FORWARD magazine December 2022 - EN

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INTERVIEW | NEWS | EXHIBITION & SPONSORING | PROGRAMME Belgian Freight Forwarding Association FIATA World Congress 2023 Brussels Issue no. 17 December 2022 FIATA WORLD CONGRESS 3-6 October BRUSSELS The changing climate of logistics


Brouwersvliet 33 / Box 1, 2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

T +32 3 233 67 86

Published by: Olivier Schoenmaeckers

Administration: Ines De Bruyn

Marketing: Vanessa Thys

Change of address: Ines De Bruyn,


Veerle Van Beeck, Olivier Schoenmaeckers

Pre-press: Ingrid Renders

Concept & creation: KMOdynamoo

The changing climate of logistics

That’s the slogan we chose back in 2019 for the FIATA World Congress in Brussels in 2021. Climate change, sustainable logistics, innovation and digitalisation, the war for talent... these were some of the themes we had in mind at the time.

Covid-19 had other ideas, however, but next year, in October 2023, it will finally be time! And both our congress slogan and the various topics are more relevant than ever before. Added to this are geopolitical tensions, protectionist measures and sanctions, high inflation and energy crisis, global disruption of logistics flows, and more. It gives us plenty of food for both thought and discussion with colleagues and experts from all across the world.

Bringing the FIATA World Congress to Belgium is the freight forwarding world’s version of bringing the Football World Cup or the Olympics to our country. It takes years of preparation, working with professional partners but, first and foremost, the commitment and enthusiasm of a few volunteers, FORWARD Belgium confidants.

But above all, it is an appeal to the entire Belgian freight forwarding community to work together and make this an unforgettable event. Together with our structural partners, Belgian ports and airports, we have a unique opportunity to place ourselves under the global spotlight.

We will pay special attention to the younger generation, with a full day being dedicated to the Young Logistics Professionals. Students and young people will work based on sustainable logistics throughout the day.

Within FORWARD, too, we have a clear focus on young people and also plan to emphasise workplace knowledge. Indeed, we have observed in recent years that general knowledge of our profession has deteriorated significantly, for a variety of reasons.

Within FORWARD, we have spent the recent period developing best practices, writing sector recommendations, model conditions and contracts, listing FAQs (frequently asked questions) that we receive daily from members, and explaining how best to respond in discussions with shipping companies, terminals, carriers, governments, and so on.

Starting next year, we will pay a visit to FORWARD members who are interested in this and explain, on the shop floor, how we see the 'rules of the game' of our profession. We feel there is a strong need for this and it can be the perfect opportunity to further professionalise your people using training.

2023 promises to be a busy, engaging year for FORWARD. We’re not talking about New Year's parties, Christmas events or summer parties... on 5 October 2023, we will push the boat out at Autoworld, during the Gala Dinner of the FIATA World Congress in Brussels!

Olivier Schoenmaeckers

Olivier Schoenmaeckers
Focus 2

Keep space in your diaries between 3 to 6 October 2023 Belgian logistics in the spotlight

Is October 2023 a long way off? Not if you ask Marc Huybrechts. As a Belgian logistics service provider, freight forwarder or customs specialist, he says you have a unique opportunity to attend the FIATA World Congress 'in your backyard'. An exhibition, hackathon for young professionals, panel discussions and over 40 fascinating speakers are planned. The dynamic and completely revamped conference approach ensures that you will have plenty of opportunities to network with your international colleagues. Keep space in your diaries between 3 to 6 October 2023.

The place to be for the FIATA World Congress 2023: the Square Brussels Convention Center, right by the Grand Place and the Central Station. The heart of Brussels, the heart of Europe and for these three days, the heart of the international logistics community too. Marc Huybrechts, Chair of the Organising Committee, is expecting over 1000 participants from all corners of the world.

Marc says, “As a Belgian logistics service provider, freight forwarder or customs company, you have a major opportunity in 2023, albeit with a small relocation, to meet the whole world of logistics and beyond, from the U.S. to Africa and the Far East. There will be major global players present along with smaller companies, or companies occupying niche fields. We often believe that the world is made up of major players. But just as in Belgium, there are many more SMEs on a global scale.

As a Belgian advocacy association, we have always been strongly committed to our international umbrella organisation. We submitted our candidacy in 2018, and with a two-year delay for the obvious reason, Brussels will be the

place to be in 2023. In years gone by, the events often took place in the Far East - last year in Busan, South Korea - but it has been our dream for many years to organise the global congress in our country, which is after all Europe's logistics hotspot. All the more since we are very easily accessible here for all our international participants”.

