The 30th ASEAN Federation of Forwarders Association (AFFA) Congress on December 16, 2020, recommends all members to improve logistics industry role in supporting to accelerate the economy recovery post-pandemic.
Amid the pandemic but referring to the organizational regulations, AFFA still conducted the congress, though it was done virtually.
On this occasion, all member countries who attended the congress agreed to jointly play a bigger role in the logistics industry in the regional and global arena to ensure economic recovery after being affected by Covid-19.
The congress also agreed to re-elect Yukki Nugrahawan Hanafi from Indonesia as the AFFA Chairman for the third times. All members all conclude that role of AFFA has been very significant in the development of the logistics industry over the past 4 years, including in supporting economic movements during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on logistics activities. The flow of goods in and out is enormous. This means that this condition greatly affects industrial activities as a whole. If there is a decrease or increase in industrial activity, logistics activities will also be greatly affected,” Yukki said in press statement Wednesday (30/12/2020).
At the congress, all AFFA members also agreed to adopt the AFFA STC (Standard Trading Condition) as a standard reference in conducting logistics and transportation business in the ASEAN region.
By adopting this provision, said Yukki, all members have uniformity in rules, responsibilities and obligations in conducting logistic and multimodal business to support ASEAN Connectivity 2025.
The congress also discussed the real role of AFFA members in each country in supporting their respective governments in finding solution of the Covid-19. Logistics and forwarding companies can play direct role in distributing needs for Covid-19, including its vaccines.
The AFFA work team also reports the progress of trade facilitation among ASEAN countries and reports on the development of human resource competence in the logistics sector through the AFFA Logistics Institute with vocational education and training programs.
Yukki also said that the issue of container shortage also became a top topic discussion during the congress. “This condition causes shipping companies to take many anticipatory steps, such as delaying shipping and even reducing their capacity or cancellation (blank shipping),” he said.
Yukki, who is also the Chairman of Indonesian Logistics and Forwarders’ Association (ALFI/ILFA), underlined that this problem has been more complex because the imbalance of volume between imports and exports of the United States, resulting in ex-imported containers stopping or piling up in the country and there is a containers shortage in other regions.
“However, behind the many problems and challenges that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, we can take a lot of lessons and use them as motivation, especially for logistics players in facing the coming year,” said Yukki.