Ah The Hope of Bygone Days
What happened to the airline /forwarder
partnership as announced by IATA and FIATA in Dublin in October 2016?
That subject has not been discussed and
in general has been swept under the rug by IATA.
Lots of logisticians around the world were
animated and excited at the prospect of greater participation and cooperation
between the partners in air cargo.
But alas the partnership seemingly never
got out of the gate and the once upon a time dream of a closer working
relationship and even a genuine partnership has come to naught.
Here we share some words from 2016 shared
by a visionary leader in the freight forwarder movement, the late Jo Frigger
an ocean freight forwarder and logistics specialist.
Jo, until April 19, 2021, served as Chairman
of EMO Trans, a company that continues to builds and thrive with 250 offices
in 120 countries around the world.
“Ever since I started in this business
in 1958, the relationship between airlines and freight forwarders has
“The initial view was that a forwarder
was an agent who collects a commission from the airline.
“This perception has gradually changed
over time so that the forwarder is maybe a customer and lately even a
“Does the forwarder represent the
airline, the shipper, or is he a partner of the airline?
“If so, to what extent?
“The two different business models,
asset and non-asset driven, make it difficult to define, or is the airline
just a supplier of space at uncertain price levels without guarantees
from either side?
“In today’s environment, the
shippers and consignees demand transparency of the supply chain procedure.
“The forwarder has to control the
whole process from pick up to customs clearance and delivery; he is viewed
as the architect of this process and accordingly held accountable.
“Whether we like it or not, it forces
us to work closely together with all carriers, be they air, ocean, or
“Existing IT systems still do not
give us the integrated accuracy and transparency of shipment locations
at any given point of the transportation chain from beginning to end.
“We have to work together and invest
together to create a better flow of integrated information from pick up
“Customers traditionally just want
to know: How much does the transportation cost and when will my shipment
“It’s a tough job for us and
I’m convinced that we can do it if we focus on the essential elements.
“People in our business are resilient
and inventive and I believe that FIATA can fill an important role here,”
Jo Frigger said.
The wonder in October 2021 is Jo’s
voice simply from bygone days. The manner in which COVID has changed the
world and certainly the air cargo industry, should we not look at the
idea of enhanced cooperation in a new light?
The way this initiative was allowed to disappear
should be closely examined.
We think simple common sense tells us, based
on history, Jo’s words and the consideration of what we need as
essential to continue to build air cargo, can be better served with the
airlines and the global forwarders as true partners.
Can we talk about It?