On Wednesday, October 4, FIATA opened its Annual World
Congress in Kuala Lumpur in grand style, revealing a new crop of young,
up-and-coming Gen Y logistics professionals. The gathering included the
best and brightest forwarders who are bringing innovation and creativity
to the industry.
The FIATA Young International Freight Forwarder
Award (YIFFA) is no walk-in-the-park handout. It reflects the best practical
application of the transportation scheme by young professionals in the
The beautiful and well-appointed Kuala
Lumpur Convention Center lies amidst a fantasy venue of world-class hotels
in a business district landmarked by the skyscraping Petronius Towers.
But just listening to these youngsters
topped even the towers in terms of excitement.
Rolando Alvarez, newly
elected President of the Freight Forwarders Association of Panama and
Director, Up Cargo-EMO Trans partner in Panama, noted, “the training
programs of FIATA are the best in the world.”
“As capabilities of the Panama Canal
have increased activity across the sector in our country, the need to
deliver the best trained personnel to grow with the industry brings us
here to FIATA 2017.
“Panama is on the move and we are
looking to partner with this great organization,” Rolando declared.
Xuan G. & Ai Huey, young forwarders
from Korman Worldwide located in Selangor, Malaysia, declared that their
day at FIATA was spent “learning from other young professionals.”
“We are just starting out and the atmosphere here provides growth
& understanding,” Xuan G. declared.
Note that when the photographer went for
a two-shot, Xuan, in typical Next Gen fashion, insisted on a selfie instead
so we all got into the picture.
Elsewhere, Western Warehousing, a company
in Selangor, sent in Operations Manager Tham Tze Yuen and Shasha, who
heads up Import.
“FIATA offers a window to smart thinking
in every aspect of the shipping arts,” Tham Tze said.
“It is also an opportunity to learn
about advances in warehouse techniques from a truly world-based crop of
attendees,” Shasha noted.
Pictured at the top of
the story is the “Class of 2017” regional winners who submitted
dissertations of how to best handle an import and also an export shipment.
There were twenty-two entrants, four regional
finalists, and nine judges.
The most oft-repeated comment was “how
hard the work was,” and that “it was really worth it.”
“We made friends and learned from
each other,” said one winner.
“I was in sales but learned how operational
logistics work,” said Bradley Davis from Canada, Americas Region
Nina Brose, Europe Region winner from Lübeck,
Germany, utilized transporting goods across the famed “Silk Route”
in her dissertation about determining cost and operational efficiency
Wan Nian, Asia Pacific Region winner from
Hubei province, China, wrote of multi-modal freight movements between
India and China and Africa and China.
“Combining ocean with air and even
road is a precise and difficult job; the more you do it, it actually can
become an art,” Wan Nian observed.
Wan Nian took a moment to share “Mid-Autumn
Day Greetings” with the FIATA assemblage.
As Wan Nian spoke, we thought ‘here
is a youngster who travelled from home during one of the most important
family celebration weeks on the Chinese calendar to be with others, to
share what can only be described as the future of cargo transportation.’
From Zimbabwe appeared Africa Middle East
Region winner Tinashe Chiwanza, who noted:
“This competition was no easy journey,
but several things were brought home loud and clear, including the impact
of weather in all aspects of transportation.
“But for me it is a matter of national
pride to be considered, let alone win this recognition.
“My dissertation underscored the
benefits all around to practical follow-through.
“The exercise was time-consuming
and expensive given the condition of doing business in the African market.
“But it also showed knowledge is
power, and power can move mountains.
“Special commendation goes to The
FIATA Logistics Academy, which provides a great education,” Tinashe
To The Supporters
were short presentations from David Logan, The South African Association
of Freight Forwarders; Alvin Chua, Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders;
Ruth Snowden, Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association and
Seamus Kavanagh, Irish International Freight Forwarders Association, some
of the organizations around the world that support YIFFY.
For example, Ruth Snowden from the Canadian
International Freight Forwarders Association said:
“Forty-five years ago there were
no trained employees nor global training available.
“Today we have four international
courses with text books and basic and advanced certification.
“We need to continue to expand the
search as employers of choice to attract the next generation to freight