The Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) is hosting the FIATA World Congress (FWC) for the first time India. An event of this magnitude needs complete cooperation and coordination from a wide spectrum of stakeholders including the Government and the Ministries. Recently, Mr AV Vijay Kumar has taken over as Chairman, FFFAI. Previously he was Chairman-elect, FFFAI. For Mr Vijakumar, the first priority and focus point will be the astounding success of FWC 2018, which is being held from September 26-29 at Pullman Hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi. Currently, the entire FFFAI team is working tirelessly for the success of this mega event. With the theme “The Future Starts Here” this year’s FIATA World Congress is expected to be attended by more than 1000 Indian and foreign delegates.
Commenting on the importance of FWC-2018 with a fast changing landscape of freight forwarding, transport and logistics industry Mr Vijaykumar said, “The dynamics of international freight forwarding, transport and logistics industry is rapidly changing. Conventional methods are replaced by process-driven procedures and system enabled practices. Our industry to adopt and be adept with this paradigm shift is a challenge. FFFAI is focusing on the members to be conversant with both domestic and global changes and challenges.”
According to Mr Vijaykumar, FWC 2018 would introduce the Indian logistics industry to the process followed by over 100 countries, which will be participating in the event. The practices adopted for cross border trade in different parts of the world will be available in a single platform under single roof for the Indian counterparts to exchange notes. “It would also give a flavor of best business practices globally. It would offer a business opportunity for the Indian industry to expand their services to other nations through B2B events,” he added.
Presently FFFAI is in the final stages of deciding the guest speakers, in touch with transport and logistics service related Ministries / Ministers, who are to be a part of this event. While most of the programmes have been decided and almost frozen final touches are being given to conclude the entire schedule shortly.
“Present status is that most of the speakers have been identified, many have confirmed, Ministries have been approached and most have extended support, registration is in full swing, many sponsors have committed,” the FFFAI Chairman provided an status update about FWC-2018.
Mr Vijaykumar urged Customs Broking, Freight Forwarding and end to end Logistics Industry practitioners to participate and benefit out of India’s first ever international logistics event. Further, commenting on the current scenario of Customs Broking, Freight Forwarding and Logistics Industry in India at the backdrop of government as well as industry initiatives and international market condition, Mr Vijaykumar viewed, “World is churning in a fast paced growth trajectory. Manual processes are replaced by electronic modes. Logistics industry is no exception. With many Governments including India becoming a signatory to Trade Facilitation Agreement of the WTO, the relaxation of the procedures and processes are significant. The role of a Customs Broker needs to be redefined and there is a need to move up the value chain to be relevant in the future. Offering a bouquet of services rather than a single specialized activity will become the demand of tomorrow. A definitively migration to a system-driven process will be the future of logistics industry with multilayer of value added services.”
Moreover, in his opinion, to cope up the challenges logistics service providers have to offer ERP solution, provide all spectrum of activities under a single roof, be cost effective and time efficient, create a well trained workforce, provide real-time track and trace service and install a safe and secure cargo movement plan.
Pondering on pending issues before the industry that FFFAI would like to focus on, Mr Vijaykumar pointed out that infrastructure is still remaining one of the concern areas for logistics industry. Commenting on tax related issues he underscored the fact that while most of the developed nations across the world have completely zero rated GST for any and every activity of international transport, in India only overseas freight is conditionally exempted. “This makes Indian export less competitive as logistics cost becomes higher. In addition, AEO status though accorded to logistics operators also, not much facilitation is made available. There could be tax relief attached to AEO status holders,” he suggested.