The changing climate of logistics

Marc says, “Our entire ecosystem is changing and the big question, of course, is how we manage this as a global sector. The highly current theme of the World Congress, therefore, is ‘The changing climate of logistics’. It will of course cover the climate issues that our sector is at the centre of, as well as other hot topics such as the war on drugs, cybercrime, digitisation, the war on talent and sustainable development goals.

We will present a completely revamped conference approach in October 2023, allowing our attendees to easily exchange new ideas, learn and do plenty of networking. We have come to especially appreciate the value of personal contact in business following the Covid-19 pandemic. You can specify which of the participants you want to meet using an app, for example, and that will be arranged for you”.


Congress planning

The Young Logistics Challenge will be taking place on the first day. During a hackathon, various teams of young professionals - students from colleges and universities or companies - compete against each other on a theme in sustainable logistics. During the evening, they present their findings and there is a welcome reception for all partici pants. Marc says, ”This fits in neatly with FOR WARD Belgium’s strategy in which we place a strong emphasis on promoting our sector to young people in order to secure the future of our profession”.

Day 2 kicks off with a spectacular opening cer emony and is otherwise entirely dedicated to the regional panel discussions, all regions of the world are represented. And because it’s nice to let your hair down sometimes, guests will be putting on their party outfits for the Belgian Night at the Comic Strip Museum. It will be a fantastic party, with all the best that Belgium has to offer.

A panel discussion featuring internationally-renowned speakers will take place on day 3. In the early evening, the organisers are planning a closing session, including the official handover to Panama, which will host the World Congress in 2024. In the evening, another unmissable gala dinner at Autoworld is set to take place.

FIATA World Congress Exhibition

The FIATA World Congress Exhibition will take place on the same location during the congress. Marc says, “It is the ideal location for introducing your logistics company to the wider audience of the congress, for drawing attention to your brand, presenting the latest innovations - all in all, for doing business. With a core team of structural partners, such as the Port of Antwerp Bruges and Brussels & Liege Airport, we have great representation. But it’s my ambition, now that we’re organising the congress in our own country, to further surround these partners with a broad range of Belgian logistics companies. It won't be an exhibition in the traditional sense of the word. We’re looking to revamp the concept. I’m giving you a hint early on: it’ll be a 'walk in the park'.”

Looking for participants and partners

Want to come to the congresses? You’d be very welcome! There are various formulas for the full three days or one day, for example using day passes. Marc says, “We're looking for structural partners who would like a stall at the exhibition as well. We also have at our disposal a number of sponsor packages if you would like to put your company or brand in the spotlight. And if you have an idea of your own, we’d be happy to listen - customised collaborations are always possible!” ■

More information can be found on the website: You can follow and the most up to date news on the FIATA World Congress on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Are you interested in becoming a partner, or do you have any questions?


+32-495 29 04 95

FORWARD Belgium Director

+32-474 29 39 78

Interview 4


The changing climate of logistics

FIATA World Congress

Every year, freight forwarders, logistics service providers, representatives of the logistics world and numerous international institutions gather at the FIATA World Congress.

FIATA is the international federation and represents freight forwarders in over 150 countries, comprises 113 national freight forwarding organisations and 5,500 individual companies, thereby covering over 40,000 freight forwarding and logistics companies.

Bringing together between 800 and 1,200 decision-makers from the logistics world, FIATA World Congress is the ideal event for networking, building new relationships and exchanging ideas and innovations in our fascinating industry.

Over the course of several panel discussions, consideration will be given to the future of our sector, and will see industry representatives along

with institutional participants, experts and professors, exchanging views on themes to do with sustainability, innovation, digitalisation, logistics chain disruption, war for talent, climate targets, training, compliance, and more.

The theme of the FIATA World Congress 2023 is therefore 'The changing climate of logistics' or 'Changing the climate of logistics', in which participants will actively consider and focus on the new trends in the global logistics world.

The new three-day congress programme has been made more compact and focuses primarily on attracting influential speakers.

An entire day is reserved for young people and students, who will reflect on the responsibility of logistics service providers in achieving climate goals and committing to the Sustainable Development Goals during a Young Logistics Challenge.

