‘Working together is key to improving the transport and logistics supply chain’ is the headline message from the 2015 Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) Annual Report.
As the GSF concludes its first financial trading year 2014-15, its Annual Report reflects on the achievements of the past 12 months including how it has worked with other organisations in its role as an effective voice for shippers around the world.
In the past year the GSF has helped facilitate an important revision of the former guidelines for the safe securing and stowage of cargo transport units through its chairmanship of a joint government and industry working group. This has led to agreement by the IMO/ILO/UNECE to introduce a new code of practice which will greatly improve transport safety throughout the multimodal transport 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 said:
“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.”
During 2015, in cooperation with the BIMCO, GSF jointly launched the BIMCO/GSF SERVICECON contract. 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.
This was in addition to a variety of best practice and policy briefing documents published in 2014/15, 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 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”.
As a consequence, GSF membership continued to grow in 2014/15 with the shippers’ councils from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa confirming membership arrangements with GSF.
Mr Welsh added:
“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, ICAO, EU and at the UNFCCC; and also in influencing the emerging debate about the impact of mega shipping vessels and maritime alliances, most notably opened by the OECD’s policy think tank the International Transport Forum”.