Safari, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route. See the below links on the Congress website for more information and start planning your trip.

Our work program will feature key speakers from IBM, African Union, Turkish Airlines and many others covering a range of topics from African transport policy to the impact of modern slavery on supply chain.

Travel Advice (visas, visa support letters and paper work to enter South Africa):

Pre- and Post-Congress Tours:

Day Tours:

9th UIC-FIATA Market Place Seminar held on 4 June 2019 in Munich

The Market Place Seminar is a platform which aims to create opportunities for increased cooperation and business development within the rail sector by offering a common platform for railway undertakings, freight forwarders and customers.

FIATA’s Dr. Ivan Petrov highlighted the importance of the FIATA Bill of Lading as the only document viable for multimodal transport. FIATA also emphasized the importance of rail corridor concept/management for the success of rail freight operations.

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Congratulations to Rodolfo Sagel, past Chairman of FIATA’s Airfreight Institute (AFI) from 2005 until 2017, for being awarded by ALACAT, the Federation of National Associations of Cargo Agents and International Logistical Operators of Latin America and the Caribbean, for MEDAL OF HONOUR FOR MERIT at their XXXVI Congress held in Barcelona, Spain

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FIATA Members in Strong Participation for the 2019 Transport and Logistics Fair

Munich hosted the largest logistics fair in the world with 2,374 exhibitors, an increase of 10 percent, and around 64,000 visitors, an increase of 5 percent. This year digital logistics and software companies were taking center stage with a special booth for startups under starthub and a think-a-thon for creative ideas.

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FIATA’s Best Practice on Container Shipping Gaining Momentum

The FIATA Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) released its Best Practices Guide on Container Shipping and the Quality of Containers. This is MTI 2nd Volume of Best Practices being the first related to demurrage and detention.

The second edition is gaining momentum among industry stakeholders being reference in academic presentation and most recently in the German international transport journal.
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Global trade is under greatest threat since WWII, Productivity Commission says

Australia should unilaterally cut trade barriers, remove “nuisance” tariffs and review millions of dollars in assistance to farmers, the government’s top economic advisory body has found, as it warns the world trading system is under greater strain than at any time since the 1930s.

A day after global finance ministers failed to forge a way forward out of the US$250 billion US-China trade dispute at the G20 in Japan, the Productivity Commission said Australia must lead by example by ditching anti-dumping measures and encouraging foreign investment by removing regulations.

With free trade increasingly challenged on several fronts in recent times and in the light of recent trends observed in US trade policies (as well as in other countries), FIATA and its freight forwarder members decide to speak up to reconvene the benefits of the open, liberal and global trading system which has been built in the last few decades and has ensured better living conditions to the vast majority of humanity. FIATA Position can be seen here

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4 Ways Modern Freight Forwarding Reins In Logistics Management

As most in the freight forwarding and global trade business know, logistics managers are front and center on the frontline, responsible for making sure supply chains run smoothly. When they’re successful, often the work and the effort aren’t recognized. But when there’s a hiccup along the way, logistics managers take the blame.

Four straightforward, modern approaches can help those on the hook for logistics management transform their experience through greater control and visibility for better supply chain management.

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Lululemon is spending more on air shipments before Trump’s tariffs clog up ports

Ports could become congested this summer as companies bring forward shipments from China in anticipation of higher tariffs. Lululemon plans to dodge the problem by flying in more products instead of shipping them by sea.

Ports could become clogged this summer as US businesses bring forward shipments from China in anticipation of higher import duties. Lululemon, which posted a robust set of first-quarter results this week, plans to dodge the problem by flying in more products instead of shipping them by sea.

FIATA has stated in prior positions that governments will need to play their role in the future of trade to avoid erecting trade barriers; this is the only way to facilitate their citizens’ businesses’ access to markets, whilst ensuring that citizens’ safety and security are not put at greater risk.

