Ex-DSV executive Steve Walker called on FIATA to “become
a safe haven for forwarders to discuss a wider new industry strategy,”
in the face of vertical consolidation by shipping lines, and the attempt
to control data via platforms such as TradeLens, a join partnership between
IBM and Maersk.
Mr. Walker questioned if FIATA is “still fit for purpose,”
citing that if one was to mention FIATA to any young forwarder, they probably
think they are an events company for old forwarders.”
“FIATA is fit for purpose in terms of deliverables for
all its members. But there is clearly a new world order coming up, an
IT revolution,” FIATA Acting Director General Steve Morris told FlyingTypers.
Getting Down To Business
“The challenges [for forwarders] in terms of what Maersk
is doing,” Mr. Morris declared, “can’t be underestimated,
it is vertically integrating, as it realized it couldn’t do much
only as a shipping line.
“In many places, companies such as Uber are getting
rid of the middle man, which in the supply chain is the forwarder.
“But forwarders have been part of the process for a
Do forwarders need to see this as a challenge?
Is FIATA aware?
“Yes, we are,” Steve said emphatically.
“If you control the data,” Steve Morris said,
“you control your destiny.
“Give away the data, you give away the destiny.”
Ahead of the Curve
“FIATA had already been ahead of this development back
in 2017 at the FIATA World Congress in Kuala Lumpur, when Working Sea
Chairman Jens Roemer argued that FIATA and forwarders should make better
use of supply chain data or risk losing out to shipping lines and IT-driven
logistics start-ups,” Steve Morris said.
Time After Time For 5,000
“FIATA, an international body works to gain consensus
through a truly democratic process from FIATA’s 106 National forwarding
Associations and approximately 5,000 individual members.
How FIATA Works
“FIATA is comprised of national associations that have
their individual interests, however they are keenly aware and invested
in being leaders and not taking a passive position,” Mr. Morris
Keep The Change
“Everything points to forwarders being under huge pressure
from the outside.
“Therefore, FIATA is doing everything to equip members
and the forwarding community with tools, training, platforms, expertise
and much more to ensure a healthy and competitive industry that continues
to promote trade and provide economic prosperity,” Steve Morris