Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Freight Forwarding Honours the Young Whilst Going to War with Wild Animal Traffickers

Annual Congress Gets Tougher with Criminals
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – WORLDWIDE – As is so often the case the annual gathering of international freight forwarding organisations at the FIATA Congress has produced some positive results, including this year benefit for indigenous wildlife as well as the usual boost for youngsters aiming for the top of the logistics profession.

The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, launched a new digital course ‘Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking’ during the Congress this week. Recognising that wildlife traffickers exploit the interconnected freight sector, the three-hour digital course provides freight forwarders with essential information to detect, respond to, and report instances of wildlife trafficking.

The course is available, free of charge through the FIATA Logistics Academy and was developed in partnership with TRAFFIC with support from USAID through the Wildlife Trafficking Response Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project. At the launch event, TRAFFIC and FIATA also signed a memorandum of understanding to advance awareness-raising and capacity-building efforts for freight forwarders to combat illegal wildlife trade. Issa Baluch, of the FIATA Logistics Academy, commented:

“Freight forwarders have the ability to be game-changers in preventing the exploitation of their businesses by wildlife traffickers. Awareness and training are critical and our new digital course will make it easy for freight forwarders to become part of the solution.”

The USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project is an initiative that is designed to secure a transformation in the level of co-operation between an international community of stakeholders who are impacted by illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia. The project is designed to increase understanding of the true character and scale of the response required, to set priorities, identify intervention points, and test non-traditional approaches with project partners.

The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth largest black market in the world and impacts more than 7,000 species of animals and plants. Wildlife trafficking pushes species towards extinction, robs countries of their natural resources, and impacts local revenues. These crimes fuel corruption and enrich criminal organisations too. The transportation sector is increasingly recognising the need to take action against wildlife trafficking. In 2017, FIATA included wildlife trafficking in the minimum standards for the FIATA Diploma in International Freight Forwarding. Monica Zavagli of TRAFFIC, said:

“Wildlife trafficking is a global crisis that impacts the integrity of transport supply chains. We’re thrilled that this new course will empower freight forwarders around the world to easily and freely access critical information on the prevention of illegal wildlife trade.”

The course has initially been launched in English, but will shortly become available in other languages, including Chinese, Spanish, and French. To enrol click HERE.

In other news from the Congress FIATA, which for over twenty years has partnered with the TT Club in promoting the development of young professionals in freight forwarding, saw this year’s Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year (YIFFY) Award go to Mrs Evgeniya Khokhlova, who represents Region Europe and is a Specialist in Project Logistics for SVH-Freight in Russia.

Each year, four regional finalists are selected from multiple entrants located across the world. They are invited to attend the FIATA World Congress, providing each finalist with invaluable learning and networking opportunities. The candidates are required to submit a 6,000 word dissertation outlining the pertinent details of an import and export shipment from their native country. FIATA’s President Babar Badat said:

“The prestige of the YIFFY Award has long been recognised. FIATA values highly the operational excellence that the award represents. We are grateful to TT Club for its sponsorship and thank all the entrants this year and in the past for their enthusiasm. We encourage our member associations to re-double their efforts in putting forward candidates for the 2020 Award and in promoting training and professional advancement opportunities in general.”

The TT Club is proud to have sponsored the award throughout its history and Mike Yarwood, TT Club’s Senior Loss Prevention Executive and Chairman of the Award Steering Committee, together with FIATA President, Babar Badat presented the award to Evgeniya at the Cape Town Congress. As the 22nd winner of the annual prize Evgeniya will receive two one-week training sessions with the TT Club at one of its regional headquarters in London, New Jersey or Hong Kong. Commenting on the outstanding quality of the work presented to the judges this year, Yarwood said:

“I would like to congratulate all four finalists for their polished presentations and especially, of course our winner. The current global trade environment is particularly challenging. The forwarder’s role in adapting to the regulatory, political and economic pressures on themselves and their customers is more crucial than ever. In these circumstances the training and professional advancement of our young professionals must be paramount.”