The other two days are set aside for panel discussions and debates around current, relevant topics. The congress in Brussels represents a unique opportunity for the Belgian logistics world to put itself in the spotlight and together with a number of structural partners such as Port of Antwerp - Bruges, Brussels Airport, Liège Airport, Belgian Customs,... we will make it an unforgettable event. ■


1930 Antwerp

1935 Brussels

1955 Antwerp

1987 Antwerp

2023 Brussels

Congresses in Belgium

Enjoy the best of Belgium culture

Dear friends, colleagues and partners, Here we are, two years after the planned FIATA World Congress in Brussels, Belgium, postponed due to the pandemic which shook the world, to warmly invite you to join us this time in Europe! The 2023 FIATA World Congress will take place in Brussels, Belgium in October, where we will meet to exchange, learn, network with new faces, and enjoy the best of Belgium culture! The Congress host for the 2023 FWC, FORWARD Belgium, the Belgian Freight Forwarding Association, have invested considerable time into planning this long-awaited Congress since the winning bid in 2018. All eyes will be on the city which is de facto capital of the European Union, where international bodies come together to progress in collaboration, and European logistics is strategically well-placed! Brussels lies just 30km from the Port of Antwerp, the second largest port in Europe. The city is well-connected not only via sea, but also air, with Brussels International Airport, the Liege Cargo airport, and Ostend airport in reachable vicinity of the capital. Road and rail transport are also strategically well-placed in this European capital, where important connections to powerhouse Germany, France and Northern Europe can be found. With this Congress organised and hosted under the title ‘The Changing Climate of Logistics’, the freight forwarding community at large, including FIATA members and non-members, can expect focus on the sustainability of our industry, and to put our heads together on moving forward sustainably to meet government-set goals and regulations in coming years. The organising host is sharing a tightly-packed schedule to discuss important matters which affect the global logistics community, and promises an excellent networking and growth opportunity for delegates who join us!

We thank the FORWARD Belgium team, particularly 2023 FIATA World Congress Chairman Marc Huybrechts, for their support, heartfelt welcome to Brussels, and the host country authorities and organisations involved who have helped to make the event possible.

We at FIATA, along with the organising committee, very much look forward to welcoming you to this international city, and hope to see many faces again very soon! Register at once so as to not miss this exciting opportunity!


Young Logistics Challenge

FIATA World Congress 2023 Brussels

Changing the climate of logistics

• When? 3 October 2023 - Young Logistics Professionals Programme (YLP) Day

• Where? SQUARE Convention Centre Brussels

• Who? young talents in the logistics industry and students around the world.

This special event will take place during the FIATA World Congress from 3 to 6 October 2023 in Brussels.

Find innovative solutions, share ideas and inspire!

Collaborate with young professionals on the Sustainable Development Goals for the logistics industry.

#4 Quality education

#8 Decent work and economic growth

#9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

#12 Responsible consumption and production

#13 Climate action

More details and registration

FIATA President Ivan Petrov

Marketing opportunities/ sponsorship & exhibition

The FIATA World Congress attracts about 1,000 high profile participants who are key decision makers and who actively promote change within their organisations.

Exposure at the 2023 FIATA World Congress would be hugely beneficial as this is an ideal setting to network, build and forge new relationships, while at the same time creating awareness of your offering to our attendees.

• Brand awareness and recognition – logo and advertisement placement

• Engage with your audience –

during the Congress and online

• Enhance credibility – highlight your company’s expertise to a focused audience

• Generate new sales and partnerships – with registrants, vendors and speakers

• Put your brand in front of thousands of the most influential leaders of the business

• Promote your products, services and research to international buyers

• Network with like-minded industry members and academic delegates

• Establish international strategic partners

Justitiestraat 26

2018 Antwerp

Tel: 0032/ (0)3/203.40.00

Fax: 0032/ (0)3/225.28.81

Van Doosselaere Advocaten focuses on companies with a specific specialization in the legal branches of transport, logistics, customs and excise duties, insurance and company law

The changing climate of logistics

• Strengthen your brand position within the industry of freight management and logistics

• Access to knowledge – find out about new research being undertaken

Exhibition options include All stands are 9 sq m (3m x 3m) or multiples thereof

• Your logo with link to your website on the Congress website

• Your logo in the Congress Handbook

• 2 complimentary exhibitor access only passes

Our team of lawyer experts is available for your services Guy Van Doosselaere (

Adry Poelmans (

Jan Daneels (

Geert Preckler (

Christophe Van Mechelen (

Exhibition & sponsoring
3-6 October BRUSSELS
Programme WORLD CONGRESS 3-6 October BRUSSELS The
logistics Day 1 Tuesday 3 October 2023 Day 2 Wednesday 4 October 2023 Day 3 Thursday 5 October 2023 Day 4 Friday 6 October 2023 Registration 08:00 YOUNG LOGISTICS PROFESSIONAL SESSION Free Free 08:00 10:00 Break Break Break 10:00 11:00 11:00 12:00 Lunch Lunch 12:00 Break 13:00 Free 14:00 Break 14:00 15:00 Break 15:00 Break 16:00 Free 17:00 Free Free 18:00 18:00 19:00 FUN EVENING CONGRESS PARTY The Comics Strip Museum GALA DINNER Autoworld 19:00 20:00 20:00 21:00 21:00 22:00 22:00 PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE OPENING SESSION 09:00 09:00 EXTENDED BOARD PLENARY SESSION GENERAL MEETING 13:00 PRESS CONFERENCE REGIONAL MEETINGS 16:00 REGIONAL MEETINGS 17:00 CLOSING SESSION PANEL DISCUSSION PANEL DISCUSSION PANEL DISCUSSION REGIONAL PANEL DISCUSSION PANEL DISCUSSION PANEL DISCUSSION 8
changing climate of

Gala Dinner

5 October 2023, Autoworld

Belgian Fun Night

4 October 2023

Comic Strip Museum


FIATA: what’s in it for you?

