Frequently Asked Questions
- How can my company obtain FIATA Documents and Forms?
- How can I check if a company is an Individual Member of FIATA?
- Our company has a problem with another freight forwarder, who can help us?
- What is Freight Forwarding?
- Is FIATA offering training courses in Freight Forwarding and Logistics in general?
How can my company obtain FIATA Documents and Forms?
FIATA created the FBL, the FWB, the FIATA FCR, the FIATA FCT, the FWR, the FIATA SDT, the FFI and the FIATA SIC.
To maintain the worldwide reputation and acceptance of the FIATA documents by international trade, the issuance of these documents by freight forwarders has to be controlled by the Association Members affiliated to FIATA. Responsibility for the printing and distribution of FIATA documents has therefore the Association Members of FIATA in the respective country. You may contact the Association in your country, from which you can obtain the document, provided the Association is a member of FIATA, has introduced the document in your country and your company fulfils the requirements related to the document concerned.
The FIATA documents are not available to any freight forwarder in a country where FIATA has no Association Member.
To inform you about our documents and forms, FIATA has published the brochure "Documents and Forms", which also can be ordered online.
How can I check if a company is an Individual Member of FIATA?
The addresses of all freight forwarding companies and Association Members affiliated to FIATA are listed in the FIATA Online Members Directory, containing 109 Association Members in 100 countries and more than 5200 individual members in 157 countries. Their company's name and address are published in the unique FIATA Members Directory on the FIATA website.
This directory of qualified freight forwarders and logistics providers is continuously updated and can be freely consulted by anyone!
Our company has a problem with another freight forwarder, who can help us?
- FIATA is now offering its individual members an arbitration code which will permit legal disputes between forwarding agents to be settled at a very low cost without going through the law courts.
It is an extremely simple arbitration code which will permit disputes among them to be settled as rapidly, simply and cheaply as possible. The key elements of this arbitration code are that the arbitration tribunal will be made up of representatives from FIATA's Extended Board or Advisory Body Legal Matters, i.e. from people from the forwarding business; the arbitration tribunal will only take a decision if both parties have accepted the arbitration code in writing; the procedure will generally be conducted in writing and in English (no travel costs) and it will be extremely cheap (between US$ 500 and 3000 for written procedure).
For more information please contact: Mr Marco L Sorgetti, Director General of the FIATA Secretariat
What is Freight Forwarding? What do forwarders do?
Freight forwarding is all about the smooth flow of international trade. The freight forwarder is the party who ensures that internationally traded goods move from point of origin to point of destination to arrive:
- At the right place,
- At the right time,
- In good order and condition,
- At the most economic cost.
To accomplish this, expertise is required in a number of different areas:
Close co-operation is required with transporters in every mode – road, rail, sea and air. Freight forwarders are constantly negotiating freight rates with transport providers, comparing the costs of moving cargo along different routes via different modes and then designing logistics infrastructures which provide the best compromise between cost, speed and reliability. Those involved in this aspect derive continuous interest and motivation from the fact that no two operations are the same, given the diversity of the nature of cargoes that are traded and the increasing numbers of doors being opened through the globalisation of world trade. Once a forwarder’s recommendations with regard to cargo routing have been accepted it becomes the responsibility of the forwarder to ensure that the goods concerned are transported and delivered as planned. The process of designing and executing these logistics plans has earned for the forwarder the title "Architect of Transport".
A vital ingredient to successful trading on world markets is that every transaction must comply with a myriad of statutory measures and their related procedures, especially those associated with Customs. It is in this area that the specialised skills and knowledge of the freight forwarder come to the fore. Without these, international traders would become hampered through being distracted from their core activities-meeting the material needs of world business.
To every international trade transaction there is an element of risk and the increased complexity of international trading as compared to local buying and selling requires that these risks are managed with tools which are correspondingly more sophisticated. International traders require that their forwarders be in position to advise and assist them in minimising those risks which are particularly associated with the movement of goods – loss, damage and destruction, although the exposure of forwarders to the international environment in its entirety makes their counsel as regards matters like credit and currency risks very much sought after.
Finance and Payment
Forwarders are entrusted with goods which are very often dispatched under conditions where buyer and seller are not known to one another. Under these circumstances the forwarder must scrupulously ensure that all requirements of the door to door operation are complied with to the letter, especially as far as the accurate and timely production of documentation is concerned – excellence in this filed leads to prompt settlement for goods purchased and satisfied traders. An especially gratifying aspect of freight forwarding is the facilitation, through consultancy and networking, of the entry of new exporters and importers into the international market. More often than not this involves advice as to the alternative methods of financing of the transactions concerned and the establishment of payment methods that are mutually beneficial to both parties.
Cross functional integration
Business in the 21st century will be characterised by an important feature- the way in which suppliers, manufacturers and consumers are being drawn closer and closer together so that, for example, a six pack of Heineken beer purchased in a store in downtown Wichita, Kansas will provide instant input to the Heineken brewery in Holland for the next production to run, the next raw materials purchase order and the next sales forecast. The forwarder is ideally placed to act as the catalyst to maximise the benefit from advances in information technology which are revolutionising these processes. Furthermore the role of the forwarder will be key because, in adopting cross functional integration strategies, companies are increasingly outsourcing their non core activities. The ability to ensure the efficient and effective door to door movement of goods from country to country from the time an order is placed until finished goods are delivered to the final consumer places the freight forwarder in a position to make a unique contribution to the enhancement of value to the activities of exporters and importers.
A career in freight forwarding
The globalisation phenomenon means that international trade is becoming an increasing proportion of each countrys’ economic activities. The intimate relationship which the forwarding industry has with world trade means that the industry provides young people with a number of exciting career opportunities.
- like to work with people,
- have a sense of adventure,
- can be productive in a pressurised environment which is subject to constant change,
- are prepared to study whilst you are working,
- are interested in working with computers in an industry which is becoming increasingly dependent on information technology,
then you should contact the Association Member of FIATA in your country who will be in position to put you in contact with their members.
Is FIATA offering training courses in Freight Forwarding and Logistics in general?
No, FIATA does not run training courses or publish training material. This is in the hands of National Associations or their representatives or associated training organisations.
FIATA however has validated the training material of around 40 National Associations. These courses are based on the "FIATA Minimum Standards". Those Associations who have successfully validated their training programme are entitled to deliver courses leading to the renowned "FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding by Vocational Training and Examination". The FIATA Diploma is recognised by the industry world wide.
For additional information please contact the National Association in your country or Mr Ajay Pande, Manager Advisory Body Vocational Training