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Port of Hamburg moves more cargo by rail and is equipped for further growth

In Germany’s largest universal Port of Hamburg more than 135 million tons of seaborne cargo traffic are cleared annually. A major share of this freight reaches or leaves the port by rail. If you look at the shares of various modes of transport on the overland seaport-hinterland routes, then rail is in pole position in Hamburg with 48.2 percent, ahead of trucking with 41.4 percent and inland waterway with 10.2 percent.

In the first quarter of 2019, a total of 12.5 million tons of freight were transported by rail between the Port of Hamburg and destinations within Germany and Europe. This means an increase of 7.7 percent. The growth in container traffic was markedly higher. Here, in the first quarter of 2019, a total of 690,000 TEU – twenty-foot standard containers were transported by rail.

In order to help improve working relationship with maritime operators, FIATA Published a second edition of its Best Practices on Container Shipping and Quality of Containers last week. Our Working Group Sea noticed that the quality of containers provided by shipping lines in global container shipping has decreased significantly. One has to come to the conclusion that shipping lines are cutting cost in the maintenance of their equipment.

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Russia seeks to open its Arctic waters to world shipping

A consortium comprising DP World of the United Arab Emirates, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (a sovereign wealth fund), Rosatom and Norilsk Nickel have agreed to look into developing the Russian Northern Sea Route (NSR).

The first step in the program is to set up a joint working group to check feasibility and the best available commercial operations for using the Northern Sea Route. The parties have emphasized that, between them, they have the ability to operate in the Arctic.

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Air freight forwarders’ react to 2019 market issues

The global air freight market struggled during the first three months of the year as a slowing trade environment took a toll. Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicated that freight-ton-kilometers declined 2.0 percent while available-freight-ton-kilometers increased 3.3 percent for the quarter.

However, a look at a few of the publicly traded forwarders’ first quarter earnings finds a mixed bag of results, suggesting that the air freight forwarding market is struggling with imbalances within the air freight market and profitability.

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Lufthansa Cargo launches new e-commerce unit

Lufthansa Cargo announced the launch of a new wholly-owned subsidiary called “heyworld” last week that will be solely dedicated to serving the cross-border, e-commerce market. “Our shipping solutions cross borders and combine airfreight with last mile delivery,” heyworld’s website states. “Our services range from moving stock to warehouses abroad to direct shipping to your customers around the globe.”

Heyworld will integrate into Lufthansa’s existing cargo services and also include offerings such as a heyworld API that will integrate with customers’ existing ERP systems, tailored pricing options and customized shipment tracking “at the package level” in addition to “simple customs clearance.”

Technology has given rise to eCommerce platforms which are changing the landscape of logistics. What once was only the business of trading goods between large and medium traders who were wholesalers working with organised local distribution is now rapidly changing into a business of trading goods between private consumers and micro-enterprises. The WCA projects that by 2020, freight forwarding will be 20% e-commerce driven.

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Trade tensions continue to affect air cargo

Announcing the latest figures for air cargo demand, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the increasingly negative trend provides a “challenging” year ahead for the industry.

According to IATA, the timings of Chinese New Year and Easter have played a part in volatile air cargo volumes this year, but the organisation said the trend “is clearly downwards” as volumes sit close to 3% below the peak of August 2018.

The power of the regulator will be best exercised in seeking greater harmonisation of standards and procedures. As history has taught us, regulation had been relatively absent in our sector, resulting in a healthy industry harmonising its own rules and improving its own trading environment. This trend must continue with regulation being the silent finger pointing to unity in harmonisation only where trade rules require a small push.

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Four models forecasting trucking spot rates in 2019

Consensus: modest improvement in spot rates with year-over-year comps negative through 2019. The trucking freight futures market traded on the Nodal Exchange expects a modestly strengthening price environment for the rest of the year.

The forward curve, which charts the price of monthly trucking freight futures contracts expiring in the future, indicates that the market expects national average spot rates to stay above 2016 levels for the rest of the year, although upside volatility will not reach the peaks of 2017.

