FIATA – Together we are strong !

As I thought about how to address this message to you, I was sure that I did not need to reiterate on the events unfolding arounds us all and the impacts on FIATA Members in a business and personal sense.

These are unprecedented times. Never in most of our living memories has the world faced such a global crisis. With the priority being to combat the global health pandemic and the impact on the relationship of employers and employees, FIATA focus is now on the business outcomes which drive our societal and personal outcomes.
What we in the industry know, and others need to know, is that the global supply chain, while compromised, continues to be operational however in a very fractured state. What we in the industry also know is that the revival of national economies is totally linked to global trade and while governments may set the policy on such, it is traders who trade and FIATA members who ensure the delivery of those goods to users and consumers. Shipping lines, airlines and other transport operators provide the conveyance methods but are chosen as the method of transport most cost effective by the international freight forwarder. So, in this logistics struggle freight forwarders are an essential if not the key component of the community and economic struggle. AS FIATA Members your role is to ensure the supply of food and basic necessities for your family, community and economies (and their citizens) affected by Covid-19.

With rapid escalation of travel restrictions and closed borders as to people movement, the movement of goods has also been compromised however any risk from goods is, in main limited or no risk, from the goods but only from human handling intervention. The FIATA position as to the position of other international organisations as to cargo movements are supported as to relaxation of a variety of governmental and non-governmental entities monopolistic positions at ports and airports as to fiscal charges. While FIATA spoke out on these issues during the best of times it now sees an urgent need to curb some of these revenue desires in the worst of times!

While FIATA notes the resilience of its National Associations Members and their members, FIATA will take forward the message of the importance of the freight forwarding industry in international forums however it also calls on its National Association Members to take a clear and concise message to their respective National governments that they (and their members) will be pivotal to each economy’s revival and need to be at the heart of what will be required in trade facilitation reform.

So National Association Members a call to arms to meet the challenge of your members in being recognized as a “special industry category” in the discussions that will need to be held as this is the time for discussions for the future and time to be used wisely. There is now a common need to fully implement the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade Facilitation and for those who see the benefits it will be “first mover advantage”.

The FIATA Presidency stills meets regularly on videoconference and the Secretariat, while addressing the Swiss governments requirements on staff health and safety aspects, continues its Member support and while business delivery has been impacted Members service remains paramount.

Over the coming days FIATA will release several Media commentaries to reinforce the FIATA position and to link those aspects to public comments from industry transport associations.
I would like here to express my sympathy to all those affected by the Covid-19 all around the world. FIATA is mindful of the social, community and economic impact we face and that there is still more to come however FIATA pledges through its National Association Members to meet those challenges to the best of our collective capabilities.


Basil L.S. Pietersen
FIATA President