Global forwarders meet in Egypt
The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) held its annual World Congress 2011 recently in Cairo, Egypt, discussing a wide range of issues pertinent to the freight forwarding industry. Among the key subjects discussed were various security matters ranging from the US TSA’s 100 per cent screening to the European Union’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme. Issues relating to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also took top spot on the agenda as they have for a number of years. In his opening address, outgoing president Jean-Claude Delen noted that the organisation has become the professional body that it is today thanks to the hard work put in by its members, particularly the various working groups, advisory bodies and the presidency. “Now, more than ever we need a strong industry body to defend the the transport and logistics industry,” Delen said in reference to the challenging economic and security environment facing the freight forwarding industry. “We must invest in new technology, make our operations leaner and more profitable, as well as improving the quality of our services,” he urged all FIATA members. E-freight and the e-Air Waybill (eAWB) are part of this equation he noted, “but let us make no mistake, the development costs have to be shared with our carrier partners together with the benefits of this endeavour, or this endeavour will not take root.” Singapore’s Lim takes over as FIATA head The assembled delegates also elected a new council with Stanley Lim Hwee Hong from Singapore elected as FIATA’s new president, taking over from Jean- Claude Delen of Belgium. Lim has served as the Geneva-based forwarder association’s vice-president since 1995 and in 2001 he was elected senior vicepresident, followed in 2007 as treasurer. “I thank all delegates for their vote of confidence. It shall not be easy to follow my predecessor’s footsteps, but I promise to do my best in the interest of FIATA and its members,” Lim said in his first official statement. The new FIATA presidency comprises immediate past president Jean-Claude Delen (Belgium), treasurer William Gottlieb (Canada), secretary general Heiner Rogge (Germany), and the three senior vice-presidents Francesco Parisi (Italy), Suwit Ratanachinda (Thailand) and Babar Badat (Pakistan).