The 24th Biennial Convention of the Federation of Freight Forwarders in India (FFFAI) which is being held in Chennai from August 12-14, started with registering a record 600 delegates’ participation consisting of members from 28 member associations across the country, logistics industry stakeholders and Government representatives.
The inauguration function of the FFFAI Convention was addressed by Sh. Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India; Mr Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI; Mr AV Vijayakumar, Convenor-24th Biennial Convention and Immediate Past Chairman, FFFAI; Mr Shashi Kiran Shetty, CMD, Allcargo Logistics and Chairman, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE); Mr Niraj Ambani, Group President-Supply Chain, Reliance Industries Ltd; Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO); Dr Ivan Petrov, President, FIATA and Mr Dushyant Mulani, Chairman-Elect, FFFAI.
Welcoming the dignitaries and delegates the FFFAI Chairman Mr Shankar Shinde put utmost importance of the fast-changing scenario of the logistics industry across the globe due to the digital disruption and its obvious impact on the same. Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi “IT+IT=IT (India’s Talent +Information Technology = India Tomorrow)” Mr Shinde stated that logistics professionals will have to seize the opportunity for their survival and growth by adopting smart technologies for a way forward.
Mr Shinde commended the positive initiatives of the present government to proactively resolve the problems being faced by manufacturers, exporters/importers, customs brokers/ freight forwarders and logistics industry people through various policy & regulatory mechanisms as well as infrastructure development.
Elaborating on the spirit of the convention’s theme: “Logistics – Reshape, Embrace and Surge in the Digital Era” Mr Vijayakumar urged for adopting the changes in the logistics landscape because of huge intervention of technology/IT and digitization. He urged the logistics industry fraternity to think beyond the traditional way of business.
Delivering his special address Mr Shashi Kiran Shetty elaborated on the growth trajectory of India’s economy and potential of this country positioning as a manufacturing and efficient logistics hub. He commended the government for its forward-looking decisions as regard to infrastructure development for logistics operations supported by conducive policies. “Contribution of Logistics Industry to the nation’s economy was unrecognized. However, the emergence of e-commerce and disruptions due to COVID-19 pandemic showed the crucial role being played by the logistics industry. I appreciate the Government has duly recognized it,” said Mr Shetty. He urged for a well-defined policy document for the logistics industry to grow further, emphasized on responsible logistics and appealed to the logistics industry fraternity to work for green logistics and women empowerment.
Mr Niraj Ambani deliberated on the shipper’s perspective and changing requirements of the customers (users of logistics services). He highlighted the gradual improvement of logistics services in the country with required policy & regulatory support from the government. According to him, the National Logistics Policy will be the much-desired announcement in this regard to shape up the industry to world standard.
In his speech Mr Amrit Lal Meena highlighted the crucial role being played by the Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders and logistics service providers to streamline the manufacturing and exim trade in the country. He assured full support from the government to this sector through various forward looking and industry-friendly initiatives like PM Gati Shakti.
Dr Kunio Mikuriya and Dr Ivan Petrov commended the role of FFFAI in facilitating international trade collaborating with the Government of India and Customs Broking/Freight Forwarding Community across the globe.