Thursday, July 16, 2015

Global Shippers' Forum Reflects on Cooperation Within the Logistics Supply Chain Hierarchy

Year Has Seen Meaningful Progress on Multimodal Cargo Safety and Shipping Contracts
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – In its Annual Report for 2015 the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) reflects on the achievements of the past 12 months including particularly the benefits to be had in regard to cooperation with other leading logistics industry bodies. One such achievement has been facilitating an important revision of the former guidelines for the safe securing and stowage of cargo transport units through the GSF’s chairmanship of a joint government and industry working group which included the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

From the discussions came a new code of practice which the parties agree will greatly improve transport safety throughout the multimodal supply chain. In addition, the IMO agreed new rules for verification of the gross mass weights of goods and containers which included a compromise proposal recommended and supported by the GSF. The compromise proposal was recognised by IMO member state representatives and other maritime industry stakeholders as a practical solution to a complex issue which presented real implementation and enforcement challenges. Robert Ballantyne, GSF Chairman and President observed:

“It is widely acknowledged that the GSF’s contribution to the work of IMO and other UN transport and safety organisations on behalf of global shippers has been significant and of a high quality. This Annual Report reflects the continued progress GSF has made in its role as an effective voice for shippers around the world, and illustrates the significant successes it has had in that time.”

In addition cooperation with the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) produced the BIMCO/GSF SERVICECON contract as we outlined in April. The contract for the first time provides small and medium-sized shippers with the ability to enter into volume service contracts on fair and equitable terms. This was accompanied by legal guidance advice for shippers on the BIMCO/GSF standard contract to ensure that shippers were in the best possible position to exploit use of the contract.

2014/15 also saw a variety of best practice and policy briefing documents published including GSF’s Working with Containers Guide, The Value of Air Cargo to the Global Economy and Maritime Emissions Policy Briefing. The best practice guides are designed to assist shippers with compliance and to influence policy debates in the main international organisations. Chris Welsh, Secretary-General of the Global Shippers’ Forum and last month recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in The Birthday Honours List with the award of Membership of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), commented:

“It is really pleasing to see our work on behalf of global shippers being increasingly recognised by the key international transport organisations that draw up the policies and set the rules impacting shippers globally. We have shown that by working constructively with these organisations and with our supply chain partners, shippers can be highly influential in helping shape the policies that affect them.

“Since its launch the GSF has continued to reach out to both national shippers’ associations and regional groupings, and we look forward to closer collaboration with all shippers’ groups to ensure that a strong global shippers’ voice is heard with national governments, the UN and other international agencies.

“We now look forward to the challenges ahead, in particular in dealing with the emerging climate change agenda in IMO, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), EU and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and also in influencing the emerging debate about the impact of mega shipping vessels and maritime alliances, most notably opened by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) policy think tank the International Transport Forum.”