Since its formal incorporation in June 2011 the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) has made substantial progress in realising the goal of enhancing the influence of shippers in the international arena.
As reported in the Forum’s second Annual Report (2013), in the past 12 months GSF has represented shippers’ views in most of the world’s international organisations that lay down the regulations and set rules for international transport and trade.
Reflecting on the past year, Bob Ballantyne, GSF Chairman and President said in the GSF second Annual Report:
"2012 has been a phenomenally successful inaugural year for the GSF. I believe 2013 presents even greater opportunities for building an effective global voice for shippers."
Included within the Annual Report was the outline of the work of the GSF, including the GSF’s clear goals.
The first goal was the need to provide an authoritative and influential voice in transport policy and regulatory matters at an international level. It was shown that it was needed because of the complexity of the international supply chain and it not being well understood; therefore, the impact of international transport legislation and policies that would affect shippers’ viability in their global markets and also affect the prospects for international trade growth.
In this respect, GSF has worked with international organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Customs Organisation, International Labour Organisation and the European Union on such matters as maritime safety, security and climate change.
Working closely with governmental representatives, GSF was able to modify and influence IMO proposals relating to the shipper’s declaration concerning the verification of container weights, and its maritime emissions briefing note was actively sought out by the European Commission’s Climate Action Directorate, and has won acclaim from a number of governments as a key information source.
Moreover, GSF has continued to lead the case for global ocean regulatory reform and has played a pivotal role in supporting the intended repeal of anti-trust immunity for liner shipping in New Zealand.
GSF has also pioneered the way in the air cargo sector by focusing on improving air cargo industry performance and efficiency of the air cargo supply chain for shippers. In 2011 GSF established the Global Air Cargo Industry Advisory Group with IATA, FIATA and TIACA. The customer perspective has given much needed air cargo industry impetus to establishing an e-commerce roadmap and GSF chairs the GACAG Sustainability Task Force.
Mr Ballantyne added:
"GSF itself is entering an exciting new development stage. We are looking at what matters most to GSF members and shippers, focusing on protecting members’ interests, providing effective representation, high quality information and support for members at all levels – national, regional and global."