Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Freight Transport And Logistics News And Appointments

Including Major Changes at the Top of UK Freight Associations this Month
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded their 67th AGM in Singapore with a slough of leadership changes, including a change of role for charismatic Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani. The news heads the announcement of shake ups across several important freight and logistics operations this month.

At IATA, Peter Hartman, President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines succeeds David Bronczek, CEO of FedEx Express, as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors following the completion of Bronczek’s one-year term. This appointment is effective immediately and is for one year, ending with the conclusion of IATA’s 68th Annual General Meeting. Tony Tyler, former Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific, was confirmed to succeed Giovanni Bisignani as IATA’s Director General and CEO. Tyler’s appointment is effective from 1 July 2011, at which point Bisignani will become Director General Emeritus.

Bisignani was praised by Tyler for ‘setting the bar high’ before saying his goal was to make the world a better place for airlines to do the important business of connecting 2.8 billion people and 48 million tonnes of cargo. Tyler, who has worked with Cathay Pacific Airways since 1978, served as the airline’s Chief Executive from 2007 until his retirement in March 2011. Concurrent with this function, Tyler also served on the IATA Board of Governors from 2007 to March 2011 and was its Chairman from June 2009 to June 2010. IATA also announced that the Board of Governors agreed to appoint Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, to serve as Chairman from June 2012, following Hartman’s term.

UK- The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has a new President and National Chairman. Sir Peter Bottomley, MP is BIFA's new President succeeding Lord Fowler. Born in 1944, he has been a member of parliament since 1975. He is currently MP for Worthing West and was knighted in the recent New Years Honours list.

Sir Peter, 66, in Margaret Thatcher's government between 1984 and 1990, was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Employment, Roads Minister in the Department of Transport and then Minister for environment and agriculture in the Northern Ireland Office. Between 1983 and 1984 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Norman Fowler, then Secretary of State for Social Services, who has completed his term as President of BIFA.

Steve Parker, Head Customs and Brokerage - Europe, of DHL Global Forwarding, is the new BIFA National Chairman. He moves from his current role of Vice Chairman and succeeds Andrew Melton, who has held the position of National Chairman for the past two years.

UK - The Freight Transport Association’s Chris Welsh has been appointed Secretary General of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), and FTA is also to provide the GSF’s secretariat, effective from 1 July 2011. Following a successful meeting of the International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany, the GSF also announced that it has been incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom. The decision fundamentally transforms the GSF from an informal alliance of shippers into a better organised, co-ordinated and consistent global voice for shippers on key issues impacting global transport. Announcing the action, Chris Welsh said:

“With this reorganisation of the GSF as a not-for-profit corporation in the United Kingdom now fully resolved, our first order of business will be to seek recognition and accreditation as a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

“With international NGO status in hand, we will be able to more fully participate in the key international bodies where decisions are taken which impact shippers everywhere like IMO, ICAO, ILO and World Customs Organisation. We are especially pleased with the enthusiastic reception we have received from governments and other participants and NGO’s gathered here for the ITF meeting.”

Founding board members of the GSF are: James Hookham, Managing Director of Policy and Communications of the UK Freight Transport Association; Bob Ballantyne, President of the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association; John Lu, Chairman of the Asian Shippers’ Council, and Bruce Carlton, President and CEO of The National Industrial Transportation League. Bob Ballantyne noted that:

“Each of the GSF member associations has its own unique history, purpose and mission and is well known and established in its respective geographic area. As members of the GSF we will be squarely focused on global ocean, air freight and trade procedural matters. National and international laws and regulations governing transportation have evolved considerably over the past several decades, but important issues remain to be resolved.”

UK – Materials handling specialist Jungheinrich has announced the appointment of Matthew Pickles as the company’s new Product Sales Manager for racking and storage systems in the Eastern Region of the UK. Matthew joins Jungheinrich from a major competitor within the industry and has over 20 years of experience in both technical and direct sales disciplines.

TRINIDAD - GAC Energy & Marine Services LLC (GEMS) is expanding its shipping and logistics services to Trinidad & Tobago, with its newest office open for business in San Fernando. The energy sector freight operation point out that the island territories have a potential reserve of 1 billion barrels of crude oil per day, of which current production represents a mere fraction, with approximately two-thirds remaining unexplored. Managing Director Captain Gobind Kukreja, a GAC veteran with 25 years of shipping and logistics experience with the Group will head up the new operation which opened this month.

Photo: IATA’s Giovanni Bisignani