Transportation freight professionals representing shippers’ organizations from the three major trading regions of the world converged on San Francisco, CA last month for the 2005 Annual Tripartite Shippers’ Group (TSG) Meeting. Since 1994 shipper delegations from North America, Europe and Asia have met annually to discuss and take action on topical policy issues which impact international freight transportation and trade. Developing common industry objectives and communicating these to public and private national and international bodies have made the TSG a recognized voice in today’s global freight industry.
This year The National Industrial Transportation League was honored to serve as host for the 2005 event held September 15-17. In addition to the League, participating groups included: the European Shippers’ Council; Japan Shippers’ Council; the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association; and Asian Shippers’ Council. Other groups included: the China Shippers’ Association; Hong Kong Shippers’ Council; Thai National Shippers’ Council; Korean Shippers’ Council; Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council; Philippine Shippers’ Bureau; Singapore National Shippers’ Council; Dutch Shippers’ Council; and, Finnish Shippers’ Council.
Opening remarks were made by League Chairman Mick Barr, director for global cross border operations at Procter & Gamble. Mr. Barr noted important past accomplishments of the TSG including successful passage in the United States of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, the on-going inquiry in Europe of the block-exemption authority for liner conferences as well as efforts in Asia to advance market-force initiatives including industry concerns over ancillaries and surcharges.
At the conclusion of the 2005 meeting a “Joint Declaration” was released. It summarizes the discussions and conclusions taken by participants on such subjects as: maritime regulatory reform; cooperative ocean carrier agreements; freight transportation security; surcharges/ancillaries including terminal handling charges (THCs); congestion; ocean cargo liability; liberalization of air transport; development of global air performance standards; and regulatory wood packaging materials. A complete copy of the 2005 Shippers’ Declaration may be found by clicking here: http://www.nitl.org/2005JointDeclaration.pdf.
In addition to the views set forth in the declaration, the TSG agreed to review and discuss a new mission statement which will be developed over the next year.
The TSG’s next meeting is scheduled for 2006 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.