FIATA, the freight forwardes organization meets every springtime to listen, learn and sharetheir experiences with friends and colleagues.
The Annual headquarters meeting held in Zurich Switzerland on March 28-30, was a unparalleled success.
FIATA In Person Is Unbelievable
The unique atmosphere one breathes at the FIATA HQ – and even more so at the FIATA Congresses, which have 3 to 4 times more participants – is something you have to try yourself, it is not enough to describe the endless opportunities and the meaningful encounters simply in descriptive words.
Even casual words seem to become meaningful in the end, thanks to FIATA.
As I am proudly the one and only FIATA Fellow in the world having been recognized at one of these sessions in 2016, I am well aware of the efforts that are deployed every year.
Here former FIATA Director General Marco Sorgetti provides an inside look as FIATA Headquarters Session unfolded in Zurich, Switzerland.
Marco Sorgetti Reports
“Kudos go to the ladies in particular, who were everywhere, smiling at all times, even under pressure,” reports Marco Sorgetti who served (and retired) as FIATA Director General but attended the Zurich event and filed this report.
Putting It All Together
In the Secretariat, organizing FIATA’s headquarters meeting every spring is considered relatively easy, in particular compared to the World Congress, but anyone else would be surprised that such a small secretariat manages to pull together an international conference level program of this kind, different every year and yet familiar, so that anyone can recognize and enjoy it; this is a masterpiece made by the relatively small secretariat of the largest transport related NGO in the world:
This year’s HQ sailed on without a glitch, even though a number of changes had intervened in the last twelve months, including the issues that made my successor as DG unavailable since January.
The proof is in the pudding, which was served by the ladies and gentlemen working in this international and multicultural environment to everyone’s satisfaction.
Old Friends New Faces
One could see old faces and new ones, in a happy positive atmosphere. All sessions were a mix of tradition and innovation, which is so typical of FIATA.
I urge you, dear readers to download the reports and presentations on FIATA’s website and choose the topic which you find most attractive.
I personally witnessed the magnetic interest that could stick members to their chairs even on Friday afternoon during ABIT, which was some time ago seen by many as somewhat less interesting or too technical. Now those who were present witnessed a great session that was opening windows on the future of our sector at every new slide, which was received with intelligent comments and questions from the floor, as well as through the efficient and surgical congress APP.
Digitilization Of FIATA
Steve Morris, acting DG took the digitalization bull by the horns saying:
“The digitalization of FIATA documents, in particular its multimodal bill of lading and enhancement of that in international trading, in particular its recognition by a wider variety of persons, especially in financial institutions,” has now been identified as top priority.
Having worked in this direction for years, this important step forward can only be regarded as very welcome, hopefully by everyone in the sector.
Blending Learned Projects
Moments before this presentation, the FIATA Logistics Academy had opened its wide wings to show us all that logistics and culture can be diverse and intertwined and FIATA really cares about the future of the industry by making considerable investments in long distance and blended learning projects that were unveiled during this session.
Sustainability, airfreight programs, international relations and even migration issues; all of these were on the rich menu that the various FIATA bodies served during the two days’ meeting, starting at eight a.m. on Thursday and ending nearly at eight p.m. on Friday: a continuous flow of information that was a good summary of the issues that are on the table in logistics in 2019.
The FIATA Value Proposition
When I was working in Zurich many members were inquiring: what was the value of being FIATA members. Even participating in a comprehensive logistics overview of the kind we were served in Zurich is great value for all members, who should consider that such display exists nowhere else in the world.
Were it available anywhere else, it would surely not come with compliments by merely renewing the very affordable yearly FIATA membership.
A good reason to join, if you are not a member yet, is my advice, looking forward to seeing you as FIATA member at the next edition.
FIATA Delivers On Key Initiatives
‘This was a very productive FIATA headquarters meeting in Zurich where FIATA members came together to address the challenges which have arisen over the last twelve months in international trade through changing positions of key economies bilateral and multilateral trading arrangements” said FIATA President Babar Badat.
Priorities & Issues Going Forward
FIATA in its role as the world’s largest non-governmental organization of the global logistics industry representing service providers in all modes of the transport of international freight, discussed with representative national Member Associations from 108 economies discussing issues such as;
• The digitalization of FIATA documents in particular its multimodal bill of lading and enhancement of that in international trading in particular its recognition by a wider variety of persons in international trade in particular financial institutions
• Key work being undertaken between IATA and FIATA on improvements and changes to the industry air cargo program
• Delivery to members on key information to support them in their information technology protection through the release of a paper on cyber security
• Commentary in relation to best practice on container process management with shipping lines with the release a its updated Guide focusing on the quality of containers provided by shipping lines in global container shipping which FIATA noted decreased significantly and the need for the shipping lines to provide empty containers that are “fit for purpose”
• Release of its first three e-training modules covering introduction to international trade, maritime and train the trainer courses which will be provided to FIATA members who have limited resources to deliver to their members to training initiatives.
• Overview to members of the implication relating to Brexit, noting in particular the impact on physical resources relating to the movement of goods across the relevant borders, significant increase in the need for submission of customs declarations and other certificates relating to origin and phytosanitary issues to support border clearance, in particular as to capacity of regulatory agency IT systems as well as business systems to meet these requirements.
Next FIATA Headquarters Meeting In Zurich March 18-20,2020. All welcome.