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Trucking industry volumes less than usual, driver pay continues to rise

Trucking volumes to start the second quarter of 2019 were lower than expected levels for this time of the year as truck driver pay increases. In a recent industry update, analysts Benjamin Hartford and Andrew Reed, both of Baird, noted demand trends in May were “sluggish,” and this was reflected in Internet Truckstop’s Market Demand Index at the start of the second quarter.

The index declined 48% for weeks 19-22, from the same period in 2018. Since February, freight demand has been soft because of increased inventories as a result of the inventory pull-forward in late 2018, lower than average spring temperatures, uncertainty related to tariffs and trade, and rising capacity.

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£120,000 project to eliminate freight train carbon emissions

RAIL and business experts at the University of Huddersfield are to share an award enabling them to make a powerful case for new technology that could play a key role in eliminating carbon emissions by freight trains in the UK.

In response to a Government call for the use of diesel-only trains to be eradicated by 2040, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) set up a Decarbonisation Task Force and launched a competition, with a total prize pot of £2 million to be distributed among research teams exploring novel solutions to the problem.

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Government Minister Wants to Shift Cargo From Trucks To Rail

Trade growth, demography and land use changes in the city of Melbourne, Australia, have made necessary a shift of freight from truck to rail, according to an analysis by Melissa Horne, Minister for Ports and Freight in the Australian state of Victoria.

The Port of Melbourne occupies a central location in the city of the same name. But, as the Minister pointed out, the inner west area of Melbourne has many more families than ever before and the area has gone from being a shipper to a receiver of freight.

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Belgium launches digital customs platform to facilitate e-commerce

Belgium has launched a digital customs platform, “unique in Europe,” specially designed for the fast-growing e-commerce market and which serves to accelerate and increase the efficiency of customs clearance in the cross-border flow of goods.

BE-GATE has been developed on the initiative of Belgium’s Customs and Excise and is “unique in Europe”and he new platform is already supported by four important e-commerce hubs, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge and the airports of Brussels and Liege.

FIATA encourages the introduction of technology into the freight forwarding industry as such tools and innovative processes will help improve efficiency in our sector ensuring that we continue to provide the value-added services for which our members have done so for decades. 

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Beer run: Uber Freight moves first European load, a trailer full of Heineken

Just months after announcing it was expanding to Europe, Uber Freight has moved its first load there, working with U.S. partner Heineken. The load traveled the roads of the Netherlands.

“Innovation is an important element across the entire Heineken business and supply chain is no different. This first European load gives us the chance to experience Uber Freight in the context of the European market. We look forward to further exploring new opportunities such as this in the future” Maarten Koudenburg, senior director, Heineken Netherlands Supply Chain, said.

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The impact of trade tariffs on cross-border commerce

The economies of most countries are sustained on the foundation of international and cross-border trade, with the U.S. being a quintessential example, as consumer spending powers both its economy and the economies of countless other countries around the world.

However, global trade movement took a volatile turn when President Trump took office, as threats of increased trade tariffs caused international relations to turn sour, compelling the freight industry to absorb the market shock.

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Shipping software developers see new money but old challenges

Investment funds are increasingly setting their sights on ocean shipping software development. With more money flowing into the space, more products will hit the market. Some will change how shipping does business. Most will not.

Prior to launching SkySail, Efstathiou held positions at Marsoft, Veson Nautical, SpecTec Group and Chinsay. For the past two years, he has curated an infographic ‘map’ of the maritime tech landscape spanning three pillars – commercial operations software, vessel management software, and maritime intelligence and analytics. As SkySail’s map has garnered more attention, Efstathiou, through his interactions with tech providers, has gained an insider’s view of the latest developments.

FIATA took early steps to engage with its members on eCommerce practices, highlighting that logistics will need to meet the growing demands of eTraders, meanwhile eCommerce will need to rely on logistics to ensure product fulfilment. This relationship will see the face of logistics evolve rapidly.

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