We spoke to Jens Roemer, Senior Vice President of FIATA, Chairman of the FIATA Sea Working Group and member of the board of FORWARD Belgium about FIATA's role and significance for the logistics sector.

What does FIATA stand for today?

JR says: For many companies, FIATA might not be well known or in any case, they may have less of a sense of FIATA's importance to our logistics sector. In itself, this is no surprise since FIATA is active on a global level and handles files with a mainly international focus. FIATA is an important partner for all international bodies such as the World Customs Organisation, ICC, IATA, WTO, World Shipping Council, Global Shippers Forum, and many more. The industry wants to do business and has no time and money to assure a legal solid environment to operate in. But the industry is benefitting every day from the work of FIATA and its national association members, well recognised trading terms are just one example. Another aspect it training. FIATA has a long history of training as well as ‘train the trainer’ programs. This is important for less developed member countries.

As a result, FIATA's work may seem a little outside our scope for many of our members.

Since the move of FIATA Headquarters to Geneva and the appointment of a completely new team of highly qualified staff, I can only conclude that output to our industry has increased significantly.

Can you give some examples of this?

JR: a highly topical issue and one which are members are confronted with is the numerous discussions on demurrage and detention. FIATA published a Best Practice on demurrage & detention 2 years ago in fact, and I am very proud of this, as chairman of the Sea Working Group. To this end, we have had close contacts with the Federal Maritime Commission in the US, where we note today that many of the principles contained in our best practice have also recently been incorporated into the new US legislation. In Antwerp too, courts have now taken note of our best practice, and we also see its principles reflected in a number of recent judgments. This is a wonderful reflection of the relevance of our work within FIATA. Accordingly, there are many other interesting Best Practices that we have prepared that are useful for many of our companies such as on Abandoned Goods, Contract Management, Prevention of Cybercrime, and so on.

All these activities take time and engagement of a committed and professional individuals. They may happen unnoticed to many, but the whole industry is benefitting from them.

What is FIATA up to at the moment, and what's your role in it?

JR says: Personally, I have spent the last 2 years within FIATA focusing heavily on the impact of maritime disruption, the dominance that shipping companies have accumulated since the Covid-19 outbreak and their vertical integration in the supply chain.

On the one hand, we are ensuring here that the rules of the game are sufficiently respected, and here I mean the fair application of competition rules, where we as FIATA and Clecat are trying to defend our position to the various competent competition authorities. On the other hand, I remain a strong advocate of dialogue with shippers and shipping lines, and try to facilitate these conversations so that together, we can see how best to deal with each other and in what way we can all emerge better off. Finally, we remain compelled to work with one another and will continue to do so for a long time to come!

But FIATA is active in a whole range of fields. Customs, air cargo, sustainability, digitalisation and innovation, multimodal transport, legal, Young Logistics and more. It is the people at FIATA HQ, together with several volunteers from the freight forwarding practice from all over the world who really make the difference and who have an important impact on the way our industry works, not only today but also in the future.

What is the importance of the FIATA World Congress?

JR: the annual FIATA World Congress is the place to be for the global freight forwarding and logistics industry and has a huge impact due to its long-standing tradition. Many hundreds of people across the whole world gather here. It not only constitutes a showcase for FIATA itself, but the host country also has a unique opportunity to put itself on the map as a logistics hotspot.

Belgium is home to many specialised freight forwarders, we have a fantastic location, have huge assets with our ports and airports, let us take the unique opportunity to highlight them together in Brussels next year. : I’m looking forward to meeting all members of FORWARD Belgium at one of the sessions at the congress, at the exhibition or during one of the spectacular evening event. ■

Stream Software BE (HQ) Potvlietlaan 4, bus 3, 2600 Berchem, België +32 (0)3 825 77 74, Stream Software NL Bogert 31-6, 5612 LX Eindhoven, Nederland +32 (0)3 825 77 74, Customs Industry Logistics Together we make international trade run faster. Douane Software voor Nederland, België en Luxemburg Bonded Warehouse - DMS Import/Export - E-Commerce - Fiscal Representation 11



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